Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 284: Mumbai!

30 August, 2010

It's my first visit to Mumbai in 12 years. It's also my first ever business trip to India. So am super duper excited about it for some reason! Of course, food has a lot to do with it! Here's all that made me smile today:

a) Chatty cabbie who drove us from the airport to the hotel, who spoke excellent English about the heavy monsoon in progress that will ensure there is enough water for the rest of the year.
b) Having excellent Masala Kichdi and Masala Chai for lunch.
c) Getting half way through a horrendous presentation deck that I have been working on for a while.
d) Doing my hot yoga in the hotel room, even though it was not that hot, but still made me feel awesome!
e) Chatting over the phone with my best friend (who is in Mumbai) all the way from good, old school days!
e) Visiting a mall that took 45 minutes one way and 10 minutes the other, thanks to the unpredictable traffic.
f) Having Schezwan Fried Rice and Veg. Manchurian topping with Rasmalai for dinner.
g) The poor lady and her poor 3-4 year old who beamed and waved frantically from their shack at our car, at the sight of the caucasian seated next to me. She returned the wave much to their delight.
h) The two kids who were swinging from a rope tied under a lorry and seemed completely in bliss.
i) Educating my colleagues about India... my knowledge about the country amazed me myself! I was stumped only when they asked me the ingredients to everything that they ate.

A fantastic start to the first-ever India business trip! So happy!

716 more to go.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 283: Ek Chaalis Ki Last Local

I did absolutely nothing today. Absolutely Nothing. It's indeed the calm before the storm.

Am gonna travel 3 out of the next 5 weeks.
The hubby is gonna travel 3 out of the next 5 weeks.
Both of us are not going to see each other 4 out of the next 5 weeks.
I would be working pretty much 6 days every week for the next 5 weeks.
I would be working an average of 12 hours each day for the next 5 weeks.

In short, it is indeed going to be a storm. And today I was mentally preparing for it. By doing nothing.

But post the hubby left for his business trip to Korea, I had an overwhelming desire to watch a movie.

Thus 'Ek Chalis Ki Last Local' happened. It is a very simply made yet highly entertaining film. The performances rocked, the fun-quotient was high and I really really enjoyed it.

And tomorrow I will be going to the location of this film.


It's gonna be my first business trip to India. And my first trip to Mumbai in 12 years. Looking forward to it!

717 more to go.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 282: Working Saturday

I actually had to work today. Over the weekend! I don't think I had done that for a few years now. The reason is that I will be travelling to India and China over the next two weeks and I really want to travel in peace, so wanted to make sure that all that's pending is caught up with.

And so I worked and worked and will be going back to work after this blog is done. But it's OK. It's not like I felt tortured by it. The hubby was around to provide the necessary entertainment and I actually had a good day!

But the highlight was the excellent dinner at our favourite restaurant Ivory Kitchen (their Garlicci Prawns is Amazing!), where I continued to get some entertainment from the hubby. Here's an excerpt:

Me: I met Ms.abc (assume a girl's name) after a long time yesterday.
He: Oh. She's a weird girl.
Me: Well, not many people think so. She has a lot of fans, you know.
He: Maybe. But she is definitely confused.
Me: Well....
He: I can never go for someone confused.
Me: I wasn't asking you to "go for" her. But in any case, why can you never go for someone confused?
He: Because I am confused. So how can I go for someone confused? If I say "I have no clue, do you?", she will say "I also have no clue." Just imagine! (shudders at the thought of it).
Me: Do you mean to say that you are confused and I am not confused?
He: When did I say you are not confused?
Me: Well... you did "go for" me.
He: Oh(obviously regretting what he said by now).
Me: Well...?
He: But you are dumb.
Me: I am not dumb.
He: Yeah. Not exactly "dumb". But you are like that guy in "Pink Panther".
Me: Am sorry.... what?
He: Yeah. "Completely lost but brimming with confidence" (quoting a line from the film).
Me: So you are saying that am completely lost?
He: *blinks*
Me: AND you are saying that am over-confident?
He: *blinks*
Me: AND you are saying am dumb?
He: *blinks*
Me: Well?
He: Oh. Obviously I didn't think this through.
Me: No. You didn't.

Any weekend when you have to work but you feel good in spite of it, has to be a good day. And today was one such day!

718 more to go.

Day 281: Unexpected Get-Together

27 August, 2010

It was the last day in office before two weeks of upcoming business travel, so obviously it was as crazy as crazy could be.

The evening was pretty fun but. The heroine from my film is hospitalized with slip disc. But that's not the fun part (duh, poor thing!). The fun part was that we had a mini Mausams team get-together in her hospital room. It was fun to meet everyone again and catch up on our post-Mausams life. Thanks to the wonderfully nonsensical jokes that everyone cracked, the slip-disc victim ended up with more pain than before we got there.... but hopefully she had as good a time, in spite of the pain, as the rest of us. Here's to her getting well really, really soon!

