Friday, December 29, 2006

The last working day of the year

Time just flies by and we'll be old before we know it. Feels like yesterday when I twisted my ankle at the last new year's eve. 2006 could have been better, but then it could have been worse. Hopefully, I'll have an uneventful new year's eve this time around, and a great year head. Happy New Year, folks! Here's to great times ahead!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Gael Garcia Bernal


After seeing The Motorcycle Diaries, I've been reading up about this really amazing Mexican actor - his choice of films is just amazing (a word that pops up often when Bernal is mentioned) - Amores Perros, Y tu mamá también, El crimen del Padre Amaro, and more recently, The Science of Sleep and The King.

What is really commendable is that Bernal has established himself as an interesting actor without having done any Hollywood movies (Babel is the only big budget Hollywood movie he's done so far). I remember the first ever movie that I saw of Johnny Depp (Ed Wood) and itching to see more. Bernal is far more subtle an actor than Depp, and I think its going to be a pleasure watching him. Can't wait.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Oh No!

Bono is to be knighted. How dumb!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Filmy weekend

Watched a lot of movies over the weekend - Happy Feet, Star Wars Episode II, How the Grinch stole Christmas, etc. But the one thing that hit me was The Motorcycle Diaries.

Based on the road trip undertaken by Ernesto "Che" Guevara and his friend Alberto Granada across the South American continent, the movie is one of the best I've seen recently.

In 1952, Ernesto "Fuser" Guevara and his friend Alberto, start from Buenos Aires on a rusty old motorcycle (The Mighty One, which is anything but) to spend time working at a leper colony in the Peruvian Amazon, and reach Venezuela in time for Alberto's 30th birthday. They miss that deadline but the trip takes them across the Andes, Chile, the Atacama Desert and into the Amazon. Short of cash and often hungry, the friends devise ingenious methods to stay afloat, including getting a paper to publish an article on their ambitious trip.

It is not all fun and games, however, as Ernesto begins to emerge from the safe, warm cocoon that was his life in Buenos Aires. The human suffering he sees, across various parts of South America slowly seeps into him, sowing the seeds for the revolutionary that he would become later in life. By the time Ernesto and Alberto reach Venezuela, you can actually see how much the young man has changed.

Walter Salles, the director, has done a wonderful job in this film. This could have easily descended into a leftist, political movie, but Salles gives us a deeply personal account of what amounted to a life changing event in Che's life. The mining couple (Ernesto gives them the precious American dollars that his girlfriend gave him to buy her a bathing suit), the Native Indian woman who remembers a better life, the visit to Machu Picchu, the leper colony separated from the healthy by the mighty Amazon - one can understand that effect it must have had on a sensitive and intelligent 23 year old. (How I wish I had been that 23-year old!). Some might argue that Che has been idealized in this movie, but then Hollywood has idealized men far less worthy and Che's communist leanings don't change the fact that he was a great revolutionary.

This is my first Gael Garcia Bernal movie and the guy is just amazing! I finally understand why people rave about him so. Bernal is the actor who seems like a average looking guy in a few pictures and in some makes you wonder why he is so lusted after. But once he is on screen you understand why - he transforms into something else, he has amazing screen presence and is so endearing as the shy, sensitive young man who doesn't know the Mambo from the Tango. Must see more of this guy's movies!

Verdict: Apocalypse Now and American Beauty left indelible impressions on me. I was in my teens when I watched the first and 21 when I watched the second, more impressionable ages to be sure. But The Motorcycle Diaries made me sad - sad for having to grow up, for being caught up in everyday life, for not believing in pretty much anything. Che was a lucky guy. Loved the movie, a must see for anyone who has ever itched to get away from it all. A fitting description of my reaction to the movie would be Jack Kerouac's words from On the Road:

I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!"

Friday, December 22, 2006

Holiday grumble

Just started getting into the holiday groove when the stinker arrived. Ah, life! I need some cheer, seriously! Motorcycle Drive By playing on my earphones. God bless Third Eye Blind.

In other news, the last (hopefully) Harry Potter book will be named "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I've probably posted this before, but...

We're perched headlong on the edge of boredom
We're reaching for death at the end of a candle
We're trying for something that's already found us

Wow, I'm sick of doubt
Live in the light of certain south
Cruel bindings
The servants have the power
Dog-men & their mean women
Pulling poor blankets over our sailors

I'm sick of dour faces
Staring at me from the T.V. Tower,
I want roses in my garden bower; dig?

Royal babies, rubies must now replace
Aborted Strangers in the mud
- Jim Morrison.

Dragon's virgin birth

Komodo dragons have exhibited parthenogenesis! For the uninitiated, that how the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park were able to reproduce, even though there were only females on the island. Its amazing how some reptilian species adapt to adverse environments. Yet another reason why we should respect them. Must plan that South East trip to see some dragons soon.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I am macaca

S.R. Sidarth - Salon Person of the Year

"The Virginia native and son of Indian immigrants changed history with a camcorder and introduced Sen. George Allen to the real America."

Youtube's been blocked. No more video posts, till I find a way around.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Aside

Hmmm

Wanted to post some Led Zeppelin, but the video quality is really poor. And the audio is even worse. Here's some Goo Goo Dolls instead - a big favourite when I was at college. Not to mention the crush I had on John Rzeznik, what a voice! This one is called Broadway.


Monday, December 18, 2006

Weekend Movies

Watched The Doors last night. The last time I watched it, I was in school or early college and was totally fascinated by The Doors (Morrison and the music). This time around, the music brought tears to my eyes, but I kept thinking how Morrison could write such beautiful words and still have been such a p#&@k. Well, I still love the guy, so I'll blame Val Kilmer for it :).


Finally managed to watch Casino Royale. The movie has several firsts for a Bond film:
  • Bond can fight and looks like he can take out a dozen guys by himself.
  • Bond is intense and brooding, and really,really HOT.
  • No Q - but that doesn't mean that there are no gadgets, its just that they are more believable (remember Brosnan and the amazing weight lifting watch?).
  • A well defined character for the female lead.
  • The recipe for Bond's vodkatini and the reason why its shaken, not stirred.
  • Multiple shots of Bond's buff body in powder blue swimming trunks - Bond is the babe in this one. Take a look:



Verdict: Not bad. I mean the movie ;)

I am Time Person of the Year, and so are You

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Heart shaped box

One of my favourites. Cobain looks so insane in it. Not to mention the Christ imagery.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Smells like Teen Spirit

The song that turned Nirvana into something they probably didn't want to be.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Lithium

Some Nirvana this week. A song that's close to my heart.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Why I'll watch Apocalypto

Mel Gibson has done it again! What started out as one scene in Braveheart evolved into a full blown torture in The Passion. And now he wants to take it further with Apocalypto where he has been accused of depicting the Maya as a mindless and bloodthirsty people who deserved to be wiped out.

I am no expert on any civilization, but I have read enough National Geographic magazines to know that the Maya belonged to a highly advanced civilization that ruled for nearly 1000 years. Yes, they did have human sacrifices, probably tortured people, but then which civilization didn't? Mel Gibson himself portrayed it so barbarously in the Passion, didn't he? Didn't the medieval church take especial joy in torturing the so-called heretics? How would it be if someone made a movie which depicted Christians as a torture happy people who loved burning people?

That said, I'll still grit my teeth during the bloodbath and watch it. Why? Because it would still be the closest I'd get to seeing a civilization that captured my imagination when I was a kid. Pity it has to be a dumb bloke whose movie gives me that chance. The Maya deserve better!

