Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 466: The Girl Who Played With Fire

27 February, 2011

Am not recommending the it or gonna say that it is the best I have ever read, but the day today revolved around the book - The Girl Who Played With Fire (to be referred to as TGWPWF from now on). I can't remember the last time I sat down and just kept reading a book an entire day! Not because I hadn't come across such books (in fact, I had come across quite a few that are far nicer than TGWPWF) but because I never had the time to sit through a book for that many hours at a stretch.

Of course the book was gripping and fast moving (but had several details which could have been avoided, in my humble opinion) so that definitely helped me to sit through it at a stretch as well.

Yesterday was Doing Nothing and today, this. Am beginning to really enjoy the post-Mausams calm!

534 more to go.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 465: Doing Nothing

26 February, 2011

Alright this is interesting. Today was the beginning of several weekends to come, when I actually would have time to do nothing. After months and months of packing activities into my weekends thanks to the film, today there was really nothing much to do!

Sure, there had been a few weekends in between when I did take a bit of a break but then there was always the sight of a truck load of work coming up in the future weekends. But today, I didn't even have that! Work on the film is dwindling (I only did a bit for poster and other publicity work) and I don't plan to start on any project for the next few months. Which means not only do I have this weekend of doing nothing but am gonna have several more to come too!

I was so in love with the whole idea that I didn't even get myself to do any exercise today... or even watch TV for that matter! I just ate, slept and read a book.

And I thoroughly enjoyed this do-nothing-day! So content!

535 more to go.

Day 464: Incredible!

25 February, 2011

I had the most incredible day today!

a) There was some terrific response flowing in for Mausams teaser trailer released yesterday. I could feel even my cast and crew jumping up and down with excitement! My phone was buzzing throughout the day with calls and SMS, with everyone trying to tell me how many fantastic responses they got. It was all very encouraging really!

b) I realized that for about 1 year now, I have been working with someone who comes from one of the most prolific cinematic families in India! He told me that he completely could relate to my passion for film making and it is something he had been wanting to do for the longest time himself. And the conversation led from one thing to another, until he let me in on the secret that his parents, uncles, cousins etc. are some of the leading directors and writers in the Indian film industry! I was speechless!

c) I was contacted by the head of a local production company who is making a web infotainment series and wanted to feature mausams in it. But more importantly, she was a film maker herself and from her note, I felt that she really appreciated the effort at independent film making. When that comes from a fellow film maker (that too a professional one), it really makes your day!

d) A friend from university came forward to help with media contacts just when the Mausams team felt stuck with no media contacts. That was like a godsend!

In short, things were pretty rosy. That was an incredible day end to end!

536 more to go.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 463: Mausams Teaser Trailer!

24 February, 2011

YES! Finally, it is out!

The Mausams Teaser Trailer.

Needless to say it is a huge milestone for me!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 462: Back to Normal!

23 February, 2011

Today life finally got back to normal. The hubby and I have had ridiculous amounts of travelling the last few months... both on business and personal trips and we had hardly spent any time at home as per what would be considered normal. While holidays are fun, with all the excitement at work and even the filme, I have been yearning for some quiet, regular time at home.

I must say that I had been getting back to this regular life to some extend over the last one week, but hubby had continued to travel to multiple countries.

The good news - as of today, he has finally completed his 7-countries-in-1-month travel plans and has promised to stick around in Singapore for a reasonably long time to come. And that makes me feel like things are back to normal now.

Sure, we did get into one of those random fights as soon as he got back home from his trip, but I guess that just made life all the more normal. So yes, that was good.

538 more to go.

Day 461: Balance!

22 February, 2011

Today for the first time ever, I could do the toe stand pose in yoga completely! It requires some ridiculous sense of balance and I finally managed to it! Sure, I could hold it only for 2 seconds, which means I cant really say it was a "check!", but it makes me feel really really good!