After visiting her, the rest of us made our way to Kailas Parbat to gorge on their kebabs, chaat, bhaturas, faloodas and masala chai. I think all of us were pretty hyper over the food, but the highlight was when one of us started shouting "FALOODA! FALOODA!" at the top of his voice, in order to attract the attention of a waiter.

Over the great food and some great conversation, I wound down after an excruciatingly busy week! It was a good, good Friday evening!

719 more to go.

Day 280: Best Pizza Ever!

26 August, 2010

Today I had the best pizza I've ever had!

OK so it happened by chance. I was supposed to go for yoga with the hubby who promptly sms-ed 15 minutes before leaving for it that he prefers not to go. As for me, well.... I was rather tired and lazy myself. So I also decided to skip yoga and promptly blamed the hubby for my decision.

Instead we decided to get some good food. I had a sudden craving for that awesome barbeque fish that I had tried recently at Thai Express. We went straight to Raffles City where Thai Express had a branch, only to realize that it's no longer there. After this tragic discovery, we walked around a bit and my eyes fell on this new place called "Skinny Pizza".

Their menu looked appetizing and we ordered the Ginger Butter Chicken Skinny Pizza.

I tell you, it was one of the most yummiliciously fantastic thing that I've ever eaten! Absolutely lip-smacking!

AND on top of this great pizza, they have a super good drink called "Hip Hop Chai". The chai comes in a little pot (MUCH better value for money than the Kailas Parbat masala chai that comes in a miniature cup) and has a very new and interesting taste to it. I LOVED it!

So it was a day of wonderful food and drink. Was totally worth missing that yoga class! :D

720 more to go.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 279: Snip Snip!

Here's one thing that never fails to brighten up a day for me - A Haircut! And that's exactly what I got done today.

Ah, the joy of getting all those ugly long tresses snipped away and feeling ten years younger!

I visited the hairstylist after squeezing out an hour from my super-packed meeting schedule in the office. It was a quick visit as I had an appointment and what surprised me was that it was only $20 (in my memory, it used to be $30), which gave me additional happiness in saving an unexpected $10! :P

Sure, I got back to office and not a single soul noticed a difference in my hair because they were all way too busy (blah!) but that still doesn't stop me from feeling super duper fantastic!

I really should do this more often...

721 more to go.

Day 278: First & Last

24 August, 2010

Today I was the first one to reach office.

Today I was also the last one to leave office.

"What a loser!" you might think

"What a great day!" is actually what I think.

Wow, my poetry rocks.

But basically the point is that I worked non-stop for more than 13 hours today and I actually enjoyed it! Work is really exciting these days. There's not a dull moment and I don't have time to breathe but instead of cribbing about it, I find it exciting and I have no clue why that is!

There is a possibility that it is because am looking forward to my 2 weeks of India and China business trips that are coming up. But in any case, I think it's a good thing. It is always goog to see your work in the positive light.

So today was great, because I could say that in spite of working my bones off, I actually enjoyed myself!

722 more to go.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 277: Thiruvonam!

23 August, 2010

Today was the main day of the Onam festivities, called "Thiruvonam" and it had a lot of nice little moments in store for me! Let's do a list!

a) Whole day was spent on taking and making calls and messages on Onam greetings. It is always an annual catch up time with fellow Mallus and relatives! Felt super good.
b) It was also my parents' 29th anniversary, which I had happily forgotten and was duly reminded by my aunt, who happened to share the anniversary as well. So spoke to my folks multiple number of times - to wish for Onam, to wish for Anniversary, and also for general chit-chat.
c) My editor-friend tells me that he completed editing 3 scenes and he is super happy with the output, and that got me really, really excited!
d) A nice bilingual feature film concept is spreading through my brain. This is not going to be an easy one to make because it requires locations outside Singapore and a lot of money really, but no harm in a concept spreading, is there? I always love that feeling when I am thinking about situations and people not part of my real life, but that transports me to their world temporarily. Love it. Love it.
e) Worked for 10 hours straight without even a proper lunch or tea break, and actually felt good about it!?
f) The hubby convinced me that we should priortise the Onam sadya (feast) over yoga. His sudden love for mallu tradition made me wanna cry.
g) Had the sumptuous Onam sadya at Swaadhisht once again for dinner. It was awesome! I think it even tasted better than yesterday!
h) This dinner was immediately followed by Sev Puri and Masala Chai at Kailas Parbat. Yum!
i) Watched Mallu movie 'Moz and Cat'. It was below average but nothing beats watching a Mallu movie on Thiruvonam day. So.