The Prestige

"Are you watching closely?" says the magician showing off a trick to a little girl at the beginning of the movie. And so does Chris Nolan. For if you are not, you'd probably miss quite a few of the many sleights of hand Nolan performs in the movie. Shot in variable time (Nolan, please get over Memento, its even been copied in my native tongue!), the movie is peppered with million of clues and if the viewer fails to spot them, well tough luck. Nolan overdoes the clever clues bit here, and the viewer tends to get lost in an otherwise well intentioned thriller.

The Prestige is about two rival magicians - Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) and Rupert Angier (Hugh Jackman), whose obsessive rivalry culminates in the apparent murder of Angier at the hands of Borden. Working as ringers for an established magician, Borden is the "natural" magician while Angier is the consummate showman. Rivalry turns into obsession when Borden invents an astounding trick which appears to move him from one closed cabinet to another in the blink of an eye.

Convinced that Borden's act is the real deal, Angier seeks help from acclaimed physicist Nikola Tesla (who had a similar rivalry with Thomas Edison in real life over Alternating Current!). Angier returns with some seriously impressive looking equipment and proceeds to announce 100 final acts of his show, at the end of one such show, he is murdered by Borden. Is Angier really dead? Is Borden's trick real? If so, how does he do it? Does Tesla's machine really work as well we are led to believe? The movie raises more questions than answers, and if you are left befuddled, you have only yourself to blame for not being as clever as the movie.

The casting couldn't have been more apt - Angier's innate charm and showmanship earns him more sympathy even when his character seems every bit as bad as Borden's, who is a better magician. In real life, Jackman is more the more popular of the two with his image as the charming, nice guy while Bale is a notch lower even though he is clearly the better actor. Michael Caine as Harry Cutter, Angier's illusion engineer is brilliant as usual. David Bowie as Tesla is a total scream! Scarlett Johansson is wasted here.

Verdict - Nowhere near Memento, but not bad.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Happy Birthday Jim!

Jim Morrison was born on 8 Dec 1943.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Clauses’ Mediterranean Vacation

This is a story that my cousin Siddarth wrote. He's 10.

The Clauses’ Mediterranean Vacation
On Christmas Eve all the little helpless, vulnerable children were making their wish list. Well….all except Jackie Paper. Jackie thought “Why should everybody ask Santa for a gift? Maybe I can give him a gift this year. I should ask him to take vacation to a place that he likes the most”. Jackie also convinced his neighbors to ask Santa for the same thing.

In his block Jackie convinced 52 children to ask Santa to go on vacation. Some kids had suggested some places that they thought Santa would enjoy. But other kids had left $30 near the milk and cookies to help fund his vacation. Jackie also wanted to request Santa in person and decided to stay awake. But little Jackie could not keep his eyes open another second after 11:59:59 pm. He missed Santa by few somewhere near a minute, because Santa always came at 12:01:29 am.

When Santa saw all those little children’s request, he was overwhelmed by the affection because, every generation before this, the children just participated in Christmas for the presents. He thought to himself, “Ho-Ho-Ho. These younger generations have changed. These younger generations have changed. Later he finished distributing the presents. Santa also brought home all the milk, cookies and presents that were left for him by the children.

Couple of hours later Santa was back at his home in the North Pole. He told Mrs. Clause and the reindeer about the affectionate notes that the children had left for him. Mrs. Clause and the reindeer were also pretty surprised because, Santa had never gotten notes this affectionate before. Mrs. and Mr. Clause decided to give it a thought.
The next morning a booming voice from inside the mansion said, “pack your bags, we are going to the Mediterranean”. All the reindeer got very excited and started to pack their bags with everything they might need. When the reindeer asked Santa when the trip was, Santa said they were leaving in two days. Reindeer started getting really, really excited and started dancing around.

The day of leaving arrived. All the reindeer double-checked their bags to make sure they have the necessary items. While Santa was getting his special ear medication, all the reindeer loaded their bags in the stretch-limousine’s trunk. In the airport they retrieved the bags and followed Santa. When Santa looked back he saw them following him and Mrs.Clause, with baggage, to the check-in counter. He looked back and asked loudly “why are you following me. Did I ever say you reindeer are coming with me? I need someone to take care of the mansion”.

The reindeer couldn’t believe what they were hearing. It had never occurred to them that Santa only meant him and Mrs. Clause. All of them were at the verge of having an emotional breakdown. The reindeer got so frustrated they started randomly blaming and kicking each other in a very clumsy manner. Immediately Santa realized the misunderstanding and promised them that right after Mrs. & Mr. Clause returned from the Mediterranean they would give all the reindeer a special coupon for an all day reindeer spa. This calmed the reindeer down and they stopped blaming each other. Santa used this point of time when the reindeer were calm to his advantage. He said, “hey Prancer, you are the leader. Rudolf, you are the second in command if something happens to Prancer”. He also stated that Rudolf would choose the third in command and the third in command would choose the fourth in command etc.. “Bye Bye” Santa said in his loud, bellowing voice. Santa said it so loud that everyone in the airport said it back to him.

Santa had left a list of phone numbers and his address in case of emergency. One day later Santa called and told them that he had reached on time and was having a nice time in his private island. His island in Mediterranean had everything one could imagine of. The reindeer were desperate to hear more about it.

So, Santa sent a bunch of pictures to Prancer via. Internet. Prancer called a meeting of all the reindeer to tell them about Santa’s private island. In the evening, all the reindeer assembled and Prancer described the island using a Power Point presentation. Prancer began “ Santa’s island, named ‘The Land of Reindeer’ is located in Mediterranean at latitude 30 degree North and longitude 40 degree South”. After hearing the name all the reindeer started whooping. Prancer waited for the whooping to stop and then continued. “It has everything we could dream of. To start with, it has a theatre, casino, food court, indoor swimming pools and a nice view of the ocean from anywhere you stand. That is were some of the elves are staying because they like the warmer climate better. Santa’s cruise ship is also there, in that island ” finished Prancer.

“ Any questions?” asked Prancer. One of the reindeer asked, “Can we go there?” “No, because we have to take care of the mansion” said Prancer. After all of them ate dinner, it was Rudolf’s turn to do the dishes. Rudolf was complaining while doing the dishes, “why do I have to do it after cleaning the kitchen this morning.” A few hours later after watching a Star Wars movie then went to bed. All twelve of them slept in the same room.

In the morning when Prancer and Rudolf woke up, they saw rest of the reindeer sleeping. All of them looked very tired. Both of them thought that the rest of reindeer were tired because all of them except Prancer and Rudolf were up later watching “Cars”. After having pancakes with maple syrup and butter for breakfast they decided to go on the treadmill. About 12pm Prancer got suspicious about why the other reindeer were still sleeping. He shook them and tried to wake them up but he couldn’t. Prancer got really worried and called the doctor.

In an hour the doctor finally reached and immediately got to the bedroom. Rudolf noticed that the doctor’s face turning different. Rudolf nudged Prancer to notice doctor’s face. A few minutes later the doctor said “did they eat anything odd or unusual last night?”. “No” answered Prancer. Prancer continued, “All of us had Mexican burritos and tacos”. Rudolf suddenly raised his voice and said “hey, why do all of them have a hole like thing near their neck about 1cm deep?”. The doctor examined one of reindeer and noticed that there were few almost microscopic dots of liquid around the hole. The doctor took out couple of glass tubes from his bag. He collected few samples of the microscopic drops and tissue around the injury. The doctor, walking towards the door, said “let me get to my lab right now to test these samples. I will get back to you by tomorrow. Till then, keep a close watch and give them liquid food even if they are half asleep”.

