Friday, 26 September 2014

Facebook Privacy Settings and How to Use them

After reading a post about how someone's face was morphed into a (semi) nude photo only because the photo was easily available on Facebook, I let them know that WE can control most of what we share on Facebook by just understanding and changing the default privacy settings of our Facebook account. This will help prevent access to and misuse of your information to a large extent. Of course, this is not completely foolproof, but you do avoid the risk of some pervert stranger landing on your profile and being able to check your pictures and other information about you.

So let's get started.


Before we create safeguards against strangers, first, let us filter the people who are already on our friend list, who already have access to our profile and the things we share. This process will allow us to segregate those we are most comfortable sharing everything with, those with whom we want to share only the general stuff, and everything and everyone in between. For this we create Lists that classify people into various categories.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Book Review | Family Ties

I just devised a system to review books and henceforth, whenever I do such reviews, I am going to judge and rate books based on these points. At the onset, let me make it very clear that I DO NOT consider myself as any form of authority to pass such judgements, but these are only my opinions as a reader and a budding writer, something I felt when I read the book(s). Feel free to disregard any or all portions of the review and form your own opinions when you read the book. Review may include spoilers and therefore, reader discretion is advised


Family Ties by Danielle Steel

Thursday, 9 January 2014

2013 | A Review

January 8, 2014
7:10 PM
I've been struggling with writing, clearly. There haven't been any posts since August 2013 and I had promised myself that I would write regularly in 2013 - have monthly word-count targets and everything. But it didn't happen and it's sad, for me, obviously. I know I go on a hiatus once every few months and then when I post something it always sounds something like 'I will post regularly henceforth' or some variation of that and it doesn't happen. So I am not even going to bother with that this time. But I am writing now and I'll see how much I manage to get out of me and then we'll see how it goes from there.

2013 | The Year that was...

2013 has been an eventful year and I am shocked that it is already gone. It seems like only yesterday I told myself that I had 45 days to go for my wedding and here I am, married for almost 11 months. Can you believe that? I can't.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Movie Review | Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara

I saw ‘Once Upon a Time in Mumbai’ way back in 2010 in a movie theatre shortly after its release, and I remember it to be a really well made movie about the life of a gangster. So when ‘Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara’ (Dobaara = Again) released, I was eager to watch it, especially after reading ‘Dongri to Dubai,’ excited that I was more aware and slightly more informed; not that it was required.

Anyhow, I watched it with my husband about a week ago and the scars are still fresh. Let me elaborate.

{Image Source: Wikipedia}

Fifteen minutes into the film I was wondering if it was made by the same person who made the first movie. Twenty minutes after the film started, I realised the only connection it had with the first film was Shohaib’s character. Thirty minutes into the film, we - my husband and I - rued the moment we decided to watch this instead of ‘Chennai Express;’ not that that would have been a movie worth watching. Why did we rue the moment or whatever? Because my ears were close to bleeding listening to the dialogues. Okay, granted, we laughed at the first three or four lines, but everything after that was something I would put in my Shovel List, if I had one. (I'll explain the Shovel List later when I review 'The Mystery of Mercy Close.')Forty five minutes into the film, my husband asked me to wake him up when the movie was over because, even though we knew we should have walked out of the theater and either gone home or watched another movie, I still wanted to watch the whole thing because we had spent money on it. Not spent well, but spent nonetheless. Sunk cost if you will. 

And I will tell you why.

There are some good things about the movie, but that's barely anything and in the larger scheme of things, they don't even matter.

Like for example, this movie is not about the Gangster, Shohaib - even though there are bits and parts that try to show how powerful, passionate and feared he is - it's about his love life. At least 90% of the movie is and the other 10% is insignificant even though that's what takes the movie from A to B.

Akshay Kumar, my first Bollywood hero, has slightly disappointed me in this one. He has done (and rocked) some amazing roles; my favourites being - Mr. Honest Policeman (in Mohra, Main Khiladi Tu Anari,) Mr. Psycho-Killer (in Aflaatoon, Khiladi 420,) Mr. Funny Guy (in Hera Pheri, Bhool Bhulaiyya,) etc. But somehow, even though he pulled off the tough gangster 'look,' I found something lacking in his performance. His dialogues were monotonous - both, the words (more on that, below) and his tone. I was reminded of John Abraham's dialogue delivery in Jism - every dialogue, every emotion was conveyed in the same tone. Not something I expected from an experienced actor like Akshay who has many brilliant performances under his belt.

What made Akshay’s dialogue delivery unbearable, were the dialogues themselves. Every single line was cheesy, and it rhymed, like @OnlyBabaSehgal's tweets. The only thing worse than reading (or in my case, being mentioned by my friends in) his (re)tweets, would be having someone read them. Out loud. And though this wasn't that bad, it felt close. The rhyming made me feel like I was sitting in a Kavi Sammelan rather than the movie theater. It made me wonder if Sidhu, wrote the dialogues, but then those ‘Taali Thokoshaayaris have a totally different class, so I dissed that idea too.

I could have lived with the rhymes if they were used sparingly and they made sense, but they weren't and they didn't.  In fact, at one point, Sonakshi's character asks Akshay - "Tum kisi bhi baat ka seedhi tarah se jawaab nahi de sakte kya?" and I was all like, yeah man, that didn't make sense. Why can't he give a straight answer to any question?? So after a point, when I couldn't laugh anymore, I ignored the dialogues and did some selective listening. Worked amazingly. I mean, come on, if the dialogues were so good, wouldn't I have remembered a few?

