have an opinion? got feedback? drop me a line- pooja.x.rao@gmail.com
Can also read my posts at Mumbaikar.com and filmi features @ Bollyspice.com



Be lil reckless,lot more brave,
fill life with people who truly care.
enjoy being silly,love being loved,
have no regrets but lots of joy to share...

Bollywood – creating female stereotypes, one rom-com at a time

This feature originally appeared on Bollyspice.com. You can read the full post here.

I happened to watch Cocktail at an extremely crowded press plus crew plus family plus friends show. While you can read my official movie review, as I was thinking about the film some more I wanted to write about some of the other aspects that bothered me about Cocktail.  These  additional thoughts touch on some points I couldn’t include in a movie review and summarize howCocktail, which in my opinion could have been a good rom-com, was turned into a series of Bollywood’s formulaic clichés, so much so that the gloss and glycerine could give the Indian TV soaps a run for their money
Alright then, moving on........

***Dont read further if you want to avoid spoilers***


she wished she could freeze this moment right here

and lock it in an hourglass

and turn it around and round again

and when the dizziness would stop, she'd finally pause...

only to be able to stare at it, threaten for it to never leave

it gives her comfort, solace this phase

a memoir to carry along to a parallel universe....

but somewhere, along the way, it doesn't feel enough

there's a void, an unexplained melancholy, a chaos in their minds

it doesn't fit its place in my life, he says

'midst bouts of unrequited love and insecurities

guess she'd just have to find someone else, who'd let her memories be.....

Coz these are a few of my fav things....


Rain. Project X :) (GOOGLE IT!). Weekend outings. making some more new friends. new-found love. leaving 16hr work days with a smile. Saturday nights working in virtually with StaceyReturn of the nail-paint. Losing and then finding stuff. 6am random watsapp with Fudge. receiving and sharing the HUGO love.  sunday cards plans. bringing a smile to a street kid with very expensive Pink roses. IT filing bang on time. Still counting days to winter. LOL & sharing the laughs. being at the receiving end of lots of TLC. Blogging, LOTS of it. :)

my momma always said.....

Reminiscing on an old thought my mum thought us when we were little ( & she continues to repeat it even now :)

Life is never froth & bubble, all things stand alone..
kindness is another's trouble, courage is your own! !


Word Smitten

He watched her walk away to the farthest corner of the room,

I wish to have a conversation...

..... an exchange of words would be nice for a change, he said

she struggled to weave her thoughts together, faking to build a witty mix of honesty & satire

he stole a glance at her bemused face, feeling pangs of instinctive amour,

walking to her corner, reaching for her hand, entwined fingers

she hesitated, tugging a little before giving in,

curtains casted dancing shadows in twinkly lights

he is everything I could ever wish for. or get, she thought

words hung heavy in the strayed air, as the night sunk in quietness and despair

she looked into his weary eyes, a decade of blissful togetherness stared right back

it was the best conversation they had in many years....

Un certain Sourire (A certain smile)

You're in a tight embrace, lips locked in sweet seduction. You nudge her onto the bed and in that one second, she looks up at you and she smiles.
It could turn into a laugh. a feminist this one. carefree, lustful. cherishing the few moments of desire, not too worried about the snuggle or the talk after. unabashed,  a woman confident in her own skin, it's just about her and probably that's all there will be...
It could be a shy curve of the lips, a mystifying smile this one. She'll stare deep into your eyes and hope to see the love reflect, the love for which she gave her heart away.
It may well be a Cheshire cat grin. a naughty smirk at that. reading your thoughts, knowing what you've planned out, counting the minutes, playing along. true care fueled by deep passion, teasing lightly. like she knows well where to lead it to or lead you into finding it out.
Or it could be the restrained giggle. a joyful chuckle camouflaged. layers of pain, of betrayal and agony. she likes you but will hold her back. a stolen kiss. a concupiscent embrace. she holds you to belief that it's all she's got to give, but there's more. She reads the honesty in you and laughs in joy. She recognizes pretension and laughs in relief. she laughs in comfort, in surprise, in remorse. 

Hugo (2011) - DVD review

    ***This post is a review of the regular standard definition edition of Hugo***

    Winner of 5 Oscars (of 11 nominations), HUGO directed by Martin Scorsese, released in 2011 is finally available for home viewing launched by Reliance Home Video and Games. The Blu-ray 3D is priced at Rs 1499, Blu-ray for Rs 1299 and DVD for Rs 599.