Prancer and Rudolf passed the rest of the day thinking whether they should inform Santa about this sudden unfortunate event. They debated for a couple of hours and finally decided that they should call Santa. They called Santa on the number that Santa had left on the refrigerator. In the first two attempts they got the message “Ho!Ho!Ho! You have reached Santa’s cell phone. I know where you live and whether you are good or bad. Please call again”. Third attempt was successful and Santa picked up the phone. Rudolf was tensed but Prancer was calm. Prancer explained in detail all that happened.

Santa used to do yoga, so he was calm. He listened to Prancer very attentively and said, “OK. I will activate the security system right now. As soon as you hear from the doctor, call me again no matter what time it is”. It seemed like a never-ending evening and night for Prancer and Rudolf. In the morning they got up and were eagerly waiting for the doctor’s call. About 11am the doctor called and said, “I am sorry but your brothers have been paralyzed.” Prancer and Rudolf got so annoyed they broke a vase. They immediately called Santa and informed what the doctor. Santa growled and said, “I think it is the cunning act of Azula. She is one of the most dangerous criminals. Based on your description of the wound and liquid it is paralysis dart. This particular type of dart is called Dart 007 and can only be found in the Ice Pick Club. I think I have paralysis cure ointment in my medicine closet in the blue room. Good luck”.

Prancer and Rudolf immediately leaped to the medicine closet in the blue room, got the ointment and applied it on the wounds. Like magic all the reindeer went “huh…huh…huh” and stood up. Rudolf said, “You have been paralyzed for a day. And we know who did it to you…Azula the rough woman”. All of them immediately went to the sleigh/weapon garage, picked up a sleigh that was fast and could hold a dozen reindeer and picked up weapons that may be necessary, like a plasma canon, a few smoke bombs and many baseball bats.

They reached the Ice Pick Club in about two hours. Prancer stuck his head in the entry hole and a security guy asked for the password. He slammed the door open and sent the security guy flying. All the reindeer went in single file. Ice Pick Club is known for its members with criminal background. Once such member was watching the security guy getting thrown said “this means war!!”. In all of two minutes every single Ice Pick Club member, except Azula, who were in the Club at that time was either moaning on the ground or lying down unconscious. During the rumble Prancer saw Azula escape into a room. Rudolf caught a criminal named Joe Bazooka (he got the name Bazooka because he was selling Bazookas). Prancer and Rudolph forced Joe to reveal where Azula was headed. He said, “Azula is headed to the Mediterranean. Please don’t hurt me”.

Prancer and Rudolf threw Joe on the ground, and immediately took off with all the reindeer. They called Santa and told him about Azula coming his way, to the Mediterranean. Santa beefed up his security by getting troops of elves stand around his island. Since elves could clone themselves at will, within minutes the island protected with elves holding super forceful Bebe guns. To Rudolf, Santa said “get over here ASAP, all of you”.

Santa’s control tower spotted a flying object coming near his island. He thought it was Azula and instructed elves to guard the runway. In a few minute the sleigh that looked like an aircraft landed, the doors hissed open, all the elves cocked their gun and aimed. When the door opened, to everyone’s surprise 12 reindeers came out. Santa greeted all the reindeer warmly and let them guard the runaway so that elves could guard the airspace on hovercraft that could hover up to 152 ft. In a few minutes another jet was spotted. The elves cocked their guns and fired at will. The wings of the aircraft got dented. The aircraft was going in for crash landing. About 20ft from the shoreline the aircraft plunged into the ocean. The plane floated back up and Azula came out. She was armed with a flamethrower. She swam ashore, with the flamethrower, hurdled over all the elves, held the flamethrower up to Santa’s head and screamed in her commanding, spine chilling voice, “one false move from any of you and Santa won’t be around for next Christmas”.

Azula had forgotten about the reindeer, as she didn’t expect them to reach before her. Behind her she thought she heard footsteps. Azula turned around carelessly for a second or two. Santa used this opportunity to trip her to the ground. He snatched the flamethrower and held it at her head. Santa didn’t want to kill her but make her suffer the consequences. Azula tried to kick Santa but before she did everyone heard a “ vshhhhhhhooom” sound. Next thing they saw was Azula falling for the last time.

Santa, in a gleeful mood, shouted “Ho!Ho!Ho! Azula is gone for good. Since I am so happy I am going to take all of you to Vegas. Now for the second time in less than two days the reindeer fell down paralyzed. But this they didn’t need cure because they were paralyzed by happiness!!

One year later Santa received several letters from children to go on a cruise. This time he didn’t want to take any risk by leaving reindeer alone. So wrote back to Jackie Paper requesting him to stay in Santa’s mansion and take care the reindeer.


Comments invited!

Moonlight drive

This song was probably the primary reason why The Doors got together. Great imagery. This video also features Horse Latitudes.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Are we still cave-women?

A recent article says that women still are very much dependent on men, no matter how successful they are individually.

In evolutionary terms the huge cultural changes over the past generation amount simply to the merest blink of an eye. It could take another 10,000 years for women to change their thinking.Quite simply, women are preprogrammed to feel dependent on men. Even today women may be richer and enjoy all the trappings of success but, deep down in their psyche, they fear they can't survive alone.These women may be shooting up the career ladder and earning more than the men in their lives, but when it comes to relationships men still hold the trump card.

I have seen women behave irrationally in a relationship, but I hope that the author is wrong about the whole dependency theory. Besides, the primary reason why women look for socially superior men is to ensure that their fragile egos don't get bruised and lead to relationship troubles. I wonder what today's women have to say to this?


Jesus Camp

A chilling documentary of where America is headed.




The video has been removed, you can watch the trailers at youtube.

The Doors

I'm trying a new thing here - posting music that I really like. If by chance someone reading this blog gets to listen to some awesome music, I'll be doing my bit to make this world a happier place. Along with the music, I'll try and post some lyrics and links for information about the artists.

Now anybody who knows me wont be surprised by my choice for the first band - The Doors. Formed in 1965, Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore and Robby Krieger played their music straight to my heart. I worshipped Morrison while I was at college and their music still remains very dear to me. This one is called "Not to touch the earth":


Will I be blocked?

The Indian government plans to block any blog/website that would potentially threaten national security. This would enable blocking of websites at the sub-domain level. I wonder what the criteria for such a block would be - governments can justify just about anything in the name of national security, can't they?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Back

Back after an extended vacation ("medical tourism", according a friend) after multiple visits to doctors for self and family. Three weeks just flew by. Being back will get better after a couple of days I suppose. Starting off with:



Great video, great song. Wikipedia has the details.

Friday, November 10, 2006

At last

Today isn't just any Friday - its THE Friday. Yes, I am off on a two week vacation back home. Been a bit under the weather - food poisoning, viral infection - the works. But managed to get my first solo report out on Wednesday, which wasn't so bad. Just waiting to go home now.

