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Life will be all right

Ishika Mohan/20th Century Fox

I’ve wanted to watch The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel when the British film was still showing in cinemas around late June/early July. I remember reading reviews of it and thought: “This sounds like a heart-warming feel-good movie that should make us laugh and enjoy our two hours in the cinema.” Plus, I had watched Salmon Fishing in the Yemen before that and absolutely loved it. The Brit irony and sarcastic wit was hilarious.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was nearly at the end of its run here though, which meant it had limited timings at certain cinemas only so finding the right person and the right day to watch it was critical. I remember asking someone if she wanted to watch it and the response I got was: “No, I don’t understand British accents.”

I was silent after that. It’s a movie. It has subtitles. Besides, you’re supposed to put your brain at the door and be entertained. How hard can it be to understand spoken English?

Anyway, we didn’t watch it together in the end. But I’m so glad I managed to finally watch the movie.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a 2012 British comedy-drama film that was based on the 2004 novel These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach. The two-hour long film features an ensemble cast including Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith among a group of British pensioners moving to a newly opened retirement resort in Jaipur, India. However, upon their arrival, the seven financially distressed and retired Brit men and women discover the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is far from the luxurious retreat “for the elderly and beautiful” that its advertising claims. Despite not meeting their expectations, most of them take it in stride and begin to flourish in their new-found adventure, letting the trip change their lives forever.

Each of them has a sad story that forces or influences them to head for India (read brief sketches of them here.) Most of them can’t afford the high living expenses needed to retire in England. They miss home and their children, but they can’t go back. It made me realise I should save more money and worry about building my retirement nest, instead of splurging on materialistic items that would probably not last long enough as heirlooms.

There are pleasant surprises. One of them was Graham Dashwood, a retired High Court judge, who grew up in Jaipur and is returning for the first time since his youth. Turns out he is a middle-aged gay man who’s “more in theory than in practice nowadays”. Graham hopes to reconnect with his Indian lover, whose family was disgraced when their affair was discovered. He has loved him his whole life, thinking that he had lost the love of his life forever and wanting to make up to him if he could ever find him again. And he does find a happy ending, but not what you’d expect.

This is a feel-good film whose optimism and sentimentality gives me hope that it’s never too late to leave my comfort zone and explore new horizons, as long as I’m willing to go with the flow.

Evelyn: Nothing here has worked out quite as I expected.

Muriel: Most things don’t. But sometimes what happens instead is the good stuff.

Evelyn: The only real failure is the failure to try, and the measure of success is how we cope with the disappointment, as we all must.

Because in the end no matter what happens, whether it’s good or bad, life will still go on and you will be fine. Really.

Sonny: Everything will be all right in the end. So if it is not all right, then it is not yet the end.

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Lamb chops

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Bet you couldn’t resist saying “play along” after the headline and now you’ve got an ear-worm in your head as the song keeps playing over and over and over again.

But just look at the heavenly ambrosia-like plate of nice juicy lamb cutlets and hot crispy potato wedges with a side of crunchy salad in the picture above. Even the brown gravy to complement the lamb was delicious down to the last drop.

Tell me you can resist that and I will show you a human who has yet tasted the best lamb cutlets ever.

I had it for supper on Saturday for the second time in my life and I can’t stop thinking about it until now. To think I only ate it for the first time a few weeks ago. My life was nothing before I met this dish. Nothing, I tell you.

Seriously. Everything about this dish is just so awesome. Look at it. If you were not a meat lover before, you ought to be now.

The meat is tender, with the right amount of juicy fats lacing the sides of the bone. You dip a piece of the meat into the succulent brown gravy. There is a slight tinge of smoky crispiness as you chew into it, letting the gravy swirl around.

I just made myself hungry.

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Things I like more than I realise No2: Peaches

Juicy, tender and full of natural sweetness, I am talking about the fruit, not the raunchy singer whom I do sometimes enjoy when I am feeling the naughties. Right, back to the best edible gift Mother Nature has given us. The minute I bit into the chilled fruit, I felt like I was transported to a fluffly breezy world where I was drinking a nice long iced drink made out of 100% peaches.

So good, you have to eat it again

So good, you have to eat it again

Photo credits: Wikipedia

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Midweek beer is all sorts of aces

I am looking at making Midweek Beer a compulsory afterwork tradition. Honestly, if you are a corporate rat like I am, it’s a must to celebrate this midweek high. After all, it is an achievement of some sort to get through Monday and Tuesday unscatched.

Of course, go mental and have your ice cold Midweek Beer with crispy pork knuckle on the side. Absolutely brilliant.

Never has pig look so fine

Never has pig look so fine

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Pre-game snack bulletin

Pre-game snack bulletin: Banana+Prune juice = New Year get-down-to-50kg healthy eating regime on track.

Mmm mmm, munching and trying to stay awake for the world’s oldest football competition where Spurs U-12s will attempt to devalue it by squaring up to United’s second XI. Then again, Fergie is not that bothered either if he’s sending loads of reserves on eh. I might have to brace my nerves for this match.

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Monday’s Constant Craving

[imagine a lovely basket of hot golden fries here]

I want french fries so bad. I am willing to trade babies for them.

All major potato wedges accepted here too.

Oh, how to tell if the recession is worsening No. 276 – companies are giving out calendars as corporate gifts instead of daily planners.

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Monday’s Jagabee Jingle

Jagabee awaits visit from me

Today, Imaginarator is feeling all sort of iffy whiffy what with the lack of three proper meals a day since 1993 when Kate Moss ushered in the waif look with a highly publicised nude ad campaign for Calvin Klein. Awestruck young Imaginarator has been trying to attain the perfect heroin chic look since then. That is until bloody effing Edward Cullen and his “impossibly beautiful” pale marble skin and dark purplish eye shadows came along. Harumph!

It’s ok! Imaginarator will turn to the comforting oily arms of fried chicken to sooth its permanently hungry since 1993 soul. Except the last fried chicken has been eaten by Imaginarator’s annoying brother or sister.

Poor Imaginarator is now fantasising about the rows of Jagabee, tucked safely behind the closed shutters of the supermarket. These Jagabee potato bits look like French Fries, feel like crispy French Fries and taste like French Fries. The Jagabee is everything Imaginarator wants in an alpha French Fry.

Of course, no shops are open now to satisfy this craving. Which means Imaginarator can wave bye bye to its precious sleep. And a grouchy Imaginarator out on the internets is not a pretty sight. You’ve been warned.

Feel free to leave your own Jagabee love or any other cravings in the comments below