Coz these are a few of my fav things....


Rain. Planned weekends. Weekend outing plans in the making. reminiscing old times with friends. KSHAY. meeting new people. Random amusing BBM convos across 7 seas. working from home. People who miss me & say so. Singing. Horoscopes that hint good week at work and travel. Pedicures. Hot chocolate at work. Turquoise. Return of discovering new eateries with Husain. Late night conversations. Sharing the GNGM love. Counting days to winter. Spreading the faith. Happy Endings.

The Single Girl's Vocabulary A - Z

So here we are again! Another night with the girls, Another celebration, some more drinks, some other musings......

A is for the superbly Aah-mah-ZING ATTENTION you get!
B is for Being Independent. Knowing that you're fabulous just being on your own (plus you learn a lot! even how to fix the car)
C is for CHIVALRY you get to enjoy which surprisingly disappears once you've got that ring on..
D is for selfish DECISIONS you get to make without hurting anyone. Takeout or that extravagant splurge weekend, who cares?
E is for EXCUSES, making up any at your whims & fancies, not having to do stuff just because you have to.
F is for all the FABULOUS FRIENDS who'll see you thru....
G is for the guilt free harmless flirtations
H is for no HEARTBURNS, running mascaras or sleepless nights....
I is for all the inquisitive looks you get whenever you mention someone new.
J is for "Just Friends" reference to be used and re-used and then some more...
K is for the first KISS....
L is for LOVEeeee, a feeling everyone's in love with, the most abused term of our gen!
M is for MOODS you swing by, anytime, anywhere w/o having to deal with awkward uncalled qs on PMS!
N is for the nonchalance you can throw around without anyone expecting you to be perfect... 
is for ONE small step at a time, no rush, no haste..
P is for endless POSSIBILITIES, waking up and not having life laid out, not knowing where its headed...
Q is for those miserable QUESTIONS you don't have to stress about - why hasn't he called/texted/BBM'd? Should I kiss him? Is this real? Will we get married?
R is for all other special RELATIONSHIPS that somehow take a back-seat otherwise
S is for those special SHOES to make the 'single walk' extra special
T is for the free me-TIME for hobbies, passions, goals, ambitions, learning Italian?
U is for the UNREQUITED love that can be sooo mysteriously delicious
V is for the VODKA binges to keep you company on those long nights !
W is for being WORRY-free about being cheated, dumped or ditched for...
is for ex'es, extras and excesses (in whichever contexts)
is for 'YOU'. The most honest relationship you can ever have with anyone.
Z is for the 'Zsa Zsa Zsu' (In the words of the great Carrie Bradshaw that tingling feeling when meeting someone new)

so now you know ur A-B-C's, why dont you come join & sing with me?

Short Story in 140.... Twitter style!

And continuing with the trend ... 

She paced anxiously straining her ears hoping the phone to ring. The call never came. 'Disconnect' is the reason she gives to those who ask.


अब तो आवाज भी अनसुनी रह जाती है वाँहा,  काम करता था जाहा कभी एक इशारा हमारा.

Coz these are a few of my favorite things!

BBM. Connecting with old friends. Reading old posts from Bollyspice. SATC reruns. Checking out results to my name on Google search ;) . New assignment applications. Feeling confident enough to take up new assignments. Groovy track from CocktailPink happy feet. More regular Watsapp with Fudge. Getting thru 12-hr workdays & actually enjoying it. Sleeping to fun heartfelt conversations. Waking up to trans-continental messages. New found obsession of 140character storiesRealizing that this post is actually turning out to be fun :D

Life = Hope! Are you ready to live today?

Dedicated to a special friend ....

They say "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger". 
Life with complications, vereee tiring! yet Life without complications, pretty boring.... 
One cannot experience everything that life has to offer.. so share a little, play some more..and have fun! coz life's tough and you ain't getting out of it alive anyways :D 
So are you ready to live today?

Let the countdown begin.

When everything around you is pale no bloom
all you sense is hovering gloom
your will to live doesn't seem appealing & deft
yet some dash of hope could be all that's left.
You want to end it all, no need of an excuse
you try to fix it, it's just no use
yet toss away that piece of rope,
And give yourself a pinch of hope.

This is your life, play by your rules
life isn't all grey, search for your palette of hues
tune your thoughts, give some a head-start
ignore the brain, mindlessly follow the heart..
Foster your hope, take every step with a smile
although the path be steep, & tough to climb
look around you, muster all the nerve you can
adoring faces will be alongside, longing to hold your hand.