Nathaniel at Film Experience posted this:

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Song of the day

3 Doors Down - when they were good.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Default

Been hearing this band on Pandora, kinda like them. This is the one I like best, could manage only an anime video:

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ennui, and the lack of juice

When you cant taste the tangy orange flavour of juice in your mouth
When food turns into ashes under your swollen tongue
When music is a wild haired demon pounding at your ears
When there is no beauty left to admire
You need to snuggle back inside the covers and shut it all out.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Glory days

Bought my first pair of running shoes a couple of weeks ago and now the doctor tells me that I should walk only if necessary. Apparently I've damaged my knees doing almost nothing. Goodbye squash! Time to look at swimming lessons, methinks.

Monday, October 30, 2006

One post too many?

Couldn't resist blogging this-

Here is the atheist prayer: that our reason will subjugate our superstition, that our intelligence will check our illusions, that we will be able to hold at bay the evil temptation of faith.

A really thought provoking article after so long.

Very short stories

Wired's very short stories collection is super good fun. Have to agree with Kitabkhana, Joss Whedon's entry is a killer!

Hmmm

Went to the doc to see if my back was alright after my little stunt trying to get off a running train. Turned out that my back was ok, but an old knee problem turned out to be something else. In response to my question if it could be cured, the doctor told me that it could be kept under control (!). I guess he saw my face shrink then, because he told me we'd discuss how good or bad it is after I get my X-rays done. Told me to stop playing squash - the one thing that makes me forget everything else. Will get to know today how bad (or good) it is. Man, I'm too young for this shit!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Support Firefox

An early convert to the Firefox browser, I hate it when I am sitting on a strange PC and have to use Internet Explorer. With all due respect, IE sucks! Now Microsoft has launched a new version of IE that has supposedly copied some of Firefox's best features - tabbed browsing, web feeds, the works. While I am positive that Firefox will continue to remain the better browser, I would like to take the opportunity to urge all non users to please switch to Firefox. Firefox currently claims 11.5% market share (IE is at around 85%, mainly because it bundled with Windows)- each percentage point has been hard earned and it would be a shame to lose any of it. So, if you don't have Firefox yet, get it now!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rest, music and cute guys who are gay

Got some much needed rest over the last 2 days before I ruined it with bad sleep and a fall off the train. Bought some good music (Third Eye Blind, Marilyn Manson), books. Saw Open Season, not bad. Shared browsing space with Rehan Engineer (actor and playwright) in the graphic novel section at Landmark. Guys who are cute, smart and read graphic novels should not be allowed to be gay! Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against gay people, just that its such a waste when such a guy is gay and wont even look at a woman.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Idiot

Still beating myself up for having been such a dunce. I mean, if I had just put my foot down, I would be at home now. Dunce!

Highlight of the weekend - spent some time watching some friends jam on Sunday - those guys were just amazing with their guitars. I wish they would form a band and play their kickass music. Such a rush!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Friday

Indian, Indian, what did you die for?
Indian says, Nothing at all...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Grouse

I enjoy my work, its just that I so hate the establishment! Song of the day:

Monday, October 16, 2006

Monday Morning Blues

Boy, I HATE Monday mornings! Reminder of the real world - work, career (or lack thereof), bosses, results, late nights. It would all be palatable provided I were getting somewhere by working my ass off. At present, it looks like I'm slogging away for nothing at all.

Anyway, had a relaxed weekend - pampered and polished my tired muscles, then tired them out some more playing squash, shopped for music (Godsmack, Ozzy, Oasis, Progressive hits... bliss!). Lunch at TGIF with a cool drink and a really yummy salad (5 stars!!). Watched Nagesh Kukunoor's Dor.

Dor is a quiet, warm movie about 2 women who are brought together through the death of one's husband at the hands of the other's. Zeenat (Gul Panag) sets out from the lovely hills of Himachal to obtain clemency for her husband, armed with just a photograph. Her search leads her into rural Rajasthan, where she runs into Beharupiya (Shreyas "Iqbal" Talpade in a really comic turn). Beharupiya turns out to be a crook with a heart who helps her find Meera (Ayesha Takia), the widow who holds Zeenat's fate in her hands. Zeenat befriends the timid Meera and encourages her to break free from the walls that hem her in, even as she continues to feel guilty for her deception. Meera, in the meanwhile, has to contend with in-laws who blame her for their misfortunes and plot to barter her flesh with the lecherous Mr. Chopra (Kukunoor, who is too cute to look the part).

The ending is predictable, even funny (think DDLJ with a lesbian twist). But then, Kukunoor has always had trouble with how his films end (Iqbal being an exception). Kukunoor ventures into unexplored territory (for him) in Dor - drama. And wisely stays away from over dramatizing it - no buckets of tears and laments from anyone here. There is a really touching scene where the newly widowed Meera dances to her favourite Bollywood number even as she feels guilty that she should be in mourning, you realize just how young she is for a fate like that.

The cinematography is captivating - Kukunoor takes full advantage of the beauty of the landscapes he is shooting in. The very landscapes are symbolic of the difference between worlds the two women inhabit, yet linked by the wild, untamed nature of both.

What I really like about the movie is that it is feminist without being too obvious about it (take a few lessons Tanuja Chandra, Kalpana Lajmi). The protagonists Zeenat and Meera are not in your face, bra-burning, women's libbers - they are just trying to live their lives by their own rules in a society that expects them to toe the line. Kukunoor has created women who are more like you and me than a faux rock star. And his choice of cast works well for him - Gul Panag does justice to her role, Sheryas Talapade is endearing, but its Ayesha Takia who walks away with our hearts as the simple and innocent village girl who is laced with steel inside. I hope she gets better parts in Bollywood post Dor.

Verdict - Kukunoor is getting to be a really interesting director, Must watch.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Still here

I know that I'm being such a woman about it, but I really like this number - it'll always stay relevant!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Disconnect

I might lose my access to the Internet pretty soon. Time to get that laptop and broadband connection, I suppose. Till then, I'll have to find a way to post whenever I can.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Song of the day

Storm in a tea cup

The ebb of a once promising premise
Long, winding roads inhabit this life
Muscles drip sweat with exertion - the miracle of love
Old men ogle chorus girls in tight white shirts
Cruels grins split pretty faces open
Mad monks sell luxury cars
And Ginsberg's corpse rots away like roadkill...

Friday, October 06, 2006

300

The teasers for 300, the upcoming movie based on Frank Miller's (Sin City) graphic novel, look awesome! The novel/movie is the story of battle between the Spartan King Leonidas, who fights the invading Persian army with just 300 soldiers. The trailer is finger licking good! Can't wait for the movie to hit the screens. I wonder if it'll ever release in India - Sin City didn't. A few screencaps:

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A flying start?

Started the week listening to "Given to fly" by Pearl Jam. Pandora seems to be in a benevolent mood today, its playing all my favourites - Pearl Jam, the Smashing Pumpkins, Greenday. Woo hoo! Nice and peppy after coming back to work reluctantly after a long weekend.

2 pairs of fish - golden and kissing gouramis - have added colour to my aquarium. They also seem to have scared the wits out of this big bully that bit 2 on my Danios to death. Hopefully, he'll get his act in shape and refrain from killing the only other Danio left. And I've finally stopped feeling awful about my fish dying. Which is a good thing, because they have much shorter life spans than the average human.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

In the name of ...

A Mozart opera that features the severed heads of Jesus, Buddha, Poseidon and Prophet Mohammed has been cancelled over fears of trouble from the Islamic community. Even as the debate rages over freedom of expression and self-censorship, one should stop to think why nobody is worried about irking the Church and the Buddhists, or dead Greeks for that matter! Did M.F. Hussain withdraw his painting of a Hindu goddess nude on horseback for fear of religious activists bombing his house? Art should be without fear, and without freedom of expression, we might as well descend into the Dark Ages!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Let me out, let me out...

