Sunday, June 26, 2011

A movie a year (volume 2)

Let’s continue with the second decade- late 80s beginning 90s. Big changes took place in this era. Amitabh’s reign as super star was coming to an end. Star sons were the talk of the town- Kumar Gaurav, Sanjay Dutt, Sunny Deol, Anil Kapoor. Not sure what the star daughters were doing though? This period was also the onset of the Khan rule- Aamir, Salman, Shahrukh- all of them made their stunning debuts. And they continue their reign till this day almost 20 years since.

Another big trend was that the age of action films was slowly coming to an end, and the 90’s was all about romance- QSQT, Maine Pyaar kiya, Aashiqui, Lamhe...(My romantic expectations in life can easily be blamed to this phase of Indian cinema).

1985: Rahul Rawail gave us Sunny Deol as Arjun. One of my first movies related to underworld and crime. And it set the stage for my interest in this genre (many of Ramu’s initial movies like Satya and Company will make their way to this esteem list of mine). A great film with many twists and turns- or at least I thought so then. The ‘black umbrella’ scene where one of the Arjun’s friend is murdered on a rainy Bombay afternoon at a railway station, made me gasp. This movie was the start of Sunny’s tryst with ‘man against the system’ type of films like Ghayal, Damini, Ghatak. Until it all got very stale.

Another movie I absolutely love was a movie made for television- if I am not wrong it never released in cinemas- a Mahesh Bhatt self-proclaimed autobiography called Janam. One of Kumar Gaurav’s best performances ever! The poor guy never got his due. A story of an illegitimate son of a famous movie director and his mistress depicts the child’s struggles and subsequent success in the most heart touching manner. Another Mahesh Bhatt original- when he made original movies that is.

My 2 picks from 1985 are Arjun and Janam. Though few other movies deserve a mention too. One of them is Saagar- it was the comeback of ‘Bobby’ and the hit Rishi-Dimple pair. Dimple is one of my favourite heroines still and Saagar was when she looked her stunning best. A Sippy production with remarkable performances by the lead pair, but the show stealer for me was Kamal Hasan! He played the childhood friend who loves Dimple since they were kids and even gave up his life for her. So romantic! All songs of this movie were great with the popular ones being ‘O Maria’ and ‘Sagar jaise akhon wali’, but my favourite one is ‘Sach mere yaar hai, bus wohi pyaar hai, jiske badle mein koi toh pyaar de’ (the words always ring true).

1985 was also the year Raj Kapoor gave us Indian first semi-soft porn flick in ‘Ram teri ganga maili’. And Mandakini immortalized herself in the translucent white wet sari (My parents never let me watch that film)

Another movie worth mentioning here is Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Khamosh. A thrilling murder mystery and you don’t very good ones of those from Indian cinema.

1986: Mahesh Bhatt bought us another lovely movie about 2 brothers- Naam. Another good performance by Kumar Gaurav. But this year simply belongs to Karma. A Subhash Ghai movie with stalwarts like Dilip Kumar, Naseer, Nutan alongside the then newcomers Anil Kapoor, Jackie, Sridevi. ‘Har karam apna karenge ae watan tere liye, dil diya hain jaan bhi denge, ae watan tere liye’- one of my favourite patriotic numbers. This was also the start of the ‘modern Hindi film’ villain with Anupam Kher as Doctor Dang, soon followed by Amrish Puri as Mogambo.

1987: 2-way split between 2 very different movies- Shekhar Kapur’s Mr. India and Kaash- which I only found out now thru IMBD was directed by Mahesh Bhatt- makes me feel even sad on what he has come to now. Sigh.

Mr. India gave us India’s first 'science' thriller, Mogambo khush hua, hawa hawai and a film which starred Anil Kapoor but you did not have to see him. Perfect! Sorry, but am not an Anil fan. Never have been. It was one the few well-made kid-friendly movies that even grown-ups enjoyed.  And Sridevi’s dance in ‘Kate nahin kat te yeh din yeh raat’ is one of the most sensuos numbers

Trivia- the film had originally been written for Amitabh Bachchan with his voice in mind. He rejected the "invisible" role.

Kaash was a story about a divorced couple- Jackie who was a struggling actor and Dimple- who have a child suffering from a critical illness. I always felt Dimple looked very good with Jackie as a couple (Gardish, Ram Lakhan were 2 other movies were they starred together) rather than the other contemporaries like Sunny and Anil.