So all in all, I had a wonderful Onam and was all smiles, as indicated by the big smiley ":D" on my gtalk the whole day. Here's to more lovely Onams and to all the lovely fellow-Mallus of the world.

723 more to go.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day 276: Onasadya

In the spirit of Onam, I watched three Mallu movies in a row (Bodyguard, Katha Samvidhanam Kunchacko and Utharaswayamvaram) and had the delicious Onasadya at our favourite haunt Swadhisht.

724 more to go.

Day 275: Action!

21 August, 2010

Today was one of those weekends I went mad with boredom. Sure, watching a movie and having dinner with friends in the evening is fine, but what is one supposed to until then?! How long can one watch sitcoms? I think I really felt the post-Mausams-shoot withdrawal symptoms today. It made me feel that I really must be neck deep in something else otherwise it is simply a waste of time and it affects my sanity.

On top of that I was feeling blue about spending my 12th consecutive Onam away from home. Onam is the harvest festival of my state and pretty much the biggest festival there. The main day of festivities, Thiruvonam, is on the coming Monday, but the festivities have already begun. The Mallu TV channel is already full time on Onam greetings and shows. I had made plans of watching a malayalam movie with my mallu friends and have the Onasadya (Onam feast) etc. for today, but all those plans didn't work out. So that was quite a spoiler as well.

But then in the evening I watched "The Expendables" - a full blown, mindless action film! My dad had sms-ed me a few days ago saying that he watched Expendables and that he highly recommends it for its great action. And when I watched it today, I was reminded of all the times my dad and I had watched so many action films together.

My dad is a action-movie freak and as soon as I was old enough to comprehend movies, he turned me into one as well. Our favourite was Jackie Chan - we have not missed a single Jackie Chan movie ever! In fact, we have watched some of his films like Police Story, Armour of God etc. some 5-6 times or more!

So when I watched 'The Expendables' today, I was reminded of all those times when my mom would happily go off to bed or be in the kitchen or talk to the neighbours and my dad and I would lap up all those movies - the ones by Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis, Travolta, Lee, Chan. They don't seem to make such highly entertaining, chest thumping action flicks anymore, so when I watched Expendables, it brought back so many memories and it felt really good!

So here's to my dad and a lot more action flicks for the future!

725 more to go.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day 274: Yokozuna

20 August, 2010

Today the hubby, a friend and I tried out a new restaurant. We were rushing to watch the Hindi film Lafangey Parindey and were looking for a place where the meal would come pretty quick. But for some reason every restaurant seemed overflowing with customers and we could only find a table at this Japanese restaurant called Yokozuna.

The interiors of the place were typically Japanese - wooden seating that requires you to pretty much swing your legs over and get into the hollow space under the tables. They also had an interesting aquarium which creatures in it that looked like green and red locusts!

I don't mind Japanese food but am indeed a bit apprehensive when trying out anything new there because you really don't what's inside. So we asked the chef to recommend, upon which we ordered their signature Salmon Roll, Black California Roll, Japanese Chicken Curry and the ever safe Tamago (sweet egg) Sushi. And the food was really really yum!

After a very satisfactory meal at an unexpected place, we watched Lafangey Parindey which was quite nice also followed by some fun conversation with two of the friends over extra hot Starbucks Chai Tea Latte.

So there, an ordinary Friday made special by some extraordinary food, a good movie and fun conversation!

726 more to go.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day 273: Being Chechi

"Chechi" means older sister in my language.

For some reason, there are a few people in my life who calls me "Chechi". I am talking about people who are neither related nor are considerably younger to me and hence are not required to call me "older sis" out of respect, as is often expected in Indian culture. These are people who are my age, +/- 1 or 2 years at max.

Am always fascinated when they do that. It makes me wonder what kinda maternal instinct I tend to display that they feel the need to greet me in this manner. Sure, 9 out of 10 times the greeting is a mock one, but still... I don't see them calling anyone else like that, so obviously I do have some elder-sisterliness in me. And am pretty sure I might be going a bit overboard but whenever they call me "chechi", it makes me feel oh-so-responsible for their well-being in the manner elder sisters are supposed to feel for their younger siblings.

Today, one of my good friends sent me a heartwarming message. It was mainly about her involvement in the film shoot and other productions of mine etc., but it was a beautiful message and she had started it off with "Dearest chechi". It made me realize that I actually enjoy being in this elder sister role. In spite of the fact that it could potentially make one feel older than necessary. But it does make me feel closer to them and if they are already my favourite people, it's actually quite a nice feeling. It makes me feel like I have my own gang of younger brothers and sisters.

Am pretty sure this doesn't mean that I would happily accept being called so by every Tom, Dick and Harry but as for today, here's to being Chechi.

727 more to go.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 272: Little Delights

Today was one of those days when there is no one majorly incredible thing happening that makes you wanna fly, but is spotted by several little happy events that makes you wanna flutter your wings.