Dull days on and ahead. Finished the Cryptonomicon. Loved it, but too gone to attempt a review. Attended a wedding over the weekend. Strange, how strangers get married to each other. Back to the mind-numbing routine. Bright spot - 6 books from Landmark for Rs900/-. Song for the day - Dream on by Aerosmith.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

And again...

I'm getting pretty tired of running to stay still, this endless tedium. Somebody help me before my brain starts to atrophy.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Monday Hotness

Julian McMahon - haven't seen much of his work, but boy.... nice cure for the Monday blues!


And in other news, sometimes really tricky issues get solved in a second. Yay!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Shouldn't the world owe us or something?

Doing the right thing shouldn't be so hard. And being grown up shouldn't be such a pain. Life is such a bitch!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Better day

Still sad about Steve Irwin - can't believe it, its not like I knew the guy. Otherwise had a good start to the day. Got to hear some nice things about my capabilities, even though nothing might come about because of that. Heard a nice number yesterday:

I need to find my destiny.
Drop my anchors, set me free.
You don't know how it feels,
'Till your hand is on the wheel.
Drop my anchor, set me free.

Rise and fall,
Climb the walls.
Won't stop till I have it all.
Persistence.
Resistance.
One man can make a difference.
The battle's inside of me.
The fight's begun, but not yet won.
And I won't become one more casualty.
- Casualty, Marty Casey & Lovehammers.

Surprised that Marty Casey was a Rockstar: INXS runner up.

Monday, September 04, 2006

RIP

I am so stunned! The man who made me look at reptiles - crocs in particular - with new found respect, is dead. Steve Irwin, popularly known as the Crocodile Hunter, died after being pierced by a sting ray barb while shooting for a documentary. Irwin was famous for wrestling with crocs and plunging recklessly into dangerous situations, so its rather sad that he had to go this way.

What impressed me about Irwin was that he really seemed to care about the animals, you could almost feel his passion reaching out through the TV tube. I remember watching a show when he sat amongst a lemur family for hours in order for the lemurs to get used to his presence. I stopped watching his show after a few years though, when it became difficult to see where the man ended and the persona began. Still, a great loss.

Friday, September 01, 2006

At last... the week ends!

I was beginning to get scared that the week would last forever. Phew, its finally over! How long before i get a break? Still on Cryptonomicon - 300 pages and it just gets better and better. And it has made me laugh out loud for no apparent reason while in a crowd, when I wasn't reading it.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Today

Bored. Bummed. Spaced out. Vacant. Tired. Restless. Weary. Jaded. Irked. BORED.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Nice read

Bob Dylan thinks that all modern music is trash. Maybe true of most modern music. But methinks he lost the post of music god when he actually appeared in a Victoria's Secret commercial. Interesting read, though. Btw, don't you think that Bob looks like he could be Ian McKellen's brother in this pic?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The haze lifts

Today is the greatest
Day I've ever known
Can't live for tomorrow,
Tomorrow's much too long
I'll burn my eyes out
Before I get out

I wanted more
Than life could ever grant me
Bored by the chore
Of saving face

Today is the greatest
Day I've ever known
Can't wait for tomorrow
I might not have that long
I'll tear my heart out
Before I get out

Pink ribbon scars
That never forget
I tried so hard
To cleanse these regrets
My angel wings
Were bruised and restrained
My belly stings

Today is
The greatest day
I want to turn you on
I want to turn you

Today is the greatest
Today is the greatest day
Today is the greatest day
That I have ever really known...
- Today, The Smashing Pumpkins.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The joy of discovery

Its a great feeling when you start reading a book and realize that you are reading something really amazing. In the recent past, its been very tough to get excited about writers. Not that there haven't been any - Kazuo Ishiguro, Neil Gaiman, Orhan Pahmuk, and now... Neal Stephenson.

Haiku, physics, math, computers, great wit - Cryptonomicon is a real treat. I'm so excited!!

The weekend

Spent the better part of the weekend sick before caving in and starting my third course of antibiotics in 2 months (2nd this month!). Did I mention that I blew some money shopping? Watched 'Click' - not bad. But not good enough to merit a review either. Back to work and still woozy. Meds not helping as much as they should. Song in my head:

Don't you think you oughtta rest?
Don't you think you oughtta lay you head down?
Don't you think you want to sleep?
Don't you think you oughtta lay your head down tonight?

Don't you think you've done enough?
Oh, don't you think you've got enough, well maybe..
You don't think there's time to stop
There's time enough for you to lay your head down, tonight...
- All those yesterdays, Pearl Jam. Will someone send me the song please?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Wish list

I wish that ...
I had won a million dollars in a lottery I didn't buy
I was a caped crusader fighting crime with Wolverine at my side
I was Bertram Wooster sipping one of Jeeves' restoratives
I was a brilliant flash of blinding light
I was in Brazil, studying anacondas in the Amazon
I could fly to space and find the man on the moon
The pounding in my head would stop and my nose would clear up
I were anywhere but here and now.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Song in my head

In with the early dawn
Moving right along
I couldn'’t buy an eye full of sleep
And in the aching night
Under satellite
I was not received
Built with the stolen parts
A telephone in my heart
Someone get me a priest
To put my mind to bed
This ringing in my head
Is this a cure or is this a disease...

- Audioslave, Show me how to live

Surprisingly bold

Went to watch Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (KANK) thinking that I was in for a boring, 3-hour movie. I was pleasantly surprised when I came out of the theatre and realized that I actually liked it. I hated Karan Johar's Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, missed K3G, didn't like Kal Ho Na Ho much. But with KANK, Karan Johar looks like he's trying to break out of the mould - extra marital affairs, strong women who are not ashamed of putting career over family, and a sex scene - he is definitely growing up.

Early in the movie, the married protagonist Dev (Shah Rukh Khan) tells Maya, the confused bride-to-be (Rani Mukherji) that she could either keep waiting for the right guy to come along or she could be happy. (Ouch, that hit a little too close to home!) She takes his advice, only to be trapped in a loveless marriage with a seemingly perfect guy, Rishi. (Abhishek Bachchan, yummy as ever!). She runs into an embittered Dev years later, who is also having trouble accepting that his wife Rhea (Preity Zinta) is far more successful than he is. Inevitably, they are drawn to each other even as they give each other tips to sort out their respective marital issues.

Johar manages to capture the guilt and agony of a couple in an illicit relationship - they realize that they are going to hurt people they love, but cant stay away from each other. Nobody is portrayed as the bad guy here - Zinta's character starts off with a negative vibe, but Johar quickly demolishes the concept of a career-woman-who-cares-a-damn-about-family. Johar also gets the basics right - 3 years after a divorce, Rishi gets married again, but Rhea prefers to wait and take care of her career and son instead.

That doesn't mean that the movie isn't saccharine sweet, or that performances are subtle. Rani is good, as usual. Shah Rukh is well, Shah Rukh - he doesn't do justice to the character. Preity and Abhishek are adequate. Kiron Kher and Amitabh Bachchan are over the top. Imagine a 60+ lecher giving you relationship advice! The Big B is getting way too irritating these days.

Verdict: Not bad. A bold attempt.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Stagnant

Have you ever had those phases when life seems to slow down, and you feel like you aren't going anywhere? A friend who just started a new job with hopes of an exciting work life asked me, " Are all jobs going to be this boring?". I am stuck in a groove...