Let us now shift focus from Akshay to Imran. Now, even though he is not my favourite actor, not even close, I have a soft corner for him because he looks like my husband, and as much as I adore his cute, chocolate-boy look, the tapori, mawaali look didn't do it for me. For one, the look didn't suit him. No matter how much kaajal he had under his eyes, his face still had an innocence about him and puh-leese, that is NOT what a gangster looks like. He was good in the movie, no doubt, but again, someone else in his place could have been a better Aslam; Arjun Kapoor for instance.

As for Sonakshi's character, for most of the film I was left wondering what the hell she was up to and who she really liked. They clear that in the end, but come on, you don't behave that way with a guy you consider as only your 'friend!!' That's the kind of thing Veena Malik does. Remember how she and Aashmit were only "friends"?? Anyway, I digress. But it's not her fault totally. No one told us that some of the scenes where she was flirting with the other guy were the guy's imagination! What the hell!!

But, but, I would like to say one thing in Sonakshi's favour; her character may have been confused, confusing, rather, she looked amazing in the movie. I liked her - her simple dresses, her hair, even her nose-ring; so much that I have started wearing mine again. :D She isn't looking weird and is certainly looking feminine. Slightly dumb, but that's okay.

Sonali Bendre was not required in the movie because she was a shadow; barely there. Her relationship with Shohaib is not clear. Are they married? Are they separated? Are they even in love? Who knows!

The one good thing, the ONLY good thing about the movie, are the songs! They are amazing! Almost as good as the songs of  'Once Upon A Time In Mumbai.' Listening to them that loud in the movie theater was the only 'experience' I enjoyed. But you know what? No matter how amazing the songs are you don't need to go to a movie theater to hear them.

All in all, it was a highly disappointing movie. Not a great performance by Akshay, who has done better in the past. It has some really annoying and cheesy and almost unnecessarily rhyming dialogues. If I was watching this on TV, I would have changed the channel or put it on mute and just watched Akshay. Okay, maybe a little Imran too, who am I kidding? :P

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Grammar Police #1

So my husband says certain things slightly weirdly, in the sense that they may not be grammatically correct. It's weird because he does this on purpose just to annoy me, and that too, in Hindi.

For example, the won't say, ‘Volume kam kar’ when he wants me to reduce the volume; instead he will say ‘Volume chota kar.’

Another annoying example would be him saying ‘Fan chhod’ instead of ‘Fan chaalu kar.’

Tonight he said, ‘A.C. chhod,’ and I switched it on without arguing or trying to correct him. A few minutes later when I came out of the bathroom, I realised that even though it was on, it wasn't ‘on’ as in, it wasn't making that noise it usually makes.

So I asked him, ‘A.C. choota nahi ab tak?’ trying to mock him by saying something that sounded even more ridiculous than what he said.

He immediately said, ‘Bell kahan baji ab tak??’


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Movie Review | White House Down

I'm quite pressed for time, so I'll get started without wasting much of it. I saw 'White House Down' last night and as my 30-by-30 list requires me to write a review about every movie that I watch, so here I am. It also requires that I watch a new movie every two weeks, but I don't have that luxury for numerous reasons which I'm not going to get into right now, so let's focus on the one I saw last night, shall we?

I am going to write this review more like a versus list because a few months ago, I saw a movie not so different from this one and I cannot help but compare because frankly, White House Down (WHD) & Olympus Has Fallen (OHF) have a lot in common (did that rhyme? No? Maybe the 7Up is making my head spin. Whatever.)

{Image Source}

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Book Review | Inferno

I know. The last review I wrote was way back in April (also when I wrote my last post) but it's not that I forgot about this blog. I just haven't been able to find the time to just sit down peacefully and write. And speaking of writing, it's 22nd June and just 8 days from now, is the deadline when we, NaNo Winners can submit our NaNo Novels for printing. So I was focusing more on completing that, than blogging. I am hoping to write an update about it soon. :)

As far as reading books is concerned, I have been reading a lot; every minute I can spare. But the thing is, after I finished Dongri to Dubai, I picked up Stephen King's Dreamcatcher. It was the first of King's novels that I started reading and I was not prepared for it. The writing style and the genre is completely different from what I am used to reading. Moreover, the book is more than 800 pages long and it took me over three weeks to just get through half of it. What pissed me off was that in 400 pages, the word Dreamcatcher appeared twice which made me doubt the significance of the title and any link it may have to the actual story. So I put it on hold to read other books that were on my list. I read Amish Tripathi's 'The Immortals of Meluha' (review will be up once I finish reading the Trilogy) and Dan Brown's 'Inferno.'

But this is not a review of the Dreamcatcher; especially since I haven't even fully read it. So I will reserve my opinions on that. For now.

Let's me talk about what I am really here for. Dan Brown's latest thriller - Inferno

{Image Source}

Monday, 29 April 2013

Movie Review | Ek Thi Daayan

Ek Thi Daayan is not a horror film. At best, it's an attempt at a horror film, and a pretty good attempt at that. The good things about this movie, are Konkona Sen Sharma's acting and a few scary scenes that have been shot really well, so they manage to scare you.

As far as the story is concerned, I was not impressed. It could be either because I expected more from a movie that was made by Vishal Bhardwaj, or it could be simply because the story wasn't that great. Or maybe it's the association with Balaji Telefilms. I'm not too sure.