1988: I thought this year would have been very easy. As it was the release of QSQT and the birth of a crush that’s lasted over 2 decades. QSQT was such a filmy-film- all the possible love story clichés found its way to this film. But maybe it was timing of its release- which was dominated by action films, or maybe it was the new comer ‘fresh pair’ of Aamir and Juhi as Raj and Rashmi, or the songs by Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik (who went on to become the romantic song hit pair)- maybe it was a combination of all of this that lead to QSQT becoming one of the biggest hits in Indian cinema. And will always hold a very special place in my heart. Its the only movie I have watched more than 15 times.
Though QSQT is my favourite movie ever and it ruled 1988, but the year cannot be complete without the mention of a beautiful Gulzar film- Izzazat. Great performances by Naseer, Rekha and Anuradha Patel with a lovely cameo by Sashi Kapoor. Beautiful songs and a very touching story. Must-must-watch.

1988 also gave us Tezaab and ek do teen which shot Madhuri to stardom.
1989: The toughest year so far... as the selection process is extremely difficult.

First on line is Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Parinda. A stunning film about the underworld which still sends shivers down my spine. Jackie got rid of his ‘wooden actor’ image with this film. The industry got a great performer in Nana Patekar and Madhuri played a de-glamed school teacher to perfection. The star of this movie was Anil- but as I mentioned before- am not a fan.

This year gave us the 2nd Khan star with Salman in Maine Pyaar Kiya- a Rajshri production. It also bought to limelight the girl next door Baghyashree- who was literally the girl next door as she lived in the house next to my building. A family-entertainer with a sweet love story.
And naturally I have to mention Yash Chopra’s Chandni which also made its way to my Top 10 love stories.

This year Sridevi also entertained us in Chaalbaaz- Hema Malini’s Seeta-Geeta remake- where she showed her superb comic timing as she played Anju and Manju.

1990: After a stellar preceding year, the only movies worth mentioning here are Aashiqui and Dil. Both rather average films, but big hits that year. They propelled the existing trend toward romantic films. The only reason they are special to me is- Aashiqui is the first movie I bunked college and went to watch with a group of friends. And Dil...well... it had Aamir and Mads and I watched it just before I went to get my 10th standard results- which I aced.

1991: goes to Lamhe- a Yash Chopra love story between a younger woman and an older man- only movie I liked Anil in. And Sridevi was simply awesome. Lovely songs, beautiful locales, great supporting performances by Anupam Kher and Wahida Rahman.

Another parallel cinema must-watch is Govind Nihlani’s Drishti starring Shekhar Kapur and Dimple Kapadia as a married couple who are growing apart. 

This year bought to an end the original film era of Mahesh Bhatt films with his last original movie- Daddy- where he launched his daughter Pooja.
1992: And Shahrukh Khan arrived! A small role in a Rishi and then popular and since then dead heroine- Divya Bharti called Deewana. Bad film, in descript performance by SRK and hamming by Rishi. But his second movie- Raju ban gaya gentleman with Juhi was sweet.

However this year belonged to Roja. It is the year I discovered the genius of Mani Ratnam. The movie brought to light the Kashmir issue and had fab performance by the so-handsome Arvind Swamy and Madhu.

Jo jeeta wohi sikandar also released this year and received the best film award in Filmfare. It was an hindi cinema version of Archie comics with Aamir as Archie, Ayesha Jhulka as Betty (seriously! If she can act opposite Aamir, so can I!), Pooja Bedi as Veronica and Deepak Tijori as Reggie. I have very fond memories of this movie- but doubt I could sit through it now unlike other Aamir movies which I can re-watch anytime.

1993: is the year marked in history as the only time ever a SRK movie will beat an Aamir movie in this list. The Aamir movie was Hum hain rahi pyaar ke where his hit jodi with Juhi cast its magic again and it had cute kids and good doze of comedy.

But my favourite movie in 1993 is an SRK film by Kundan Shah called ‘Kabhi haan, Kabhi Na’. Shot in idyllic Goa it depicts the life of simple boy Sunil whose sole purpose in life is to marry Anna. Deepak Tijori played Chris as the rich dude who Anna loves. A love triangle that makes you go awwww.
And my other fav movie this year was ‘Sardar’- a Ketan Mehta film on the life of Sardar Vallabhai Patel played flawlessly by Paresh Rawal. A must-watch for anyone interested in understanding the intricacies of what really happened in 1947- just before and right after Independence.