So let's do a list for the day:

a) My editor-friend saw all the footage and gave me some promising feedback. Actually I think he was appalled by the production value...I don't think he realized how "independent" and experimental this really is! But he was kind enough to tell me that I have extracted good acting from the actors and that I do have potential to be a director for sitcoms (which requires considerably less technical expertise). So obviously am happy with that!
b) Hubby and I hit yoga after a loooooong gap (I think about a month for me and maybe couple of months for him). So I readily died during the class. I was this close to throwing up and making an ass out of myself since my lungs, throat and nose were anyway blocked from my ongoing flu and resulting phlegm. But good news - I survived. That too without throwing up. It was quite an effort but thankfully, a successful one.
c) To celebrate this great event of hitting yoga again and not fainting or throwing up, we had dinner at the new found haunt Kailash Parbat. Yum. Actually I wanted to have only mangoes for dinner but Sev Poori, Bhel Poori, Pav Bhaaji, Cheese Paneer Marvel and two cups of Masala Chai worked just as well.
d) Was on hold on Starhub customer service (my iPhone has not been activated yet) for 25 minutes and I did NOT get pissed off. How's that for patience! Feeling super good about getting one step closer to being the next Buddha.
e) Amongst a group of three Caucasian chicks, hubby and I rated the exact same one as the #1 looker. It's a very rare occurrence. We might just be soul mates after all.
f) Discussed my ideas for 6 short films and 3 feature films with 4 different people. Excitement bubbling but I would need a life time to execute everything. Still, better to have ideas waiting to be executed rather than being ready for execution without an idea.

So yes, it was a good day.

728 more to go.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 271: The iPhone Saga

I had written here about how the hubby pulled me into a phone shop on our shared birthday, saying that we both should be the iPhone-couple, but then I was denied the iPhone due to some technical issue while he happily got his, making me feel rather annoyed.

Now what I didn't realize was that the hubby, who at times can be super adorable, was crumbling under the immense guilt of enjoying the iPhone luxury while his wife didn't, especially since it was his idea to get her interested in the darn phone in the first place.

So this morning he brought up the topic for the 100th time.

He: Let's go get the iPhone.
Me: It's OK. I don't want it.
He: Let's go during lunch to get it.
Me: I have lunch plans.
He: Let's go in the evening to get it.
Me: I might wanna go for yoga.
He: Please, let's just get you an iPhone na! Please Please!
Me: Sigh. OK fine. Maybe in the evening then.

In the evening, I pointed out to the hubby that the Starhub (service provider) website says that their iPhones are out of stock. I told him that it would be a waste of time to go all the way there and be disappointed, so it would be better to skip it. The hubby readily assured me that he would personally go and check whether they have any in stock and only upon his confirmation would I need to get myself out of my office. That did tug a string in my heart! I mean, we are talking about the guy who doesn't budge to do an errand inspite of 40 reminders! Now here he was offering to go and check the availability of the phone, before his wife even needs to move!

After waiting for a while, I decided to get out of office anyway and make my way towards him. That's when he called and said yes, the iPhones are indeed out of stock. But no worries, because now he is rushing from Dhoby Gaut to Bugis because he thinks a retailer in Bugis has a few sets to spare.

I was shocked. He works in Bugis. He went to Dhoby Gaut to check first. Now he is going back to Bugis to try his luck. I mean what's up with this man? Is it the same dude whom I got married to, who wouldn't even collect the mail to save his life?! Now he is rushing around Singapore to get that phone for me! This is serious "Awwwww" stuff!

When I reached Bugis, I saw him pace up and down the shop, looking rather anxious. As soon as he saw me, he rushed to me and asked me not to worry... there is just one set left which another customer is supposed to have reserved. But the customer hadn't showed up, so now the hubby has got the Starhub guy to call him up to see whether he is still interested. "If not, We Can Get Your iPhone!!!", he exclaimed almost breathlessly.

I told the hubby that all this drama is absolutely unnecessary. Surely he knows that I don't care for iPhones or any such high tech stuff? No phone is worth this panic. In fact, if you ask me, nothing but food, water and medicines are probably worth this panic.

Me: When have I ever freaked out about any kind of phone? You should know that?
He: *Silence*
Me: It's OK. I don't want the iPhone. My current one is perfect.
He: *Silence*
Me: Why don't you buy me a Starbucks chai and we forget this whole deal?
He: *Silence*
Me: Look I really appreciate you doing all this... but seriously, it's not worth it.
He: *looking at the Starhub guy* Did he confirm? Did he confirm?????

And the Starhub guy said yes. It was confirmed. The other customer cancelled his reservation. That iPhone would now belong to me.

I could hear the birds chirp, the breeze blow and harps play. I could picture cheerleaders in the background celebrating this momentous turn of events, as the hubby beamed as if he just won a million dollars.