A dear friend changed his nick on MSN to 'The Fly'. Been listening to U2's 'The Fly' ever since. Addictive.

Look, I gotta go, yeah I'm running outta change
There's a lot of things, if I could I'd rearrange...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Lunch with Nandan

I thought that the 2 hour high energy performance by KK on Sunday night would be the high point of the Infosys Analyst meet held at Mysore on Sunday and Monday. I am so glad that I was wrong. I was just beginning lunch the next day, when I heard a voice say " Could I join you?". I looked up and had to try my best not to act like an excited school girl. It was the man himself - Nandan Nilekani, President, MD and CEO of Infosys. I mean, it wasn't the first time that I was talking to him. But having lunch with your favourite CEO (who you have a huge crush on) is something else. Made. my. day. Boy, I love this job!

Under pressure

Friday, July 28, 2006

Tee hee hee...

The money grabbing, boring-to-death (at present, not in the past), rich band finally realized that they were missing out on earning more money. So, what did they do? Signed up with iTunes!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Another year gone by...

The three Js of music - Jim (Morrison), Jimi (Hendrix) and Janis (Joplin, not John Lennon) died when they were around 27. Back in college, 27 seemed like a good age to die. I am 27 today, and my sweet little Bengal Danio died this morning. He was bad last night, and it was heart breaking to watch him struggle. I still don't mind dying at any age, but its so bad to watch your pet die on your birthday.

Friday, July 21, 2006

On blogging

I gave up all thoughts and desire of being a writer a really long time ago. But did I? When blogger came up, I was pretty reluctant to start blogging. Seemed like a really hard thing to do. After over two years of blogging, I can safely say that I cant imagine not being able to blog. Doesn't matter if anybody reads it or not - its a great place to express yourself. Looks like quite a lot of people agree.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Breather

Finally managed to get a break after days of near back-breaking work. Result season is such a drag. Can't wait to go over to Pune over the weekend to meet my dear little brother.

By the way, the Indian government has decided not to block blogspot at a domain level, so should be able to view my posts without resorting to other measures.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Exhausted but happy


Went on a trek to Tungareshwar near Vasai in Thane district with 8 other people. Started off at 9 from Borivali on a horribly crowded Virar train. Reached the base at 10 and started walking up a fairly crowded trail to the Shiva temple there. Right next to the temple was a river mouth with sparkling clean water that put some real life into us. Lunched there and started the real trek up to the ashram up in the hills.

A 5 minute shower chased away the heat and humidity that was beginning to affect the group, and we continued with renewed vigour. About 50 minutes into the trail, my friend and I realized that we had left the others far behind. We plodded on, meeting some really interesting folks on the way - botanists, bird watchers, photography enthusiasts. We reached a lovely plateau at about 3, sat there and watched the cows graze and got nostalgic about B-school. The others in the meantime, had proceeded to the ashram in search of water.

So we sat at a tiny waterfall that fell into a small pond and watched crabs and frogs for a while. After a while, we started skipping stones on the water and had a little world cup there. Great fun - felt like 10 again! Then the clouds decided to give us a bigger thrill and descended down on us. Walked in the clouds for a while, enjoying the misty feeling. Hated it when we had to head back. Great trip, cant wait to do it again!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Hazy...

Its just one of those things. You know that it is the sensible and practical thing to do. You know you'd probably be very happy in the long run. But somehow, your heart is really not in it. You keeping hoping that something else will happen, something your heart desires - even though you know that nothing of that sort will happen. And there is nothing that your heart desires right now. Why do things have to be so muddled?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The day that rocked Mumbai

Burn the villains who disrupted life in Mumbai yesterday with a series of blasts on the local trains. Intended to inflict maximum damage, the blasts took place during the rush hour, leaving over 150 dead and over 350 wounded. While people are praising Mumbaikars for their spirit and courage, one needs to ask - Who did this? Why didn't the government do anything to stop it? If they had no intelligence about it, why did they allow trains on the Central and Harbour lines to run? Why didn't they stop those trains immediately and check for more bombs? How could they have been so sure that there would be no more blasts? Why are the politicians just blaming each other instead of doing anything? What will they do to ensure this doesn't happen again? Why are the politicos such big bastards??


RIP -Syd Barret has passed away. Shine on you crazy diamond.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Today

The water is murky today, the winds too strong. The rudder seems to be malfunctioning and the boat is adrift. Waiting for the sight of a comforting shore to rest.

Rockstar Supernova

After INXS, its Tommy Lee, Dave Navarro and Jason Newsted who have sold their souls to the devil. Rockstar Supernova is even worse than Rockstar INXS. Its the story of three once-pretty boys-now-aging-rockers trying to making some dough by pretending to be long lost friends trying to throw a band together. To make things worse, they have to say stuff like ' that rocked' and 'way to go' to some godawful contestants. I mean, there was one who sounded like a yowling cat. Such a let down, especially Newsted!

Wishes

I want two days of work with 5 days off. I want bands to make good music. I want to sing out loud. I want my private moment in the crowd. I want love and sunshine. I want ice cream soda and snazzy movies. I want to sit on my porch and watch the world crumble around me. I want a house with a porch. I want madness. I want joy. I want all of life.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The mind is the bridle to the heart

I am sure that we've all had days when we have so wanted to do something that we know is insane. You head tells you to stop it at once but you seem to be beyond reason. There is this weird feeling in the stomach, but you feel like plunging into it recklessly. And it takes a supreme effort of will to stop yourself from descending into chaos.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Rains and mayhem

After almost non-stop rainfall for 4 days, the skies cleared up yesterday and Mumbai returned to normal. Trains kept running despite flooding along the tracks (especially the Western Railway), police were around in case things went wrong, and mobile phones were working without major disruptions. While Mumbaikars breathe a sigh of relief, we must take time to say a few things about a few key players - the Mumbai Muncipal Corporation, State government and the media.

First, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Which hasn't done anything at all since last year's deluge despite tall claims of having done this and that. The BMC says that it has cleaned up the Mithi - well who knows, all we care is that our homes and streets were flooded on the very first day of rains!

The State Government - the CM Mr. Vilasrao Deshmukh went on record to say that 'Mumbaikars were used to such things and that the city would be fixed in another 2-3 years'!! People, please make sure that this guy loses the next election!

The media, which sensationalized everything (as usual), showing pictures of the most flooded areas and extrapolating it to all of Mumbai. The irresponsible media single handedly created enough panic in the city. Not to mention worried family members outside the city. Shame on you!

That said, Mumbai once again displayed courage and resilience, with people refusing to stay at home even with threatening Met forecasts. And a special mention to the teenagers who were in the water, offering directions and support to stranded vehicles and commuters. We are so proud of you! You are the guys who saved the city, not the BMC, not the State Government. And we know that the next time around, we can count on you!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Superman returns, and how!

As a kid, I was totally besotted with Batman. Growing up, I fell in love with the tough guy with adamantium claws - Wolverine. Superman was never a favourite. Batman and Wolverine seemed more 'human' -they had failings, angst... lots of it. Even Bill (Kill Bill, Vol II) extolling the virtues of the true super hero didn't convince me. My point being that he was too good to be true - too righteous, too perfect, too happy to be in his shoes. But the sight of Bryan Singer's Superman soaring through the skies to single handedly stop a plane from crashing and assuring the passengers that flying is statistically the safest way to travel did it for me. I finally realized why Superman is what he is - a super human who can do the impossible!

