Saturday, January 16, 2016

Model Spotlight: SONAL CHAUHAN

Sometimes you have to go back into the past before you can spotlight a present day beauty. In this case, I first saw Miss Chauhan in the brainless, goofy, but stupidly endearing action dramedy, Legend, way way back in 2014. I remember at the time thinking that she was heart-achingly beautiful, if perhaps a little too vapid in her role. And then, quite frankly, I forgot all about her. Until last week, when a friend of mine posted a video clip from that same movie on Facebook. And then it was love at first sight all over again! Honestly, I had forgotten how seriously gorgeous this woman is! So with that in mind, I'd like to formally introduce you all to my latest Bollywood hottie (Bolly-hottie?) crush.

Name:  Sonal Singh Chauhan
Age:  28
Profession:  Model/Actress
Hometown:  New Delhi, India
Accolades:  Miss World Tourism (2005); Filmfare award nominee for "Best Female Debut" on the 2008 film, Jannat.
Best Known:  As Zora in the breakout Bollywood megahit, Jannat (2008).
Current:  Finalized filming on Dictator, a Telugu language action drama just released this week. She shares a leading role in the film alongside Nandamuri Balakrishna and Anjali.

Sonal Chauhan was born on May 16, 1987 in New Delhi to a Rajput family originally hailing from the state of Uttar Pradesh to the east. In her early teens, Sonal's face graced magazine covers and won her a slew of beauty contests, but she always maintained good grades in school. In college she studied Philosophy with top honors at the nation's capital, but was propelled into the world of fashion modelling almost immediately when she became a Miss World contestant at the time, and then later won the crown as 2005's Miss World Tourism in Malaysia.

The win--a first for India--led to many runway and photo op gigs, as well as appearances in several music videos for top hits of the time in her home country. But Miss Chauhan's fate was to be tied to the big screen when she was "discovered" by a film director while eating at a restaurant in Mumbai. The film he would place her in as co-star was Jannat, and it became a huge international success, garnering Sonal a nominee for "Best Female Debut" artist at the 2009 Filmfare awards (which she lost to the equally stunning and talented Kollywood actress, Asin Thottumkal).

Since then, Sonal Chauhan has appeared in numerous films from various industries throughout the sub-continent. Most recently as Nandini in the film, Sher; and as Simran in Size Zero. The latter of which is one of my personal favorite Tollywood films of 2015.

But, really, if you need to determine the honest truth behind my crush on Miss Chauhan, I'll simply submit these stunning photos below as further proof:

Sonal Chauhan

Previous Model Spotlights:
Deepika Padukone
Nazneen Contractor
Priyanka Chopra
Riya Ray
Asal Soltani

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


So, I went to the movies the day after New Year's. Here's what happened at the concession stand:

Cutie Cashier: "Here's your change. Enjoy the movie!"
Me: "Thanks, you too."
CC: *laughs at me*
Me: *laughs at me, too*
Me: "I mean ... heh ... You have a good day, too. I mean, er ... Happy New Year?"

*smacks forehead*

Don't you hate it when that happens? Funny thing is, I wasn't even flummoxed or anything. I didn't stammer because the cashier happened to be extremely hot. To be honest, with the mood I've been in as of late, I barely even acknowledged her hotness. I just get so accustomed to blanket responding with "Thanks, you too" to every non-personal human interaction I have out in public. It's a bad habit I need to break.

On the plus side, cashier girl did say I was cute. That kinda, sorta made my day. And this time, I did *not* say "Thanks, you too" by way of response. Although--damn it! I totally should have, right?

Well, let no one confuse me for being suave.

Anyway . . .

HAPPY 2016, people!!! I hope you have a good one!

As usual, my New Year's Eve sucked big time. I spent it at home all by my lonesome. It's always a sad time for me since it is the 30th anniversary of the single most tragic event to happen in my life, and that means the holiday will never be the same for me as it is for everyone else.

But, you know, some day this decade I would like to spend it with someone special. That's all.

In related news ... yes, my love life sucks. I've been dealt a severe blow in that department this holiday season (why do all such bad things happen then?), and it's forcing me to reevaluate my priorities. Or, more specifically, to reevaluate ME!

What have I come up with so far? Well, not much really. But I'm starting to get the feeling that I might need a change in scenery.

I'm not there yet, but I'm currently contemplating whether I should look into picking up and moving to another part of the country. I recently visited my brother in Houston, and I have to say it's left me with a lot to think about. I never thought the day would ever come that I would seriously consider Texas as a place to live, but H-Town left a good impression on me. I mean, sure, I seriously cannot deal with hot weather and humidity -- but isn't that what AC was invented for? Like I said, I'm not quite packing up the moving truck and putting in notice at work just yet. But who knows . . .

Met a long time online blogger friend while in H-Town.

Or, I could just move to Vermont like I always wanted to. That would be nice. A state more in keeping with my seasonal climate needs. I'm very comfortable in that state, being that I lived there for 4 years during college. But unlike Houston, I have absolutely no family there in VT. Or friends, for that matter.

So, I'm not sure yet where I should go. But I do know that I might have to leave New York someday soon. More and more my ties here are weakening.

But enough of that (for now).

I'll leave you all on this one happy note. My photography seems to be getting better and better with the more practice I commit to the hobby. Just recently this particular photo has been garnering a lot of praise and attention in online circles:

I shot this back in mid-October whilst practicing my nighttime photography skills (again) in the Brooklyn Heights section of the city (again). This is the Manhattan Bridge, and I took it while standing in the freezing cold (for October) and what seemed to be gale force winds. I had to struggle to keep the tripod stable long enough for the super long exposure I needed to achieve this shot.

But hey, pretty nifty, eh? I mean, if I do say so myself! What I really love about this photo--besides the awesome color palette and that super shiny, creamy looking water surface--is that you can spy the very tip of the Empire State Building peeking out of the skyline there in the background. It was lit up purple on this night, but I have no idea why. The ESD lights up with different colors depending on which noble cause or person the city is commemorating on any given night. Or perhaps the lighting person in charge likes the artist, Prince, a lot?

Who knows. But, yeah ... so apparently a lot of people love this particular photo. And that makes me feel all tingly proud inside! I'm thinking of having it blown out to hang on my wall at home. What do you think?

Panama Trip - Day 1: Here There Be Balboas!

In late May, 2017 I embarked on a trip of a lifetime. A trip to Panama's steamy tropical province, Bocas del Toro. Now, before 2017 ...