Me: Fine. I shall take the iPhone.
He: Yay!
Me: But neither of us should obsess and act so stupid over anything ever again.
He: Never ever.
Me: Cross your heart.
He: Cross my heart.

And with that he went far ahead of me in all the birthday planning I've ever done for him.

729 more to go.

Day 270: Transaction Completed!

16 August, 2010

I had a major deadline to meet today. Today was the day that I were to pass all the miniDV tapes (36 of them) together with a 1TB hard disk of all the film's footage to the my editor-friend's brother who would in turn pass them to the editor-friend who resides in Abu Dhabi. Time was of absolute criticality because today was the last day the editor-friend's brother would be in Singapore, and missing this opportunity would mean that I have to courier everything to Abu Dhabi which would be a waste of time, effort and money. This was also the reason why I was killing myself and the team to complete the shoot last weekend itself so that I have enough time to upload the footage and pass them on.

So ever since the shoot was completed, I had been working day and night trying to upload all the footage to my Mac, categorize them all by scenes, transfer them to the PC which in turn transfers everything to the Windows-compatible hard disk. I am writing all these details here because it was a pain to get it done with the 500GB of data that I had to process.

But finally it was all done. And the transaction was completed today. Now I can really sit back because the ball is in the editor-friend's court.

May the editing begin!

730 more to go.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 269: 28.

OK so today was the birthday. My 28th.

It was a very interesting day with several interesting happenings. Here are some of the most fascinating ones below.

Firstly, thanks to Facebook that announced my birthday, I got more birthday wishes than the previous 27 years put together. It made me feel oh-so-important! Then several people called to wish which included the regulars such as parents and in-laws and new additions such as cast and crew from Mausams. Again felt rather important!

Then came the crux of it. HOW to celebrate the birthday this year?! Now, for those of you who are still unaware, the hubby happens to be sharing my birthday as well, so these plans have to be mutually agreeable. But as a result of a conversation that took place a couple of days ago, the hubby was to take the lead for the planning today. The conversation was as follows:

Me: Dude, every year I organize one or the other thing for you during our birthday. Surprise after surprise. You never do anything for me.
He: That's not true.
Me: Erm. Yes it is.
He: No? I always do something for you.
Me: Well, asking me what I want and getting me that doesn't count as a surprise. Once you even asked me the bus number to get to the shop where they sell that thing. I mean come on!
He: OK fair point.
Me: This year, because of the filmt and all that I havent prepared anything. So you need to surprise and pamper me this year.
He: Sure.
Me: So?
He: So what?
Me: So what are you gonna do about it?
He: What am I gonna do about what?
Me: How are you gonna pamper me? You should start planning don't you think?
He: I already have a plan.
Me: Oh. And?
He: And what?
Me: What's the plan, dude?
He: Oh... first we will have lunch.... (which is usually our first meal during weekends).
Me: ...OK....?
He: Then we will watch a movie....
Me: .... OK...?
He: Then we will have dinner..
Me:.... OK...?
He: *silence*
Me: Erm... .OK.....?
He: What?
Me: Is that it?
He: Yup.
Me: That's how I would be pampered?
He: Yup.
Me: How is this any different from our usual weekends?
He: OH. It has to be different?
Me: *Dirty Look*
He: OHHHH.... I know! I will make a reservation at a dinner place where we havent been before and we can eat there. The dinner place will be your surprise.
Me: (after considering it for a time and realizing that that's probably the max that would come out of the boy) ... OK. *sigh*

So that's exactly what we did. Lunch followed by movie followed by Dinner.

Lunch was at the new kickass Kailas Parbat restaurant in Little India. I understand it is rather iconic in Mumbai and all the Mumbai-wallas of Singapore were raving about it all over Facebook. So we decided to go try it out as well and I am very impressed I must say! We had a Chaat platter which came with three varieties of chaat and a Bhatura platter which came with four varieties of Bhatura and Channa curry. It was super delicious.

It was so good it made the hubby shed tears of happiness. Am not kidding you. A waiter was carrying a place of Chilli Bhajjis to another table. I swear I saw the hubby eye that plate and within a few seconds, wipe out a tear. It was from sheer joy of eating and seeing good food all around!

Then we watched the notoriously boring film Aisha. What made me get over the horror of watching it was an interesting conversation that ensued between the hubby and I soon after it. We were just hanging around in a bus when out of the blue the conversation started.