539 more to go.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 460: "There's nowhere else on earth I'd rather be"

Today was one of those days that I really enjoyed. In fact I enjoyed it so much that am gonna write this post to some considerable length, unlike the my micro posts that I had been getting away with over the past few weeks (or months?). Good news is also that I even have some spare time since am already done working on Mausams for today (done by 11:30 pm vs. the usual routine of 2am), which is quite brilliant!

So here I am comfortably settled on my chair and all set to tell today's story - over a banana and a glass of milk.

Before we start, let me tell you that the day wasn't special because one major mind-blowing event happened but because it was sprinkled with a lot of little events, which when put together, ends up being pretty mind-blowing! And these cumulatively-mind-blowing-little-events are:

a) Talking over the phone, for the first time, with a person whom I had gotten pretty close to over the past several months - I had written here about a girl based in Australia who had been following this blog and who one day, via an email, gave me a great surprise and thereby completely making my day. Since then, we had been regularly in touch with each other but only over chat. For some reason it didn't occur to either of us to pick the phone up and talk. But today we did, and we talked, and it was awesome!

b) Getting the first response to the Mausams teaser trailer from a member outside of the team - The teaser trailer is almost complete and I wanted to get the opinion from the "public", i.e. somehow who had not read the script or have much idea about the film. The chosen one was the girl above, and she loved it! Which in return made my day again!

c) Getting back to kickboxing class but more importantly making a big deal out of it - My colleague and I went together for lunch time kickboxing class. The class was fun but more fun was how we felt oh-so-important for having achieved our health goals for the day. Even the unhealthy lunch, Chai latte, dinner were all justified because hey, we went kickboxing afterall!

d) Dream team coming together - Mausams post production has been hard. I mean very, very hard. Post production is hard enough when the team members are located in one location, but in our case we are making things work with my sound designer/composer in Chennai, editor in Mumbai and me in Singapore. That's nothing short of a nightmare. And my hope and prayer and dream had been to have my composer and editor together in the same location as me just so that we can finetune the last few bits together. But I had no idea how that could happen because everyone had his/her own limitations until today it was confirmed that both of them would be coming to Singapore in March to complete the last and final cut! My Dream Team is coming together! Finally! Great new and fingers crossed!

e) Smiles at work - I had been battling one horrifying... lets call it "situation" .... for the last 1 month but today that situation was resolved. I felt really good about it and couldn't stop smiling for the rest of the day!

f) Having dinner alone - After a really long time, I had my dinner (sushi, just in case you are interested) at a restaurant (Ichiban Boshi) alone, with just the company of a book. Whenever the hubby is not around I usually pack my food out and eat it at home while watching TV. But today I sat in a restaurant and poured over Yann Martel's Beatrice & Virgil.

And as I sat there, enjoying my sushi and book, Bryan Adams sang out (obviously Ichiban Boshi doesn't care much for Japanese music and associated authenticity)...

Here I am
This is me
There's nowhere else on earth I'd rather be

And I felt, yes. Indeed.

540 more to go.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 459: Final Day of Dub

Am not sure how many times I have written about dubbing sessions for Mausams here - everything from scheduling them, working on them, syncing them etc. Today was pretty much the last day of patch up dub by the principle cast. Their work on Mausams thus ends completely and they will now be seeing the final film only. Phew.

541 more to go.

Day 458: Offer

19 February, 2010

Today someone offered to sponsor Mausams. He had recently heard about the film and the effort behind it, and wanted to support it via a sponsorship. I might not be taking it up given that we are already in the finishing stages of the film but the fact that somebody even offered it made me feel so terribly good! Like So. Terribly. Good.

542 more to go.

Day 457: Theme Song Response

18 February, 2010

I spent the whole day replying back to numerous calls, messages, emails thanking all those who dropped in a word to show their appreciation for the music (and there was a ton of response!). The film website was choking with the traffic flowing in and I was scampering to approve all the comments coming in as well. Even thought I didn't make the music, I am happily lapping up all the attention really! Feels awesome! Am so thankful to all the terrific people behind the wonderful song! They have surely made my day!