The wounds are the past, just playing with your mind 
the fears of the future, will disappear with time..
Just live the present, taking your pace to cope
Coz your life will dazzle once you begin living with hope.

I am B.A.C.K (Blogging Again Cinema & Knick-knacks)

The world of 140 characters has lost its charm on me.Doesn't mean I am going to isolate that medium, nor does it mean I continue to be enticed by it. I've returned to the world of infinite words & unrestricted thoughts. 

The curious case of mindless cinema indulgence! Badrinath - Allu Arjun & Tamanaah

This isn't exactly a review, rather just some quick thoughts about the movie. 

The thought of this post has been playing on my mind for the past few days since I watched the movie on dvd. The thing about watching any movie day's after its release is that you're already subject to the hearsay on the film's verdict. After the film being declared a colossal failure & almost every review pulling its fangs on the movie, I had absolutely nil expectations. Now this, my years of movie appreciation wisdom has taught me it is sometimes a good thing; as then you have less fear of being let down, which was exactly the case with Badrinath. The movie is so bad that its actually good fun and here I can shamelessly admit enjoyed the total masala fun with the enthusiasm of a 2-year old in a candy store.

Coz these are a few of my favorite things!

Stuff thats making me happy right now....

Day dreaming. My new voice recorder (finally!!)BBM. E-invites in my inbox. Philmy Weekends. hilarity of random tweets. Sly tweets. Flipkart. Playing touristy at Gateway with Alex & Arnel. Being low maintenance. WATSAPP with Fudge. Eagerly waiting for CCD hangouts with Fudge in June. Compliments on the new hairstyleCompliments in general. Surprise gifts from my girlsRandom run ins with old friends from college. Return of the regular body massage. Street shopping. Being single, being happy about it. Flirting rendezvous. Knowing how fantastic my  friends are.  Blogging. Pani Da Rang. Life, just life.

Quick thoughts - Vicky Donor - Ayushmann Khurrana, Yami Gautam

In early March I attended the first look launch of this film. Understandably no-one had heard much about the movie which had completed shooting and was set for release a month later. New leads, one-film old director and a new actor-turned-producer taking on a eye batting topic of sperms and fertility, everyone quickly concluded it to be a sure-shot recipe for BO disaster. Solo take away from that event was the immense pride John Abraham's eyes glittered with; on his maiden venture as producer. Collectively the team was confident about the positive fate of the movie. Nonetheless, the promo received appreciation from the media invitees while the organisers happily obliged to the 'once-more' request. It was the beginning of something special.

Ready to mingle --------------- But still single?

I bumped into an old colleague last night. She had quit work to pursue a hobby, which (from the looks of it) had done her good! Financially independent, loving what she did, she made a novel cover picture of great achievers. I was thrilled for her. And then we came to the awkward moment where we spoke about relationship statuses and quite uncomfortably she mumbled the usual response. Single. Ready to Mingle.
(& then predictably proceeded to bitch about how tough it is to find a nice (?!!?) guy!)

This has to be the most abused term of our generation. I know some great people - secure, intelligent sociable, the works. Then where do they go wrong? In retrospect, some are single because they've got other priorities, don't have time for a relationship, which IMO is fine. To each really his own. My grudge is towards the people who pretend to be wanting to be in a relationship but secretly conspire every trick in the book to run in the opposite direction of it. So it got me thinking, what is it about these great people that makes it difficult for them to sustain or atleast click with the right person? 

Short Story in 140.... Twitter style!

Posted on twitter last nite as sleep evaded me!

You remember how I was complaining a while back that thanks to my incessant tweeting, I sometimes have not too much left to blog about . Here's another fine example of it. Term it pure laziness or creativity with 140, have got in tweeting short stories instead of blogging long ones. Here are a few - (I'll keep updating as I go, so please keep coming back) Love.


She sat on the shore,sky-gazing, musing if anyone was looking down at her! Meanwhile waves caressed her ankles, vying for her attention..


He had a bad day at work. Tempted to grab drinks with the boys. Instead went home, saw a twinkle in her eyes. His light in the dark tunnel.


'you ok?' He asked seeing her sad face. 'Im fine' she said. He smiled & walked away. She sighed, her heart aching for her girlfriends.


She lounged in the moonlight, fingers tapping BB lazily, novel swayed in the breeze, wine stared enticingly, her Saturday romance continued.