He: Why do I know 1025?
Me: Am sorry?
He: The number 1025. It sounds very familiar.
Me: Erm.
He: OH I KNOW. 2 to the power of 10 plus 1!!!
Me: Erm?
He: YA! 2 to the power of 10 + 1 = 1025!!!!
Me: Dude. What?
He: Am pretty sure it had come up some time during IIT preparation. Sounds SO familiar.
Me: Wow.
He: Yeah (looking rather triumphant at figuring out the familiarity of the number).
Me: But where did you even see this number now?
He: Oh there was a car with a number plate 1205. So I was like 1205. 1025. THAT's Familiar.
Me: *silence*

If that conversation would not remove the memory of Aisha from my mind, what would? So after getting over the film, we started on some shopping. He bought an iPhone and I got a few clothes for work. Ever since the hubby's colleague asked me whether I was "coming from home", even though I was coming straight from office, I had realized that my wardrobe does need a bit of a revamp. But I was not really meaning to act on it until an incident with the iPhone that forced me to act on my shopping.

Firstly, the hubby seeded the idea in my head that the iphone is THE thing to have. According to him, without it one's existence would be meaningless. He said, let's go and get one each for both of us. We shall be the iPhone couple on our birthday! Alright then. I tagged along. Then that horrid woman at the counter said I could not get my phone due to some technical issue with my contract but the hubby can (we buy new phones in Singapore together with renewal of contracts because that way the phones come a lot cheaper). I got really irritated because this was the umpteenth time this was happening with me, so I stormed out of the shop to make a complaint to their customer service. I couldnt get through the busy lines which made me all the more frustrated and when I reached back at the shop I saw my hubby happily hanging out with his new iPhone.

Me: You got an iPhone?
He: I got an iPhone.
Me: But they are not giving me one today!
He: Yeah... that's really bad.
Me: I thought you said we would be the iPhone couple together?!
He: Ah yes, I did.
Me: So why did you get yours today instead of waiting for me?
He: Oh. Yeah. I really should have waited for you.
Me: *giving him the dirtiest look Ever*
He: *looking rather apologetic*
Me: Fine. Am going shopping. You can stand around and watch me shop then.

With that I stormed out once again and started to shop, with him tagging along patiently. I bought three tops and two skirts, which considerably brightened up my spirits. Especially since the girls at Iora (one of the shops I went to and bought the bulk of the stuff) were super nice and gave me some exceptional service! The clothes were then converted to his gifts to me, which was also rather sweet.

The day ended with dinner at Yantra in Tanglin Mall. This was the "surprise" destination that he had made a reservation yet. Only issue was that he had no clue how to get there and made me walk up and down Tanglin road in search of it. The food was decent but the winner for the day in terms of food is definitely Kailas Parbat (their masala chai is to die for!).

So there. It's been an interesting day and it's been an interesting year.

Another number added on to my age. Two years to 30.

731 more to go.

Day 268: Birthday Eve

14 August, 2010

I think today was a great birthday eve to have! It was productive, packed with activities and a lot of fun. Here's all that I did and enjoyed today:

a) Completed the upload of all of the film's footage and categorized them properly to be sent to the editor. With this, all that I had to do until the first cut edit, has been completed. Now it is real break time from the film for 3-4 weeks.
b) Had an awesome lunch at Swaadhisth of chappathi, egg chettinad masala, prawns masala and soda lime.
c) Watched Peepli Live, easily one of my most favourite Hindi films ever!
d) Bumped into two of my cast members from the film, at the movie theatre. Looks like with no more shoots around, people are getting back to some routine movie watching! Had a nice time chatting with them.
e) Went for the wedding of my room-mate from junior college. She and I had been in the same room for two whole years and have had a lot of fun during those times. So it was really great to be part of her big day!
f) Hung out at Clarke Quay for about 4 hours with friends through midnight and beyond. They got a cake as well, but this time it was not my own as I shared it with my husband, whose birthday is also on the same day (yeah, it's the father of all coincidences, I know). What was interesting was that the cake came up with a dry-ice set up, and that was totally cool because I was really hoping for a up and close experience with dry ice! When I was at my ex-roomie's wedding in the evening, they had a dry ice welcome as the newlyweds entered the dinner hall. I was always fascinated by dry ice and I had a fleeting thought in my mind that it would be nice to have some of that around me also. It makes one feel that she is floating on the clouds! And what are the chances that God would actually act on that fleeting thought?! The cake my friends ordered, came with the fumes of dry ice hovering around it. I felt pretty close to being on the clouds with that!

And now it's time for being 28.

732 more to go.

Day 267: Birthdays and Cakes

13 August, 2010

I had written here about how all I wanted for my next birthday is the chance to cut a cake. And today that happened! Yay!

The birthday is still two days away, on the auspicious date of August 15th, but my generous manager arranged for a cake and candles to celebrate my birthday today! This was really great because I actually had a cake all to myself. Usually birthday celebrations in office mean all the birthday babies of a particular month gathering around a single cake and blowing out that single candle in the monthly birthday ritual. It makes you feel less like a birthday baby and more like an attendee at a public festival. So having a cake all to myself today, for an unexpected celebration in the pantry, totally rocked!