543 more to go.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 456: Mausams Theme Song Release

17 February, 2011

Today, after a lot of work by a lot of people, the Mausams theme song went live. (

Next the teaser, then the film. It's finally ending!

544 more to go.

Day 455: Back & Not Blue!

16 February, 2011

I got back to Singapore today after a long 11-12 hour flight from Christchurch. Technically I should have felt very, very blue post the holiday but interestingly, I didn't get a chance to feel that way! Because just as I landed, my inbox was choking with several emails with updates on Mausams work, especially on the teaser and the theme music.

So yes, maybe am blue somewhere in the depths of my mind about a wonderful holiday getting done with, but thankfully the mind is overflowing with superduperexcitement to be bothered by that right now. Awesome stuff!

But I must drop in a word on New Zealand before I move on - I loved its amazing and varied landscapes, scarcity of human beings and abundance of other animals, the chilly weather with the strong winds, the overflowing number of Indian, Thai, Japanese, Chinese and Korean restaurants (which in turn promise much better food that steaks and burgers and sandwiches (yuck)), friendly folks, great roads, large number of senior couples out on their jogging/cycling/roadtrips (if I have that kinda health and passion at that age, my life would be pretty worthwhile) and the availability of Chai latte everywhere (and not necessarily just in that very rare Starbucks).

So yes I loved it. And now am back to the grind. Happily.

545 more to go.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 454: Alpine Highway

Ah. Final day of driving around New Zealand. Sigh.

But, good news is that it was yet another amazingly beautiful drive!
This time it was on the Alpine highway from Greymouth to Christchurch.
God really did a great job with this country I must say. It's just
beautiful everywhere you turn!

Ok then, that was a great trip. Am happy. And it's gonna stay in my
head for a long time to come. Oh and as cheesy as it might sound, I
did enjoy spending some exclusive time with hubby for so many days in
a row! The last such holiday was in 2009 and am not sure when the next
one would be, so this was really awesome.

Now back to Singapore tomorrow.

546 more to go.

Day 453: Coastal Highway, Punakaiki and Pancake Rocks

14 February, 2011

Took a nice long drive from Franz Joseph to Greymouth. But the
highlight was the drive further from Greymouth (where our hotel was
at) to Punakaiki along a magnificent coastal highway. Punakaiki is
famous for the Pancake Rocks (layered limestone formations in the sea
along the beach) which I found super cute. We had the best time there
- am a sucker for the ocean and this is one of the most spectacular
oceanic spots I have been to! Loved it! Really really!

547 more to go.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 452: "High Sea"

13 February, 2011

Today we were caught in the New Zealand rains. I come from tropical regions of Kerala and Singapore with abundance of rains in both places but I must say that I have never before seen a rain like this before! All the way from Wanaka to Franz Josef, a distance of more than 250 kms, it was pouring cats and dogs. Which also meant that we might have missed out on some good views of the NZ Alpine region on this particular drive, which is disappointing.

However, there was one incredible highlight for the day.

We were passing through one mountain after, through dense forests on either sides. Also, thanks to the rain the visibility was very poor, so we pretty much had little knowledge of our surroundings beyond a few metres around. At one particular turn, we came across a sign "Caution: Debris on road during high sea".

Both the hubby and I were confused by that, we were in the thick of a forest and on a mountain as far as we knew, so that absolutely didnt make any sense. Both of us almost said "What does that mean?" but were cut short mid-sentence.

Around the corner, there was the ocean - terrifyingly wild and uproarious just about 20 meters away from the road. It was such a stunning sight, and a least expected one at that. With the rain crashing down, the super grey skies above and the waves in the sea were at an appalling height and so very close to us, the atmosphere was eerily spectacular.

Am not really sure how best to describe it but I can say that sight alone made up for the lack of the Alpine views throughout the day.