1994: A very good year for Indian cinema as it gave us Hum aapke hain kaun- one of the biggest grosser ever and a National award winner. The great Indian wedding packed in only 4 hours. I still enjoyed the movie though- the songs, Madhuri’s dances, the love story between her and Salman, all were rather heart warming. No Indian wedding since then has been complete without songs from this hit film. It also marks the end of Rajshri production movies on my list.

Andaz apna apna also released this year- undoubtedly one of the best comedy movies EVER! And the only time Aamir and Salman starred together. I can watch this movie even today and laugh as much as than I did then.

Another beautiful movie this year was 1942 A love story a historic fictional love story in the backdrop of the Quit India movement of 1942. Must watch for Jackie as Shubankar, Javed saab’s lyrics for ‘ek ladki ko dekka’, and Manisha’s performance.

Can’t finish this year without mentioning another Govind Nihlani film called Drohkaal- a riveting suspense thriller about a dedicated cop who leads an under-cover squad against a group of terrorists.

This brings us to an end of the 2nd decade of my life and covers nearly 30 brilliant films. Thinking about it now, I actually marvel how did I do well academically inspite of my addiction to Hindi movies. Well I did not turn out half as bad, and these films are so worth it!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A movie a year (volume 1)

Never ask me what is my favourite movie or my favourite food. I can’t simply answer. (Favourite book is easy- Pride and Prejudice, and yes I know I am an Austen-cliché, but that’s just the way it is).

But favourite food...that’s tough man! Fried pomfret or sindhi curry. Aloo paratha or chilly crab with fried bun. Thai green curry or gambas de ajillo. Bhel puri or Pizza Margarita. And I have barely begun. I love my food and don’t expect me to choose. I get very stressed when I see a man on death row in the American crime shows. And the poor guy is given the choice to have whatever he wants as his last meal. I feel sorry for the guy- not because he is soon going to be sitting on an electric chair, but because he has such a difficult choice to make at this critical time.

And same goes for favourite movie. I hardly ever agree to the ‘best film’ award on any of the popular shows as it’s very unlikely that the popular choice would be mine. And there are just way too many fabulous Hindi movies. How can anyone just choose one?

So here is what I thought. I will pick my favourite film for each year since I was born. Brilliant na? Except now everyone will know my exact age. Which frankly is not a state secret (as much as I would like it to be one)

So here goes decade one of my existence. 1974 to 1984

1974: Ok. I reached a stumbling block on year one itself. Did not find a single movie which I have seen that year, let alone liked. So I shall cheat here and select from 1973- I was conceived that year, so it’s justified.

And I will cheat one more time and pick 2 films. Which is going to be a pretty much ongoing scenario throughout this post, as in most years I have more than one favourite film.

In no particular order my 2 picks for 1973/1974 are: Abhimaan and Zanjeer. Zanjeer shot Amitabh to overnight fame. Brilliant portrayal as Inspector Vijay (his favourite screen name). Also the movie which catapulted his ‘angry young man’ image. While with Abhimaan he made his mark as an emotive actor. He played the role of an established popular singer who found it difficult to deal with his wife’s success. Abhiman also gave us the successful Amitabh-Jaya jodi and beautiful songs like “Tere mere jeevan ki raina” and “Teri bindiya re”

1975: This is tougher than I thought. How can anyone choose between Deewar and Sholay? They both are just awesome!! I still cry even today when I see Jai die in the end in Sholay. And Basanti is one of the most iconic female characters in the history of Indian cinema.

The scene in Deewar where Amitabh buys the building where is mum worked as brick carrier (is that even a word?) is etched in my memory. And the dialogue “Maaf kijiye Daaga saab, lekin business karna aap no nahin aata. Aap agar is building ki doogni keemat maangte, toh bhi mein de deta”. And “Mein aaj bhi phenke hue paise nahi leta”. Salim-Javed! You gotta love them! What writing! And another reason I am partial to Deewar is that it had my favourite Shashi Kapoor- who I loved more than Amitabh. He had the most winning smile!

And to add to the confusion, there is Aandhi to consider. A Gulzar film supposedly based on Indira Gandhi. Best-ever songs! “Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koi Shikwa”. And Suchitra Sen and Sanjeev Kumar were just stunning.

I can’t resolve this. 1975 goes to Aandhi, Deewar and Sholay.