So yes, here is to turning 28 in two days' time. It is indeed starting on a good note and hopefully it would be as good as the year that passed by.

733 more to go.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 266: Being Jobless

I actually didn't have anything to do today. OK well, I did have my work in office during the day but after that I didn't have anything to do. Sure, there have been other evenings when I didn't do anything but those days it's because I chose not to do something rather than having nothing to do. You see the difference? No? Never mind. In a nutshell, I was jobless.

And I was appalled by the fact that everyone I knew had other plans, including that guy who calls himself my husband. Until last Monday I was the busiest person on the planet and today everyone else on the planet seem to be busier than me.

So I made the most of it. I watched two Malayalam movies back to back, had long phone conversations with mom, mom in law, dad in law, sis in law and a couple of friends. So it ended up being a good evening after all.

734 more to go.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 265: Back to Work

After completing the shoot of a full length movie, once would have expected that it would be really difficult to get back to work. It was, no doubt. But not as much as I had expected it to be. Interestingly enough I kinda enjoyed getting back to work and thinking about the non-movie stuff for a change. My mind was a swirl with deadlines, shampoos, designs, advertising, reviews etc. etc.

And that change was also welcome.

735 more to go.

Day 264: Fatigue

10 August, 2010

This was the day to revel in what happened over the last few months. After all that excitement about the shoot, today was the day to just sit and soak it in. As I had anticipated a day of zero productivity at work, I had taken the day off.

First I uploaded every single footage and after I was done with that, I let the fatigue settle in. It's the kind of fatigue that you really really love because you know you had so much fun when pushing yourself towards it. And so I sat back and relaxed and absorbed it fully.

There were also a lot of emails and messages flying around between the cast and crew on how much fun everyone had and I was really feeling like I was reliving the experience again. It was a fantastic feeling!

After a day of thinking and dreaming of all that happened, I had a good 3-hour long conversation over dinner at my favourite Nalan restaurant with my sis-in-law.

It was a good, good day.

736 more to go.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 263: It's a Wrap!

9 August, 2010

I know I will never forget this day. Never ever.

Because today's the day I completed the shoot for Mausams, my first full-length-miniscule-budget-independant film.

It's rather unbelievable!

I think I was overly ambitious with this project and it had met with about more than a 1000 roadblocks over the last few months but today the shoot's finally done! We have shot about 35 hours of footage for a 1.5 hours film over the course of 10 weekends. And now it's over. Phew.

Interestingly, once the shoot ended, realization strikes that it isn't about the end product anymore but the fun was all in the making of it. And what fun! I had a kickass team, like an amazingly enthusiastic and fun team, and I had a blast with them!

I also felt that the shooting ended rather grandly with fireworks! For the uninformed, today's Singapore's National Day and the venue we were shooting at, the Arts House, is right next to padang where the National Day Parade happens. Every year post the parade, there are major fireworks. I happened to be outside doing a last minute location recee for my very final scene when the fireworks began. I was like surrounded by fireworks in all directions and being a rather filmy person, I imagined that the universe was celebrating the end of Mausams shoot! It was surreal!

Once the final scene was shot and I called it a wrap, the team got together shouting and screaming and hugging and clapping and jumping and we had an awesome time! Am gonna miss the bunch! Sure, there is still dubbing and such work left, but it wont be the same. This was an experience worth every bit of effort put into it!

So in short, it was an amazing day, an incredibly beautiful one!

737 more to go.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day 262: The 'Play'

8 August, 2010

My film has a "play" scene in it. That is, a theatre production. So to make that happen, I had to book a proper venue, get proper props and costumes for the cast, get about 60-odd people as spectators and pull off the look of a play somehow within a day. I had been dreading this day for several months simply because of the sheer number of things that needed to be achieved within the day! And this was to be biggest scene I have ever shot!

And sure, several things went wrong. We had to reshoot a few scenes because we messed up costumes which in turn affected continuity of the scenes. We had to find creative ways to shoot within the weird layout of the stage and audience seating inside the venue. We had to ensure the lights are done proper because stage lighting doesn't always work for film. We had to make sure the 60 people turn up and co-operate and give a good performance. We had to make sure all the 100s of shots are achieved within the time allotted to them. In short, we had to achieve too much within too little.

The day passed in a whirlwind so much so that I don't even remember the details of the 15 hour shoot! But I do know that we managed to achieve all of the above. Thank God for that!

738 more to go.

Day 261: Support & A South Indian Meal

6 August, 2010

I don't want to go into the details, but let me just say that all that could possibly go wrong with a day, did today. At least until 7pm. A lot of things that were to progress on the film didn't happen until I started to freak out. But as always, there was support from a few people. Sincere, overwhelming support that I really, really, really appreciate. That always makes one's day no matter however it turns out otherwise. So my heartfelt gratitude to those guys (includes two of my cast members, my cinematographer and the hubby).