548 more to go.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 451: Anniversary at Wanaka

Today we spent our fourth anniversary in the lovely lake town of Wanaka in New Zealand. After a very picturesque drive from Te Anau to Wanaka via Queenstown, we grabbed lunch and spent a long time staring at the lake - taking in the beautiful beautiful view, enjoying a hot cup of tea and shivering in the chilly, strong wind. It was the perfect anniversary.

549 more to go.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 450: Milford Road

Today we drove on the Milford Road. A travel brochure describes it as
"World's most spectacular drive and a journey to the most stunning
place on earth."

Well, I think they are right.

550 more to go.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 449: Where Sea and Forest Meet

Today we took a long drive from Dunedin to Invercargill via a
recommended scenic route. And man, it was indeed bloody scenic! With
the hillocks, pastures, forests and the sudden appearances of the
ocean, it was truly stunning! The highlight was this spot where we
stopped to take pictures. I forget the name of the region but its
tagline was 'where sea and forest meet'. Here we got a breathtaking
view of the oceanic expanse, thick forest starting right from the
beach, small peninsular strips running into the sea on either ends and
a strong, chilly wind to add to the experience! I felt very much at
peace standing there!

Thank you god - for making this world so very beautiful, literally.

551 more to go.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 448: Working During Holiday

Most of the day today was spent on travelling from Rotorua to Dunedin
with a stopover at Wellington. But instead of rushing to see Dunedin's
seaside attractions, we made our way to a cyber cafe because an
almost-completed teaser for my film was waiting in my inbox. Before I
left on my holiday, the only work left on the teaser was the
soundtrack and its first draft was now ready for me to review. I
obviously couldn't wait to get my hands on it!

It took about a couple of hours to find a cyber cafe, download all the
files, review, feedback etc and by the time it was done, it was too
late for any sight seeing. So yeah I technically ended up working
during my holiday, at the expense of some sightseeing, but it was
totally worthwhile because I can see the teaser finally come to life

And am so darn excited!

552 more to go.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 447: Pacific Coast Highway and Speeding Ticket

Today we took a drive from Rotorua to Okitaki and back, the objective being to drive along the Pacific Coast highway. While the route with the ocean on one side was stunning, the highlight was getting a ticket for speeding! Ok the ticket part itself wasn't as much fun but what was amusing was the traffic police guy was the nicest cop ever! Even at about 6 feet 4 inches height and while slapping a $230 ticket on our car, he was so pleasant with us... It was almost as if he was talking to his long lost friends vs. traffic offenders. It made the experience a lot less painful!

553 more to go.

Day 446: Lakes, Boiling Mud Pools, Geysers, Kiwi, and Sulphur

7 February, 2011

The very nice holiday continues... Highlights of the day:

a) The drive from Waitomo Caves village to Rotorua via Taupo giving us a long, extended view of the tranquil Lake Taupo.
b) The blanketing sulphur smell over the town of Rotorua thanks to the high geothermal activity in the area. I am not a fan of the sulphur smell, but it is quite facinating that such a phenomenon occurs! And it is super weird to see smoke coming off the ground in different parts of the town!
c) The visit to the Te Puia geothermal park where, for the first time in my life, I saw natural pools of boiling mud and three amazing geysers that spurt hot water out like tall fountains every hour or so! Super freaky phenomenon, if you ask me.
d) Seeing the Kiwi bird for the first time. It is so adorably cute! But I must say it had the mannerisms of a rat than that of a penguin!

554 more to go.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 445: Auckland, Waitomo, Caves, Glowworms, Bush

Great day! Am loving it here in New Zealand!


a) Breakfast near the beach with one of the hubby's very fun Kiwi
colleagues. And he pretty much gave us a tour of Auckland, which was
quite nice.
b) Beautiful drive from Auckland to Waitomo Caves Village through the
Kiwi countryside
c) Our gorgeous little room surrounded by stunning views at the
Waitomo Caves Guest Lodge.
d) The hour long walk through a cave full of stalactites, and
sightings of 1000s of glowworms! Amazing stuff!
e) Bush-walking! (Which basically just meant walking through a thick
forest)! This was quite an experience since it was just me and the
hubby in the middle of a jungle, with caves, bridges, streams to

555 more to go.