1976: This year has a clear winner-Kabhie Kabhie. Directed by Yash Chopra with Amitabh, Rakhi (never looked better), Shashi Kapoor (played such a charming and adorable character in the film and fav profession- architect) and Waheeda Rahman. It also starred the next generation stars (and my favourite on and off screen couple- Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh. A beauty love triangle and one of the best music compositions ever by Khayyam**- a music director extraordinaire but sadly underrated. Who can ever forget the title track and beautiful shayari by Amitabh?

However I would like to mention another lovely film from this year- Chitchor. I used to be a big Amol Palekar fan and loved almost all the films he starred in- until he started making them and Paheli happened-seriously dude what were you thinking? A Rajshri production back when their movies were heart warming but still socially relevant. Rajshri remade this film in 2003 with Kareena, Hrithik and Abhishek in a shameful ‘Main prem ki deewani hoon’. Again guys, what were you thinking?

1977: Amar, Akhbar, Anthony was released this year, and though it deserves a mention for a lot of reasons- the key one being the magic of Amitabh and Praveen Babi on screen, it is not my favourite film of that year. Oh and it also deserves a mention for Vinod Khanna- the most handsome star at that time. His sons are not remotely as handsome, though I always liked Akshaye Khanna very much. Big crush! But not sure where he is nowadays...since the hair loss.

I vote for Hum kisse se kum nahin. I love Nasir Hussain movies (this was even before I knew he was related to Aamir Khan). An out and out commercial plot with fabulous music by R D Burman- I still prefer Rishi’s version of Bachchna ae hasino to his son’s. Other popular songs from this movie were “Chaand mera dil” and the crown gem “Kya hua tera vada”

1978: This year I will pass up a great Amitabh movie- inspite of the fab chemistry with Rekha which was unmistakable especially in the ‘kotha’ number ‘Salame ishq meri jaan’. Yes am talking about ‘Muquadar ka sinkandar’. My favourite movie for this year is Ankiyon ke jharokon se. Loosely based on Eric Segal’s Love story- one of my much-loved books- the movie was so heart-warming and beautiful. And just makes me wonder again what beautiful films Rajshir Productions used to make. The film got nominations for Best Actress, Best Film, Best Direction categories in 1978 Filmfare Award but missed them all. And which makes me realized that Filmfare awards even then danced to the popular beat while ignoring true talent.

1979: Hriskesh Mukherjee is one of my favourite directors. And Golmaal is one of his best movies. But 1979 was also the year that Kala Pathar was released. And its undoubtedly one of my favourite Amitabh movies of all times. Again a Yash Chopra direction- wish he made such movies again instead of only the romantic ones. And Kala Pathar had Shashi Kapoor too- looking so handsome as the young architect (my most sexiest profession ever! Have I mentioned that before?). The heroines Rakhi, Parveen Babi and Neetu Singh played their parts beautifully too. I love multi-starrers! But you don’t see as many of them now. May be today’s actors are simply too insecure to share screen space with each other. And the other important bit of news from this movie is that it’s THE ONLY movie where Shatrughan Sinha was remotely tolerable.

1980: Qurbaani was the highest grosser this year and great masala movie. But I have never been a big fan of Feroz Khan (though I used to find his son Fardeen super hot but marriage has ruined him completely). My biggest gripe against Feroz Khan- besides the arrogance and the weird westernized accent- was that he always kept himself alive in the end of the film and killed the other hero. In this movie it was the handsome Vinod Khanna (in Janbaaz it was Anil Kapoor, in Yalgaar it was Sanjay Dutt). Arrey just because you are the director does not mean you kill the other guy off even if the script does not demand it?

But still a must watch simply for Vinod Khanna and Zeenat.

1980 also was the year of another huge multi-starrer- The burning train. Love it! And in fact recently I saw it on TV when I was in Bombay and even made Sanil watch it. He seemed semi-impressed. But 1980 can only go to Karz! One of Subhash Ghai’s best and needs simply no introduction. The only thing I did not like about Karz was Tina Munim- could not stand her! Actually still can’t do. (And she needs to go her sis-in-law’s way and loose that fat!). And I have to mention here that Himesh Reshamiya needs to be publicly lynched for remaking Karz as Karzz! I will forgive Ram Gopal Verma for the similar sacrilegious behaviour in remaking Sholay- as Amitabh was his partner in crime and I can only attribute it to temporary insanity on both their parts.

