Oscars, books, family and more

I am recovering from a rather bad bout of the flu. I caught it during the last two days of my trip to Bangalore to meet the fam-bam. I still managed to enjoy my time at home. Ate too much and lazed way too much.

It was lovely spending time with the mother and grandparents; and the uncle and his fiancee were in town as well. The siblings came down from Madras and we regressed into being kids. There were times of tension– too many of us in too small a space and we eventually did start to get on each other’s nerves. But, overall, a good trip. Now that I am back, I miss the grandparents the most, sad to see them grow old. The grandfather looks rather shrunken and he burnt his hand making tea while I was there. He is still chatty and funny and coming up with brilliant new business ideas, so that is something to be thankful for. The grandmother was running herself ragged cooking and working, but wouldn’t allow anyone to help. I am really grateful to be able to spend time with them. I have learnt that we can never get enough time with the people we love and never learn everything there is to them. And I am a person who likes to know everything!

I seem to have passed the flu to my family. My parting gift to them. I am generous like that. Mine is nearly done with, just have a hacking cough that sounds worse than it is. The upside to being ill was I couldn’t sleep and was awake at the crack of dawn to watch the Oscars live. The red carpet outfits were rather meh, nothing stood out in a good way. The dresses were either a snooze, too embellished or accessorised terribly (I am talking to you Scarlett Johansson). Neil Patrick Harris’s hosting skills was bordering on boring, thought the whole John Travolta -Idina Menzel bit was rather funny. Also, the Oscars as usual played it safe and it was easy to predict the winners. However, it was nice to see that ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ took home some awards.

I am meant to be working on a story (another story, not the one I mentioned in my previous post). Too many quotes and information to go through. So instead, I am listening to the soundtrack of ‘We Bought a Zoo’, Cameron Crowe movies have the best music. I also love the soundtrack for ‘Almost Famous’. I just finished re-reading ‘Wolf Hall’ while I was in Bangalore and I am now moving on to  ‘Bring Up the Bodies’ for the second time. Watching the TV series made me want to read the books again. I am reminded how brilliant Hilary Mantel is, the writing is superb and she manages to bring the characters to life so deftly.

Wow, this is quite a long post and I shall leave it at this. Rather abrupt I know, but I am hungry and think will go see what leftovers in the fridge I can turn into my lunch.

About time

Watched the sweet and adorable ‘About Time’.I love me a Richard Curtis film, and this one didn’t disappoint.

Talking about time, how did I get so old in the blink of an eye. I turn 30 in a few months, I am scared, anxious and excited for what awaits me on the other side. As the days race by, I want to make the most of the time before I turn 30, enjoy the little things, workout to be fit and strong and most of all find a job/career that fulfils me.

A week in fashion

So we have three-hour power cuts here, luckily they tell you the timing in advance so you can be prepared. For the past week, to keep me company during the afternoon power cut, I have made sure my laptop was fully charged and that I had something to watch. And for some reason I have been watching fashion documentaries. Now, I have always liked fashion, flipping through Vogue, watching The Rachel Zoe project– it interests me. But, watching three documentaries in three days had me immersed in fashion. And surprisingly, I was not bored, I am actually inspired and I want more.

I started with this: The September Issue

This is a 2009 documentary that follows American Vogue putting together their September issue, this issue is always the biggest and fattest of the year. While it mainly concentrates on Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of the magazine and one of the most powerful people in fashion which becomes fairly evident while watching the documentary. We also meet various designers, photographers and Vogue employees throughout. Anna is cool and plays her cards close to her chest, but you do see her lighten up around her daughter. Grace Coddington on the other hand is brilliant, creative and an artist– the shoots she styles and visualises are masterpieces. But, at the end of the day Vogue is a business and Anna a businesswoman and in charge. Though it was fun to see the friction between the two.

The next documentary I watched was this:

Diana Vreeland: The Eye has to Travel

 
The original editor-in-chief of Vogue, Diana Vreeland was A CHARACTER. Loud, creative, infectious, original and full of quotable quotes– watching her it was hard to separate reality from fiction. She lived through exciting times, she made Vogue what it is and she was passionate about work. She was never afraid to think big and let her imagination run riot. Diana was a force to reckon with and learning more about her was thoroughly inspiring.

The last, but not least, was this documenatary:

Valentino: The Last Emperor

 
While the first two concentrated on fashion publications and the editors, this one was about a designer. A one-of-a-kind genius who lives life king-sized, Valentino Garavani, is known for his romantic, feminine designs and the eponymous Valentino Red. Along with his partner Giancarlo Giammetti, they built a fashion power house. We see them going about their day-to-day activities, with Valentino being the artist that he is and Giancarlo handling everything else. They are also gearing up to celebrate 45 years of Valentino, while their company is slowly being bought over. It is an honest look at their business and lifestyle. But, what I could not get over were the dresses– ethereal, romantic and glamorous, each a piece of art that has been painstakingly designed and stitched. Never have I felt more firmly that creating elegant, timeless, well-stitched clothes is an art! Trends will come and go, but an haute couture piece designed by the likes of Valentino crosses time, space, countries and people and anybody would recognise the value, workmanship and skill that went into making it.

Queen

Yesterday afternoon I watched Queen. I have always liked Kangana Ranaut, she is always honest in interviews,  unapologetic about her choices , inherently stylish and doesn’t fit the mold of a typical Bollywood heroine. I have been waiting to see her in a movie that showcased her talent and this was it. She fit the role and made it her own, and in my opinion no other actress could have pulled it off (seeing as most of them are more worried about looking glamorous and perfect on screen no matter what character they play). For the first time I felt emotional watching a Hindi movie. Kangana plays the character of Rani- a middle class Delhi girl- who gets jilted by her fiance the day before her wedding. Having always dreamed of going abroad on her honeymoon, she decides to go by herself to Paris and Amsterdam. There are a medley of characters who come into her life throughout the film, but ultimately, the story is about Rani and the experiences she has and the things she learns about her self and life. There is no judgement, there is no moralising and you wont find your typical happy ending here. The film was sweet, fun and touching and I came out of the theater feeling moved and happy at the same time. I hope there are more movies made like this in Indian cinema, because we need films like this, where we can see a little bit of ourselves in the character on screen.