Day 444: Kiwi Humour!

5 February, 2011

Most part of the day was spent on getting to Auckland from Sydney. And
the highlight? The safety instructional video on Air New Zealand!
Complete with an animated character, the video is the most
entertaining safety video I have ever seen! Not only was it a great
way to introduce the Kiwi lightheartedness but it did get my complete
attention, which has never happened before but is obviously very
critical for safety videos!

I already love this country!

556 more to go.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 443: Jumped off a Plane!

Yeah, I sky-dived!

14000 ft, 45sec free fall.

One more thing checked off my to-do-before-30 list!

557 more to go.

Day 442: Sydney!

3 February, 2011

Am gonna keep the posts for next couple of weeks real short - just so that I don't spend too much time typing these out and ruining my already maxed out eyes!

So yeah, today I finally got to be down under in Australia! Got to see the famous and universally loved city of Sydney! And yeah, I like it too!

558 more to go.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Days 439, 440 & 441: Unbelievable!

31 January, 1 & 2 February, 2011

If I had not already gone through it, I would have said it is absolutely impossible to complete all the work I had to in the last 3 days, before going on my holiday. There was an unbelievable mountain of things to sort through both at work and office and I really struggled, to be honest. But hey, here's the good news...

Have I completed every last thing I had to do at work before I leave? - Yes!
Is the teaser for the film on track for release as soon as I get back? - Yes!
Is the film ready for censorship submission? - Oh hell, YES!
Am I feeling exhausted, absolutely and completely drained? - Yes, very much so.
Am I feeling good nevertheless?- YES, unbelievably so!

And now its time for Australia and New Zealand!

559 more to go.

Day 438: Not Fighting Alone

31 January, 2011

Another crazily busy day. Usually I do think that I have more than the average human productivity levels... like, I really can work on hours, days at end. But with this film together with work, I believe I have seriously reach my limits. But I must say that after that breakdown a few weeks ago, I have been dragging myself along reasonably well.

The interesting thing is that a lot of the pain and struggle you feel does go away when you feel there are others who share it with you. Today I felt that at least am not fighting the mausams battle alone. I know for a fact that my music composer is working his ass off in Chennai trying to put together the BGM and the songs to meet all kinda timelines. And that somehow is reassuring - the fact that someone else is working equally hard on this project. Then my darling cinematographer, once again, has gone beyond his call of duty and is helping me with getting the film ready for the censorship submissions, even as I would be away on holiday. It is SO very comforting to hear "Don't worry, just leave it to me and I will get it done." That is such a rare (but much appreciated) gesture.

So... thanks guys... for making this less painful.

562 more to go.

Day 437: Productively Back!

30 January, 2011

Everytime I get back from overseas, I write about how am happy to get back home and do nothing for a bit, or after a while I get back to office and dont crib about being back to work, or I get back to exercising or I get back to film work etc. etc. Mainly these "getting-backs" happen after a day or two, after I have a reasonable amount of rest. But this time, after I got back from Geneva, I found myself in the whirlwind almost immediately.

I got back at 8 am in the morning and slept fitfully until about 10:30. After that it was time for some packing for upcoming holiday, some film work, lunch and then a quick catch of the film Dhobi Ghat as I waited for my sound design files to come in. That was great, because that was pretty much the only "rest time" I had.

All the fun ended after that... the evening saw me spending about 7 hours on the film work with intermittent preparation and packing for the holiday, checking work emails, doing laundry etc. Am jetlagged and exhausted and in super panicky mode. My film looks nowhere near completion and I am going on a very ill-timed holiday, which am really wishing that I hadn't planned so very much in advance! It was supposed to be a post-film-release celebratory holiday... but it's turning out to be a pre-film-readiness nightmare.

BUT I did all that I could possibly do today. I have worked as best as I possibly can, in spite of all that tiredness, and for that fact this day would be beautiful. At least am not in giving up mode once again!

563 more to go.