1981: gave us the next super star in Sanjay Dutt with Rocky. Teen girls watched Rocky 50 times over and swooned and gushed. I never saw the fuss and don’t see it now either. Manoj Kumar gave us Kranti and being the patriotic person I am, I love that film. Yash Chopra gave us Silsila- a film that was not a big box office success, but was one of the most poignant love stories ever made. The plot, the music, the lyrics by Javed Aktar- "Mein aur meri tanhayi", the cast, the story line everything was just splendid. Another beautiful film that year was Basera- simply worth watching for Rekha’s restrained yet powerful performance and Shashi’s dashing looks.

But my 2 favourite movies of this year are in Naseeb and Kalyug. Poles apart but etched in my memory for completely diverse reasons. As kids we watched Naseeb on loop- I don’t think there is any other movie and my cousins and I watched as much. A dhamaal Manmohan Desai masala entertainer.

And Shyam Benegal’s Kalyug. Based on Mahabharat- from where my fascination of the epic started- and who should play my favourite Mahabhrat character- Karna- but Shashi Kapoor. Rekha made a very convincing Drupadi. Kalyug was my foray into the parallel cinema world. Then called ‘art movies’.

1982: My attraction towards art movies propelled with Arth. It was a life changing film for me. The last scene when Shabana refused Raj Kiran even though she knew he loved her so much, and instead chose to be a mother to her maid’s child was one of my first ever understanding of woman’s liberation and independence. I was 8 when Arth was released, I assume I watched it much later in life, but it left an ever-lasting impression on my mind.

1983: launched 2 other big heroes who became Sanju baba’s contemporaries. One was star son Sunny Deol with Betaab. And one a middle class chawl dweller- Jackie Shroff with Hero. I saw ‘Kishen’ on screen and I found my first true crush*. I still remember going to a cinema in town (South Bombay) with my whole family to watch this movie. And my cousin Sandy who was from Switzerland and did not understand Hindi also sat through the 3 hours of this Subhash Ghai’s masterpiece.

This year also saw the advent of Sridevi with her ‘thunder thighs’ in full glory in Himmatwala and Justice Chudhary. Also known for Jeetu bhai’s most innovative and entertaining dance steps (and white shoes)

But Hero is not my only film for that year. Because 1983 was the year one of the best movies in the history of Indian cinema was released- Shekhar Kapur’s Masoom. Adaptation from another Eric Segal novel “Man, woman and child”, Masoom showed us another side to motherhood. I have never been a Shabana fan- Arth was the only exception- and I think it has its roots in this film. I could never relate to her character in this film. Though technically her character is not really her, but I simply could never forgive her for rejecting Jugal Hansraj- which heartless person can resist the big brown sad eyes of that child as he says “Meri mummy bhi phoolon wali sari pehenti thi”. Even at young age, I was very clear in my head. I was not sure if I could forgive my husband for adultery, but I could never turn away the child. I still tear up when I hear “Tujhse naaraz nahin zindagi”. (And yeah I LOVE Shekhar Kapur- he is at the Aamir Khan level for me)

1984: My love affair with Mahesh Bhatt art movies continued with Saaransh. Anupam Kher’s debut film where he played a man of 60 years coping with his son’s death. He was only 28 years old then! A brilliant film which makes me wonder what happened to that great story teller and film maker?

This year also gave birth to 2 stars who would rule Indian cinema (and my heart) for years to come. Madhuri Dixit in Abodh- she was merely 16. And Aamir Khan in a miniscule role in Ketan Mehta’s Holi.

Another movie that just has to be mentioned is Jaane bhi do yaaron- a hilarious laugh riot! Satish Shah- one of the best comedians this industry has given us and Naseer- one of the finest actors this industry has ever given us, coupled with Pankaj Kapur and Ravi Baswani lead to one of the funniest movies of all times. Best dialouge: "Mein ne cheerharan ka idea drop kar diya hai"

* 13 years later, I was doing my MBA summer internship at Sony Entertainment (where Jackie used to have a stake holding) and one day when I was sitting at my desk, Jackie walks in and looks at me and says “hello sweetheart”. I am not a swooner, but boy did I swoon. And when we went back to college, and everyone exchanged their summer internship experiences like the projects they worked on, the important people they presented to, etc, I just said “Jackie said ‘hello sweetheart’ to me”. Yeah it was extremely bimbotic...but hell he was Jackie Shroff!(and yes I am fully aware he does not look like that now!)