Singer also does a good job of 'humanzing' Supes. Here, he feels alienation and plenty of angst, just like the modern day super heroes we have come to love. When Lex Luthor and his goons beat him up after weakening him with Kryptonite, he is more man than Superman. (I really hated that scene. I mean, I was finally getting warmed up to the idea of a Superman!). But Singer goes a bit overboard here - Supes gets a tad too human. Warning - Spoiler ahead! Getting beaten up is one thing, but Supes becoming a father? He's a super hero, for chrissake!!

That said, Superman Returns is a mixed bag. The first half is simply great, but the second gets a bit too mushy. This is not a special effects movie, but the scenes of Supes soaring through the air are brilliant. Like a character puts it early in the movie ' you can hear the faint pop of the sonic boom' as Supes enters/exits the atmosphere. Make no mistake, this movie is a romance at heart. Lex and his villainous scheme exist so that he can get close to murdering Supes and Lois can run to save him. We all know what Supes feels for Lois Lane, but it is a little too weepy towards the end.

The casting is pretty neat. Bryan Singer's choice of newcomer works well for the movie. Brandon Routh (have I mentioned that he's Superhot?) channels Christopher Reeve whenever he's in the blue suit, but he is more his own man as Clark Kent. He's goofy, clumsy and extremely endearing. Kevin Spacey gets to have a lot of fun as Lex Luthor, but he doesn't have much to do here. Parker Posey as Lex's girlfriend Kitty is deliciously funny. Hated Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane. James Marsden seems to enjoy roles like these - what a waste! Eva Marie Saint as Martha Kent should have had more screen time. Verdict - Don't miss it.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The US vs John Lennon

Found an interesting trailer at apple.com. Can't wait to see it.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

My favourite movie critic

"But "Superman Returns" gives us something valuable in exchange: We can't control the fate of the world, but the myths we create -- the myths we love -- will endure long after we're gone. Superman, born in 1938, is still very much alive in 2006. The Man of Steel has so skillfully bent the bars of our imagination that he seems real to us. And in a sense, he is."

You 've got to love the way Stephanie Zacharek, senior writer for Salon Arts & Entertainment, writes her reviews. I've been reading Salon for the past 5-6 years, and Zacharek's reviews are my favourite part of the site. A lady who truly loves movies.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Spirits high

Its amazing what a few days of stress free living can do to you. My spirits are up, up and away! The weather also helps. Even the mountain of work that has to be completed by tomorrow doesn't seem to faze me. Eagerly awaiting the weekend to catch Supes in action! In the meantime, here is a hilarious article on the Super Mane

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Relaxed and wanting more relaxation...

A 10 day trip after some grilling work sessions was just what the doctor would have ordered. Went home after nearly a year and came back on Sunday night feeling really rejuvenated. A real vacation! Now its back to the grind - trains and rains, tons of work and not much time for anything else. Why cant vacations last forever?

Btw, continuous exposure to increasingly hotter pics has made me really eager to catch Brandon Routh as the new Supes. Bryan Singer of course, is still the primary reason. Maybe this weekend.

Friday, June 16, 2006

It could've been me...

I really like the Calvin and Hobbes strips that has Calvin turning into a T-Rex or hitching a ride on a pterodactyl. One of the high points of my life was finding a full-sized dinosaur skeleton at the Birla Museum at Hyderabad. I didn't pursue my childhood dream of becoming a paleontologist and going fossil hunting in Mongolia, and I regret it every time I hear about a new fossil. :(

Anyway, going home after almost a year. Should be fun.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Radha and Sita

You should consider yourself lucky if you happen to have a nice boss. To have 2 really nice bosses who value you on your own merits and don't expect you to lick ass or treat you like a serf - its a blessing. Radha(krishnan) and Sita(ram) - my bosses when I was a techie, were just that. Now that I am working in an industry where it is next to impossible to find a half decent boss, I really miss them.

Monday, June 05, 2006

A relaxing weekend

The weekend started off with lovely weather, followed by some pampering at my friend's salon with a great aroma spa. Charged me up enough to party until the wee hours despite a grilling session at the squash court. Sunday was lazy, cooked (for a change!) and lazed around till dinner. Perfect!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Tears in my eyes

Listening to An American Prayer after a really long time....

I'm sick of dour faces
Staring at me from the T.V. Tower
I want roses in my garden bower; dig?
Royal babies, rubies
Must now replace aborted
Strangers in the mud
....

No more money, no more fancy dress
This other kingdom seems by far the best
Until its other jaw reveals incest
And loose obedience to a vegetable law

I will not go
Prefer a feast of friends
To the giant family

Monday, May 29, 2006

Adrenalin rush!

X3 starts off with the much awaited Danger Room scene, which ends in Wolverine slashing off a sentinel's head in classic comic book style. The rush just starts there - the announcement of a cure, the rise of the Phoenix in Lake Alkali, and a host of new characters that includes the super furry Beast, Angel, Juggernaut and Kitty Pryde. The first half tries to do some justice to the characters - Wolvie learns that his beloved Jean Grey has gone over to the dark side, Storm is growing more responsible (and Halle Berry tries to be a better Storm!), and all sorts of mutants line up for the cure. But the second half is more of mind blowing action, which little regard to anything else. Not that I am really complaining; you get to see just how powerful Magneto can be, Bobby Drake finally turns into a full-fledged Iceman, Beast and Storm get some great moves, and Wolvie puts his claws to great use.

That said, I hated quite a lot of things about the movie. Nightcrawler, played by the awesome Alan Cumming in X2, fails to show up. Scott Summers was never one of my favourite characters and I really didn't mind when the first 2 movies didn't do the character justice. But here, he's finished off without a second thought. Professor Xavier is the next to go, while Magneto just sits by and watches! Mystique is cured, as is Rogue, and worst of all - Wolvie and Beast use the cure on Magneto!! Unforgivable. The one thing that kept me from hating it totally was the last scene that hints at Magneto getting his powers back.

Brett Ratner has made a great action movie, but it is a let down after a really great X2. Ratner has bitten off more than he can chew and while he manages to keep the audience fully entertained, he falls short of making a great last stand for the amazing X-Men. Still loved it, though - the movie does manage to capture the essence of the X Men saga, and Ratner has not messed it up (Thank God)! Verdict - Must watch.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Boring


The Da Vinci Code turned out to be one long and boring movie! I suppose that people who haven't read the book and have no sense of history would be left clueless as to what is going on. The movie stays more or less true to the book, but lacks any passion whatsoever. Its a rather distant, clinical reproduction of the book that is more worried about getting the story told than focusing on character building and any real drama. Which leaves very little for the actors to do - Tom Hanks looks lost and bored as Robert Langdon, the Harvard 'symbologist' and towards the end of the movie, seems relieved that the mindless tedium has come to an end. I mean, what kind of a line is "I need to get to a library, fast!" anyway?

Audrey Tautou is cute, but wasted. The real thrills in the movie are the deliciously British Holy Grail enthusiast played by the amazing Ian McKellen and the self-flagellating albino monk played by Paul Bettany. Bettany has really brought Silas to life as a tormented outcast who acts out of blind loyalty towards the scheming Aringarosa. Jean Reno is a treat to watch, as usual.Verdict: So, so.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

2 days left!

