Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Off to new pastures

Last day at work is a mixed bag, usually. The expected sense of elation and excitement at starting something new combines with the tug of leaving behind something so familiar. And since its mid week, no one to party with - boo hoo! That said, I'm all smiles.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Monkey on a string

Those of you who have at any point in your existence, not been able to convince parents of something perfectly reasonable, please raise your hands! And those of you who feel that you are too young for a role reversal, please stand up!


Friday, October 26, 2007

Now its here, now its not

euphoria (yōō-fôr'ē-ə, -fōr'-) • noun a feeling of intense happiness (OED).

Well, the thing about it is that it doesn't last for too long. But it sure does feel great while it does. And the next time it hits me, I am gonna hold on to every single moment like it is the last. Happy weekend folks!

On a totally unrelated note, here's an old favourite - Carlos Santana and Everlast tugging at some heart strings:

Monday, October 22, 2007

Blogger's block

After a hectic week at work and an even more hectic weekend spent hunting houses, I can't seem to think of anything to blog about!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Blog Action Day

In 2001, I emailed my resume to the Crocodile Hunter (Steve Irwin -RIP) asking him to give me just any job. Needless to say, he didn't give me one and I continued with my pursuits in the corporate world. I love animals and wildlife and I try to do my bit my sponsoring people like the WWF. But don't be like me. Be a better person and do your bit to protect endangered species from becoming extinct. Did you know that there are over a 1,000 animal species on the endangered list? Stop buying animal products! Without our wildlife, our environment will crumble and the earth will go back to the dark ages.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Guilty Pleasure

I hope I don't get killed. Delicious!!


M, thanks for the support and encouragement.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Give me Johnny G again

Movies like Laaga Chunari Mein Daag (LCMD) make my blood boil. Well, one could say I had it coming. I mean, what else can one expect from mainstream Bollywood? (Spoiler alert) A 'fallen' woman still stays a 'sati savitri' because she only sells her body, not her soul. And how does she find redemption? By being 'rescued' back into respectability by a man generous enough to look into her 'soul' because she chants the Hanuman Chalisa in an air pocket. Why can't she do something on her own with all that money other than buying designer clothing and Vertu phones, damn it? What made me grit my teethin particular was the repeated refrain about the daughter becoming a son!

I went because the trailer intrigued me enough to suppose that this movie would aspire to be slightly different from mainstream Bollywood fare. That, and Rani Mukerji. Instead, I got a Karan Johar-ised (read sugar coated, gloss-over-inconveniet-spot-ted) potboiler. Actually, its worse. This a throwback to archaic concepts of pavitrata and sanctity of womanhood from the 17th century. I remember watching an old Tamil movie starring Rajnikanth (don't remember the name) and Sarita. Sarita plays a street worker who struggles to make ends meet even as she conducts a bittersweet love affair with Rajnikanth - a gritty and edgy movie way ahead of its times compared to duds like LCMD. I guess they made better movies back then - Varumayin Niram Sivappu is a particular favourite. But then I digress.

I've liked Rani Mukherji as an actress, but here she is hampered by the weak characterization and script. Her Vibha/ Natasha fails to connect despite those liquid brown eyes filling up with unshed tears at the appropriate moments. Still, Rani has her moments, especially when she puts on a brave big sister act for Subhi (Konkana Sen Sharma). Jaya Bachchan plays a typical small town mother with the worry of making ends meet constantly hanging over her head and she draws some sympathy here. If the grapevine were to be believed, she really didn't have to try to hard to act as the mother who tries to keep the 'scarred' daughter away. Konkana Sen Sharma - though its great that you have managed to keep in step with the jhatkas and matkas of Bollywood, please try and do something different. I have seen you in this role a million times already. As for Abhishek Bachchan, the less said the better!

That said, the movie does have some merits. The cinematography (who did it?) is excellent. I've always wanted to visit Benares, one of the oldest cities in the world, and now I simply must go! Shantanu Moitra's score is different from the normal fare, not bad.

Verdict - Watching this movie put a daag on my friday evening!

Some thoughts

I sure we've all had those days, moments - when you are out on the road, wind in your hair. When you feel like there isn't anything in the world that can touch you, not so much as lay a finger. You look around at the faces milling around, laughing, talking, smiling and remember. Remember the wistful smiles, the unthinkable wishes, dreams caught up in everyday life. And feel nothing much but sheer gratitude for being where you are now.

And it's whispered that soon, if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forest will echo with laughter
- Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin.