Denizen - Celeb endorsement win? with Monica Dogra aka Shaair

I was having an argument with a colleague who stated as a matter of fact , that no-one buys stuff just because their favorite stars endorse it. Point taken! And I know majority would nod their heads in agreement. Although studies would prove otherwise, that incase of the most popular (say top3-5), sales have shown an accelerated growth after a brand has roped in any of the top stars. Celebrity endorsements have always been a debatable topic. But this post has not much to do with this debate. Personally I couldn't care too much about buying the car SRK promoted or using Navratna because he advocates it'll keep everyone cool! (& then some other brands I just can't afford)

Coming back to the reason behind this post - I recently picked up the Denizen Jeans by Levi. I remembered falling in love with the ad (again the jingle! concept=HUH?), So it made me wonder, if the ad was what helped me make a purchase decision, did this mean it was a celeb endorsement win? Coz, that's the first objective of having a brand ambassador right? Make the brand relatable, have a recall value! Or was it just the ad that nudged me towards the jeans rack? So then it makes it the adverts win, correct?

Not sure, either way, I did end up contributing to the sale; that the company surveys unabashedly show-off when they've to justify the marketing spends on signing up a star. Guess, it was a brand win anyhow! Mission accomplished for them!

But I would definitely love to hear your thoughts - Do celebrity endorsements help you make purchasing decisions? Would you buy make-up coz Kareena says she uses it or would you change your shampoo cause you have faith in what Katrina sells? Post your comments below. 

p:s: while you muse on that, sing along - round & round on this ride, I got you in my thoughts.......

Ad mad - Canon makes it click with Anushka Sharma

It's been sooo long that any ad has made me smile on the basis of its concept. Yes there are some which are addictive but more so coz of catchy jingles but Canon's latest TVC makes it 'click' purely on the the way it has been shot and the whole idea behind it! It helps mighty that they have Anushka adding extra flounce and flair , so appeal taken a notch higher!

Yo! 'Ad-agencies with big budgets and no innovation' take a note! these are the kind of ads that actually make audiences click! ! Love

The TVC is directed by Koushik Sarkar and the production house is Apostrophe Films.

Short Story - Do I know you?

Having written my last much-loved fictional story months back, trying my hand at little short ones. Like someone told me, they're mystique, intriguing, leave much to interpretation & desire. :D hope you like it!

They met months after their break-up. When she saw him from across the cash counter, thoughts rushed back - of good times, of not so-good fights and a harsher break-up. In retrospect it all seemed a little immature to her now. It seemed like just yesterday when they were contemplating marriage. She remembered it all well, the smile, the confident gait, the cheating, the other woman. Her heart skipped a beat as he walked towards her, she agonized, wanting to tell him she missed him, that maybe they could try and work it out, that maybe she did over-react a bit, that mistakes happen, that she was willing to forgo and start afresh....

'You look good', he said flashing the disarming dimples. She smiled.
'I've met someone, but maybe we should get together tonight just for old times sake's', he continued.

She took a deep breadth, closed her eyes to hide her tears. She held onto her pride, smiled and said,

"I'm Sorry Sir, but do I know you?"

Indie indulgence - A love affair of "shorts"

Such a fabulous time for Indie scene in India. Short documentaries made on minimal to negligible budgets with a great heart and aspiration to educate, influence, inspire whilst entertaintaining minus the pop-gum culture of song-dance routine of commercial cinema. This rebellious form of cinema, restricted to film festivals, is regaining its faith, gearing to surge ahead. Creative bunch is flourishing, gen-z is waking up to this otherwise ignored cousin of cinema, theatre's are working customised avenues for release and films themselves are taking extra efforts to connect with the audiences.

I personally love short films/documentaries. Where else do you get such a beautiful concoction of sublime, poetry, intrigue blended together in perfection! Yes, we all love the glitz, power, build-up of the commercial Bollywood movie, but its orgasmic to engage in films that pushes boundaries, challenges to be exciting and unique.

My love affair with 'shorts' began couple years ago, when I was introduced to 'Unnoticed Love' by Amit Verma ..(p:s: if the actor seems familiar, he is director Punit Malhotra from KJO camp)!

And so it grew, the older I got, the addiction got worse. Last year , Sudhish Kamath's Good Night Good Morning completely swept me away (anyone stalking me for the past yr would have noticed my pimping the movie like none other). Earlier this week, another movie I've loads of faith 'Kshay' won an award at the IFFLA in LA.