Apparently, Brett Ratner has undone quite a lot of what Bryan Singer tried to do in X Men 1 & 2 in terms of character development, and made the movie more special effects oriented. Sounds bad, given that there is plenty of scope for fleshing out the characters, especially Dark Phoenix and the Beast. Anyway, will reserve my judgement till I actually see it on Saturday. Just 2 days away!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Perfect!




Check out Wolvie in X3: X Men - The Last Stand! Isn't he the hottest thing?

Friday, May 19, 2006

On Bangalore, music, Kingfisher, crashing markets, being single...

Spent the weekend at Bangalore with some friends in a pretty cute studio apartment - hit Styx, my favourite spot on Saturday night. The only place I know that plays such awesome music. Loitered around on Sunday, Legends of Rock at night - not bad a place. Met some companies (Infosys, Wipro, the works) on Monday before catching my Kingfisher airlines back to Mumbai. Any airline that has a radio station that plays the Doors gets my vote! Go Kingfisher!! Returned to find the Sensex dropping like a stone, yesterday's 825 point fall was scary. Fingers crossed.

And to round up, everybody seems to be getting hitched/hooking up. Everyone except me that is. Not that I am complaining (maybe just a little), but is it the need for companionship? Or is it just procreation?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Dani California



The new RHCP single Dani California has been playing non-stop on my PC for the past few days. Just love those guys. The video is hilarious, check it out here. Wikipedia has some detailed info on the song.

Monday, May 08, 2006

A bad land for Gods


What do you say about a book that has won awards as the best in SF, fantasy and horror? Neil Gaiman's American Gods is like nothing I've read before. I don't think a review would do the book any justice, but let me try anyway...

Just a few days before his imminent release from prison, Shadow's wife dies in a car crash. On his way to the funeral, Shadow meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday who claims to be the King of America and a God to boot. Wednesday hires Shadow as his chauffeur as he goes about rousing the old gods to fight against the new gods that have taken over America. So begins a wild ride for Shadow, meeting gods from various pantheons who arrived in America with the immigrants and being rescued by various women, including a couple of goddesses and his undead wife, culminating in his hanging from the sacred tree keeping vigil for Wednesday, who is really Odin, the Norse god of war. But is Shadow just a pawn in the game for supremacy between the old gods and the new, or are the gods themselves being set up for a fall? And what exactly is Loki, the god of chaos, up to?

I haven't read any of Gaiman's graphic novels, but he is simply brilliant here. I suppose the reason that the book won awards under so many genres is because it defies any sort of classification. It is one man's journey to self discovery, its science fiction, fantasy, horror, its an insight into the religious heritage of American society & of the lust for power, a subtle critique of soul-less America, and much more. A must read.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Casino Royale


The Casino Royale trailer is out ! It looks as if the Bond franchise is trying to start afresh - Daniel Craig is not really the suave spy we have come to know, and the action sequences seem pretty gritty. Perhaps Casino Royale will actually be a welcome change after the highly synthetic, gadget obsessed Bond films we have seen recently.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Song of the moment

I'm not looking for a warm embrace
I'm not looking for a friendly face
I've got everything I need
I'm not worried if you're coming back
I'm in a hurry 'cause I just found out
I've got everything I need
I've got everything I need
So even if you wanted to

You can't save me
You can't fail me
I'm back up on my feet baby
On the way down
Is when I found out
That I got everything I need

I'm not looking for a hand to hold
I'm not waiting for someone to show
I've got everything I need
I never found a wall I could not climb
I never seen a well as deep as mine
I've got everything I need
I've got everything I need
So even if you wanted to...

It doesn't matter if I'm qualified
Or if I ever learn to blow your mind
I've got everything I need
I'm not looking for a place to shine
I wake up and I'Â’m satisfied
I've got everything I need
I've got everything I need
So even if you wanted to...
- Everything I need, The Wallflowers

Landmark

Trent's acquisition of Landmark has turned out to be a good thing - Infinity mall in Andheri now has a swanky new bookstore. Picked up some graphic novels and 'American Gods' by Neil Gaiman. Gaiman is pretty good. Will post a review as soon as I am done with the book. Can see Landmark gaining a pretty big share of my wallet in the days to come.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Women in love

I really hate to say this, but women in love seem to completely let go of good sense. It’s amazing how much a woman will put up with, just because she is in love. Recently, I didn't know what to say to a friend whose BF rammed his car into hers (on purpose!) and then slapped her in front the crowd that stopped to watch! Actually, I knew what I wanted to say - "How the hell could you let some one do this to you, silly goose!" I mean, the guy obviously knew he'd get away with it, else he wouldn't have done something like that. I really don't know who is to blame - the stupid p$%#k who treats his girl so bad, or the girl who is so blinded by her emotions that she doesn't have it in her to slap him back and walk away!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Today

AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Sober thoughts...

I keep having these flashes sometimes, like vague recollections of various past lives. Things that happened maybe a couple of years ago, or a month. And I am like ' Was it my life? Was that me? ' ... A few days back, my sweet pal called me at 1 in the morning, stoned out of his head, to tell me he was tired of life, of how everyday is the same, how he has lots of fun everyday, but when he stops to think about it, something is missing, there is nothing! I told him that the trick was to avoid any kind of thought, and introspection is a no- no! I wish I could do it as well as I can say it.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Hard days' nights!

Been working my ass off for the past God-knows-how-many days! I'm tired of tracking company results day in and day out. I need a break, an aroma therapy spa, a refreshing drink and a good book!

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Dragonfly

The dragonfly that flew into my room yesterday evening and finally settled on me before I walked it out of the door raised a pertinent question. Why are men so scared of insects? My friend who was visiting was visibly stressed out when the poor insect flew in through the window and started buzzing around. I asked him if he would have screamed like a girl if it had settled on his shirt, and he answered, ' Yes, of course'. Why is it that men are scared of insects but not of geckos and mice? And why do women scream at the sight of lizards and cute little mice, but not cringe at picking up a creep, crawly insect and throwing it out?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Listless again

One of those days when you feel disinclined to do just about anything. Give me white sands and surf. Audioslave is the only thing keeping me from dying of lethargy. And Pearl Jam's new single sucks - so stale!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Being Cyrus

Being Cyrus is a wonderful thing to have happened to Indian cinema - it redefines the entire concept of an Indian thriller. Tight script, great cast, great performances - hats off to Homi Adajania for pulling it off! I want more movies from this guy.

Friday, March 24, 2006

A memory

You sit in your little place, do your routine work, think daily thoughts... and then something brushes softly against your cheek, and takes you back to another place, another time, another life, another you.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I loved Brokeback

Brokeback Mountain made me incredibly sad. It is a beautiful and touching story of two people in love - only in this case both of them are men. Jack is the impulsive, passionate man in love, while Ennis is the guy who grew up through hard times and is scared to throw away the little he has. In a way, it is Ennis who keeps pulling back, never giving in completely to what he feels for Jack. The men are tolerant, even light hearted, about the women in their lives, but not with other men - Ennis breaks down when he finds out that Jack has been with other men.

Heath Ledger is great as Ennis del Mar, the guy who is so afraid of letting himself go. Early on in their relationship, when Ennis tells Jack about his upbringing, Jack remarks that its the most he's heard him speak in the past 2 months. To which Ennis replies 'Its the most I've spoken in a year'. Haven't seen Capote, but Ledger deserved that Oscar.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Another attempt

After the sad demise of my goldfish,my dad advised me to go in for a hardier species. So, I brought home 2 pairs of Bengal Danios, lively and pretty fish. They can't seem to stay still for an instant. I hope these stay alive.