** Khayyam lives in my building in Bombay. As kids, when we played on the building terrace, he used to come up and scold us for disturbing him as his apartment was just below the terrace. Our revenge was to ring his door bell and rung. I feel semi-bad now.

So that ends my top picks for the first decade of my life. And now I can only think how I want to watch each and every of these films again!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Working Class Snob

For long I have battled this. What category do I fall in? In some cases it’s very clear. Like I always say, the world is divided- between people who like/love/adore Aamir and people who simply like Shahrukh and the twain shall never meet. People who drink coffee and people who enjoy their chai. People who grew up on a steady diet of Archie’s vs. people who can’t get enough of Asterix. You pick a side, and you live in it. You seldom cross over and only losers straddle both.

But when it comes to mass vs. elite, I simply can’t peg myself to one slot.

Recently at an office training, the instructor who had known me for all of that half a day, passed a comment about supermarket shopping and used me as an example of a person who probably never steps into Fairprice and in all likelihood does not even know the existence of a Shop and Save (by the way does Shop and Save still exist?). I was mildly offended, as it a massive stereotyping. And just because I wore a pretty short dress, sipped my cappuccino, and made notes in a hand-bound personalized diary with my Montblanc pen did not make me a person who turns up her nose on Singapore’s very own Fairprice! The nerve of the man!

Except I do. So he was spot on. Unless I am dying of hunger (probably not even then) would I step into a Fairprice.

But I am also the person who coordinates her work schedule based on shuttle bus timings. And takes the MRT to go to my magic temple in Potong Pasir which takes 10 times longer than hopping in a cab.

I still much rather go to Parkway Parade (in the shuttle) for the convenience than trudge all the way to Ion, Orchard for the snob value. Though I do enjoy Ion once every other month. The point being it’s an indulgence and not a norm.

And I would take a Stardust over a Vogue any day!

On the flip side, I would never buy clothes at a This Fashion (though I must admit I did, when I first came to Singapore over a decade ago. On an AE salary in advertising and paying utility and grocery bills, even This Fashion was a luxury). But I do hold Zara in good esteem.

I have certain very working class (or as Indians call it ‘middle class’) values. Like I still do the bindaas rickshaw travel in Bombay and don’t hire an air con car, I do not own more than 10 shoes at ones time (hey! I know people who have over 100 pairs. I am super modest!), I am content with basic dal-chawal meals and more comfortable around books than iPads. And I do not own a single designer bag (No Guccis, no LVs, not even a measly Coach).

But hey I also exhibit many snooty traits- never eating at food courts, only living in Tanjong Rhu (except again when I first came to Singapore), never staying in backpacker kind of places when travelling, turning my nose up on commercial cinema ventures like Patiala House. Well you get the drift.

I feel lost. When I am with the true working class even though I live like them most of the time, I feel self-conscious. But I know the elite people judge me as being way too “middle class”. Who works in advertising to pay a mortgage when you can lead a tai-tai life and go shopping every day? (No one has ever told me that, but boy I have got that look many times).

Guess if I had many readers-which thankfully don’t- I would have pissed off both sects as it may appear I am being snobbish towards one while judging the other.

But here is my thing...I never judge. Really. No one knows about another person’s life completely, so who are we to say who is doing it right and who is oh-so wrong. May be there are certain people I find tough to relate to, but their life is their own. They live by their own choices and thus the consequences. I do wish everyone would award others by the same understanding.

Live and let live is my simple mantra.

So now as I sit by the pool, sipping my lemonade (OK, a vodka infused one) I realise, the most important thing is to be comfortable in your own skin. People will still put you in the buckets they have built in their heads. And there is not one thing you can do about that.

So well I am equally comfortable indulging in high tea in Raffles hotel as sipping filter coffee in Murugans.

I love my wine (German Reisling) and cheese (double brie- still can’t do the blue cheese variety). As much as I relish the 10th Road Juhu bhel puri.

I do not wear Charles and Keith shoes (they are just too uncomfortable!) but I could never get myself to buy a Jimmy Choo either.

And I am equally comfy in a cotton sari (which my friend calls ‘NGO sari’) as I am in a summer cotton tube dress (which my mum calls ‘no shoulders dress’)

So be at ease with who you are borrow a quote from a friend ‘just chill’.