This morning, I received a link to yet another very well put together film.
If you haven't explored this genre yet, now is a good time to start. Go ahead. Share your thoughts ! !

Ek Main aur Ekk Tu

Joining the increasing list of remakes Dharma productions present ‘Ekk Main Aur Ekk Tu’ the self-proclaimed copy of its Hollywood borrowing ‘What happens in Vegas’.

Helmed by first time director Shakun Batra, it won’t take a genius to deduce that for a film named EMAET, premise is as simple as – boy meets girl, they laugh, cry and exchange life sermons. Add to that the film belongs to the new-age contemporary love story genre so we know that the boy will be as glum and the girl will be as gregarious as it gets. As soon as the characters are introduced, you immediately conclude that the first half will be been-there-done-that situations where gloominess bonds with gregariousness, the second half will see fights, misunderstandings, families, compromises, outbursts leaving just enough reels to roll up into its perfectly carved climax.

Why being a freelance entertaiment writer sucks!

***This piece is a complete act of my insomniac mind and reading it with a pinch of humor will really help***

Only one way to write a blog piece like this, and make that a double, bartender, please. ~ P.J O'Rourke

There are generally 2 reactions when someone learns I'm a freelance entertainment writer.
A - the "Blank stare" like 'is-that-really-a-job?'
or B - the gushing like *Ooooh wowwww , that must be sooo exciting!!!*

which then is quickly followed by 1 of the zillion common remarks:
  • have you met anyone famous?
  • What newspaper do you write for?
  • Are X and Y really seeing each other?
  • have you starred in any movie?

    2012 Calendar roundups! Dabboo Ratnani, VenketRam & CCL

    That time of the year (tad bit delayed, my bad!!) when I do the annual roundups of celeb calendars
    Even though I've had a reputation of hating most of it coz its too much cheese and less themes, have my fingers crossed again, hoping something clicks yaar! So we've got our usual lineups from last year -Dabboo Ratnani &VenketRam. No Southscope calendar out this year (for reasons know best to them. Ok! I might actually know why, but we'll leave the dirty details out shall we. sshh) But to substitute we do have a CCL (celebrity cricket league) calendar also shot by VenketRam

    Without wasting too much time on the rules then , lets just jump right into it!

    "Live and Let live" Dharun Ravi vs Tyler Clementi.

    I woke up this Sunday morning to a very disturbing news piece of 20-yr old Indian Dharun Ravi being charged guilty for the suicide of his former roommate Tyler Clementi. Ravi used a webcam to spy on Clementi's relationship with another man. Later Ravi gossiped about the incident on Twitter: “I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.” Two days later, Ravi set up another viewing also inviting fellow dorm-mates. Few days later, Clementi committed suicide by jumping from the George Washington Bridge.Ravi now faces several years in jail & a chance of deportation to India.

    Shoes. Channeling my Inner Carrie Bradshaw @ Legs, Matunga.

    If you're a bona fide 'Sex & the City' addict, you like any other would know the agonies and pleasure associated with SHOES. Like Carrie wisely said “The fact is, sometimes it’s really hard to walk in a single woman’s shoes. That’s why we need really special ones now and then to make the walk a little more fun.”

    Wiser words were never said. I could use an entire closet of them and then some more. Love it or Hate it -  girls today are wearing wardrobes more unbelievable, fantastic, and unaffordable than ever. But whats really important is that you put the money in real good ones. Not necessarily expensive, not Louboutins or Jimmy Choos, but something that you can wear over & over & over again and feel real good about them.

    Snuggled in the bylanes of the bustling Matunga market is 'Legs' footwear where owner Javed Khan prides in making custom-wear shoes. They (and its neighboring sister concern Italian brand - Piedi Rosso) stock and design variants of heels, boots, ballets etc. So next time you head out to make an impression, make sure to put your best foot forward.

    Fashion&You, Myntra and bitter-sweet online shopping experience.

    As much as I dislike shopping (yes! you heard that right) I'm quite the sucker for online shopping. The whole concept of having little neatly packaged goodies delivered right at your doorstep, unpacking them like birthday presents (even though you already know what's inside) warrants for brownie points, doesn't it? While im quite the loyalist on Flipkart, I've been trying to scout websites for wardrobe, accessories.... etc. Till Prateeksha introduced me to 2 of them - Fashion&You and Myntra.com. Ironically, Ive been registered on both but never used them until she put in a reliable word, so I thought i'd give it a shot. Orders placed, deliveries received and now here goes the good, bad and the ugly.


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