On top of it, I enjoyed a specially made South Indian dinnerl at a cast member's place, where we were shooting. So in spite of its rocky first two-thirds, the day did end rather splendidly.

739 more to go.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Day 260: Final BIG Meeting

It's officially about to end.

The beginning of the end was today.- the final big team meeting with the makeup artist, cinematographer, cast members, production manager, publicity managers, light manager etc. Discussed almost everything that had to be discussed for the final weekend of the shoot.

I think we are ready. Or maybe we are not. It doesn't matter. It will be fun either way and I will cling on to the memories for the rest of my life.

730 more to go.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 259: Techie!

Today I feel really AWESOME that I managed to format a hard disk that could work on both Mac and PC. It feels this good because I had spent a few unsuccessful hours until 2am just a couple of days ago trying to do the same. So this is a Big DeaL. I feel like such a Techie!

741 more to go.

P.S. If anyone mentions my computer engineering background, I shall kick them.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 258: Glee & Mocha Frappuccino

After a ridiculously crazy day at work and almost forgetting to wish my dear cousin on her birthday, I decided to sit back and watch an episode of Glee over a bottle of Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino, to clear up my mind. It worked.

742 more to go.

Day 257: Help Flows In

2 August, 2010

Am onto the last week of Mausams shoot and am neck deep in last minute work of all kinds. Hence the upcoming blogs for the next few days will be a couple of sentences at best, summarizing the things that made the day beautiful instead of going into the details. This is just so that I save some much required time and would also spare my eyes and neck etc. to be used for the final critical shoot over the weekend.

So the summary for today: People all around me are rallying to get me the required people for the big shoot this coming Sunday. My dad-in-law in India even contacted a friend of his, to check whether his daughter who is in Singapore can come down and help out! How sweet is that! A few other friends also have taken it upon themselves to gather their friends to make this happen. Touched.

743 more to go.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 256: Haldhi & Boat Quay

1 August, 2010

Yet another day of ups and downs and loads of excitment in general! Phew.

Firstly one of our shoots got washed away. We just got a few shots outdoors when it started to pour just enough to make us stop. So we didn't have a choice but return to my place and wait it out. The rain didn't diminish for a long time and soon it was time to go for the next shoot at Haldhi restaurant in Boat Quay. But not before the team grabbed a bite at my favourite haunt Nalan in City Hall!

After a satisfactory tea-time meal there, we left for Haldhi restaurant in Boat Quay where I had gotten permission to shoot a night time dinner scene. We met with a lot of issues there the most major one being lack of lights. I honestly have no clue how the footage has turned out. It was also interesting how the food we had ordered to be a "prop" in scene kept disappearing at astonishing rates! Nevertheless, it was a very fun shoot!

We shot at Haldhi and at other places in Boat Quay for about 5.5 hours. Right now am exhausted but am looking forward to the final 4-day shoot next weekend, the last schedule for Mausams.

744 more to go.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Day 255: Washrooms and Such

31 July, 2010

Yet another interesting day of shoot. This time, we had to shoot in a ladies' washroom. We choose a public washroom of an office building which would not require special access or usage permissions but which should be pretty free on a weekend. Now there are several interesting things that happen when you choose to shoot in a washroom.

Firstly there is hardly any space to move around, so the director (who is also the cameralady in this case) has to twist and turn and balance in every possible way to be able to look through the viewfinder, while making sure that she is not in the frame or in the way of the actors or her tripod is steady etc. It was like I got my yoga class for the day.

Secondly, anything can happen anytime. Including lights going out or random flushes going off. Half way down the shoot, the lights in the washroom went off. We were not in pitch darkness or anything because the emergency lights were still on, but the nice big lights that we were shooting under till then, decided to go off. That's when we realized that it is half-day on a saturday for the washroom lights in this particular building. Fair enough. Since there was no way we could convince anyone there to give us back our nice big lights, all we could do was reshoot the whole thing. Also for some reason, once in a while the flush in one of the cubicles decides to go off itself. It was intriguing.

Thirdly, for the first time in my life, I actually ate something while being in a washroom. That might sound gross but I was starving! I had not had a proper meal for 24 hours and I could not wait to eat the KFC Popcorn Chicken my ever supportive hubby got for me.

So there it was another interesting day of shoot.

In other good things that happened, I had dinnerl at Swadishth after a long time. Hubby, two friends and I devoured a meal of Puttu, Kadala, Egg Podimas, Prawn Olarthiyathu, Chicken Ishtu, Appam, Paratha, Thalassery Chicken Biriyani and Soda Lime Juice. SLURP! :)

745 more to go.