Sigh, they dont make music (or write lyrics) like that anymore. Anyway, saw Laaga Chunari Mein Daag and Bhool Bhulaiya. Reviews to follow.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I'm happy

Here goes:

Somebody once asked could I spare some change for gas
I need to get myself away from this place
I said yep what a concept
I could use a little fuel myself
And we could all use a little change
Well the years start coming and they don't stop coming
Back to the rule and I hit the ground running
Didn't make sense not to live for fun
Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Round two to music

After Radiohead, its the turn of Nine Inch Nails. Trent Reznor posted an announcement on the band's website announcing that they're now "free agents".

"I have been under recording contracts for 18 years and have watched the business radically mutate from one thing to something inherently very different and it gives me great pleasure to be able to finally have a direct relationship with the audience as I see fit and appropriate". Expect something big to follow. Hooray for music lovers. On that note, here's NIN with "Hurt".

Now, contrast that with Johnny Cash's cover. Personally, I find it hard to choose between the two.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Fall from grace

"All I can do is continue to be clean and to be around people who are clean" - Marion Jones. A beloved hero crashes and burns. Sad.

The truth will out

And it did. Now everyone knows.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Finally, an interesting Hindi movie

A friend told me that I should watch Johnny Gaddar to appreciate how much a filmmaker could enjoy making a movie. He wasn't exaggerating. Sriram Raghavan has painstaking crafted every single frame in Johnny Gaddar, and it shows. I haven't enjoyed a Hindi film as much in recent times. And I don't just mean watching the delectable Neil Nitin Mukesh.

The movie is basically a whodunit, except we know who did it right from the very start. About 15 minutes into the movie, we know who the Gaddar (traitor) is and what he is about to do. The actual act of treachery occurs about 45 minutes into the film, and then you're like - what now? It is to Raghavan's credit that he keeps us glued to the screen with his fast paced narrative and tightly woven script. M, who was watching it with me could resist his glee at the movie's close resemblance to a James Hadley Chase thriller (In a recent interview, Raghavan cited James Hadley Chase, Vijay Anand and Amitabh Bachchan movies as sources of inspiration for Johnny Gaddar. As the title credits roll, we see the hero (anti-hero?) reading a James Hadley Chase novel).

Dharmedra not withstanding, there is no big star in the cast, which works well for the movie. Neil Nitin Mukesh as the traitorous Vikram carries the movie pretty well on his sculpted shoulders. Kudos for not choosing to debut as the standard Bollywood lover boy. Potential star in the making, provided he chooses his other scripts as well as this one. Vinay Pathak, Zakir Hussain and Rimi Sen are adequate. Govind Namdeo is excellent as the creepy, woman torturing cop(Hated that!).

The soundtrack, ah yes, the soundtrack. Shankar, Ehsan and Loy have had a field day making music for the film. The background score is cheeky, paying open homage to 70s Hollywood thrillers and their Bollywood remakes. The title track pulsates with a guitar that is reminiscent of pulp fiction films that I watched as a kid. Loved it.

Some reviewers have criticized Raghavan for not being original, one in particular said that Raghavan could be the next Sanjay Leela Bhansali if he wrote an original script. Puhleeez, give me a break. This is like watching Pulp Fiction and saying that Tarantino could be the next Ron Howard if he stuck to original scripts! Raghavan, whose last outing was the equally gripping Ek Hasina Thi (inspired by a Sidney Sheldon novel), doesn't need to be a Sanjay Leela Bhansali. In his own way, he's a truly original filmmaker and is a whiff of fresh air in an otherwise monotonous and saturated movie industry. And Johnny Gaddar is way better than much admired movies of recent times, like the overpraised Metro.

Verdict: Must watch!

Also watched Loins of Punjab Presents. Not your typical ABCD movie. The Turbantor (the Jedi life force of Bhangra) and the typical Gujju Patel family were the highlights of the film. The horny show coordinator who tries to seduce women with the the Gypsy Kings was a bit over the top. Funny when the jokes come in, but sloppily executed and slow paced otherwise. Watch on TV/DVD if you are bored.

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Radiohead phenomenon

Music in on its way to becoming free, says Michael Arrington on TechCrunch. Sample: artists and labels will stop thinking of digital music as a source of revenue and start thinking about it as a way to market their real products. Users will be encouraged (even paid, as radio stations are today) to download, listen to and share music. Passionate users who download music from the Internet and share it with others will become the most important customers, not targets for ridiculous lawsuits. Can't wait for that to happen. In the meanwhile, you can download In Rainbows here.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Better day

More or less back to normal after a few crazy weeks and a bout of illness. Have a week's respite before the earnings season starts. Gonna make the most of it. Kicking off with an old favourite, brings back memories of Styx. Miss my Bangalore days.

Monday, October 01, 2007


I need a month off!