Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!

Lucky! Lucky Oye! is the first Hindi film after Johnny Gaddar that I enjoyed so much. Oye Lucky is more 'indie' when compared to the slick Bollywood feel of Johnny G, but I would rate it equally high, if not higher. This is a movie with so many layers that I feel I'll have to watch it again to get all of it.

Lucky (Abhay Deol, wonderful) is a compulsive thief! You and I might reach for some cheese or chocolate when we get stressed, Lucky thieves indiscriminately. He thieves even when not stressed, with scant regard as to whether it is an expensive car or a petty flower pot. In a potent back story, a dysfunctional home headed by a miserly father (Paresh Rawal), and a burgeoning puppy love bring out the consummate thief in Lucky. Lucky grows up to be a thieving phenomenon under the protection of Gogi Arora (Paresh Rawal again), pursues a love interest (Neetu Chandra) and is pushed over the edge by the conniving Dr. Handa (Paresh Rawal, yet again). Lucky then becomes a liability for Gogi, which brings the police out in full force against him.

But that's just a part of what this movie is about. Oye Lucky is a remarkably insightful account of one man's attempt to live life on his own terms, amidst class divisions and power struggles. Abhay Deol's Lucky is an affable young man, the kind you cant resist letting into your home even though he might steal from it. Yet, he is the outsider, the one you might invite home for dinner, but never let him into your inner circle! Deol does a wonderful job as Lucky - I cant think of any other actor who could have been more perfect for the part. I loved the use of Paresh Rawal in the movie, each of his avatars push Lucky further along the road to damnation! Neetu Chandra is a breath of fresh air after the glam dolls we are used to seeing in Hindi movies. Special mention must go to director Dibanker Banerjee - he has created a movie that is poignant and insightful, but at the same time absurdly funny.

Verdict: I want to watch it again!

PS: Saw Wall-E and loved it, especially the first half! Saw Madagascar 2 and hated it!!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Praise and criticism

Barkha Dutt defends herself in this piece! An analysis:

Not once, were we asked by anyone in authority, to switch our cameras off, or withhold images. When we did so, it was entirely our own assessment that perhaps it was safest to do so. - If that was the case, why did they resort to blanking out news channels (including NDTV) in Mumbai? Btw, didn't we hear her describe 'a secret alley behind the Oberoi' through which people were being rescued? Did she think that these terrorists were so brain dead so as to not be able to guess where this was? Or that they would cools their heels in the lobby of the Taj even as she and her colleagues let it be known that several VIPs were hiding in the Chambers? Great self censorship, I must say!

Allegations that I or any of my colleagues across the industry shoved a microphone in the faces of any waiting relative, are untrue in the extreme. - Maybe she was polished enough not to force a mike into someone's face, but she was dragging people around to make sure they were in the right camera angle. And several of her colleagues did actually thrust mikes into faces!

On this one point, I would concede that perhaps, this was a balance we lost and needed to redress earlier on during the coverage. But, mostly our attention was on the hotels, because they were the sites of the live encounters, and not because of some deliberate socio-economic prejudice. - Hear, hear, she concedes a point! Actually, what she meant was that CST wouldn't have such high TRPs!

But it is important to understand that in the absence of any instructions on site and in the absence of any such framework we broke NO rules. - This really gets my goat! She didn't break any rules, but if she had drawn a line for herself, we wouldn't be having those facebook communities!

When asked in an interview on NDTV, what struck him watching the events unfold on television, Narayan Murthy, said it was the "finest piece of TV journalism in a decade." - I have great regard for Mr. Murthy for having put India on the global map, but with all due respect - who died and made him the expert on media coverage? What Ms Dutt really means is - "I have big rich people praising me, why would I bother about what the regular Joe/Jane says?.

I believe that criticism is what helps us evolve and reinvent ourselves. But when malice and rumour are regarded as feedback, there can be no constructive dialogue. - Right, the common man has nothing better to do than malign her. Does she ever stop to think why her and no one else? Srinivasan Jain belongs to the same channel, it would help if she could learn some basics of journalism from him!

But in journalism, we know that, praise and criticism are twins that travel together. And we welcome both and try and listen to both carefully. - Does she really? The whole article does nothing but defend her stance - we broke no rules, the people wanted to talk, XYZ thanked me, ABC praised me. Grow up Ms Dutt. And shut the h$#% up!

Happy Birthday, Jimbo

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Small change

If you were disgusted by the media as they turned the most horrific attacks on Mumbai into a nightmare and hindered rescue operations, please sign this petition!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Not quite, for Mumbai will take a really long time to recover from this one!

Friday, November 28, 2008


Are these guys out of their minds? Why would the NSG want to continue conducting rescue operations in full view of a media that only wants to sensationalize the issue? Even my mum knows that TV feeds could be watched by anybody who is assisting these terrorists and help them stay one step ahead of the commandos! The mobile networks are also helping I suppose. What a disaster, we are looking at a seemingly never ending crisis!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

And the ordeal continues...

Close to 24 hours and there seems no signs of resolution in either the Taj or the Oberoi. Hope this ends soon!

Living in a nightmare

I was watching 'The Siege' on TV just a few days ago, and today I feel as if I'm living in it. The city is paralyzed, the armed forces have imposed a curfew in South Bombay and everybody is panicking! G was at the Taj till about 8 last evening, and fortunately, we decided to head home at 9 instead of going to Colaba for dinner. The recent events at Nariman Point are worse than anything we could have imagined. Top cops have been killed including Hemant Karkare, the head of the Anti Terrorism Squad, Vijay Salaskar and Ashok Kamte. Tourist and business locations, including the beloved Leopold cafe, the heritage Taj property and the Oberoi, where most of the financial community passes by every single day, have been targeted.

And the media is having a field day, creating as much sensation as possible. It was really heart wrenching to hear a distraught witness plead with the anchor of an English news channel, asking him to flash on screen that innocents were stuck inside the Oberoi and they needed help. And all that the anchor was bothered about was the body count!

As usual, government officials are mumbling their way through this (Milind Deora seemed coherent, I'll grant him that!), and nobody is offering any reassurances. Much has been said about the legendary resilience of Mumbai and how the city is in shock, but the fact remains that this is no ordinary terrorist attack. Mumbai is under attack and we need a better response than this!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Oh no

Rumours are afloat that Bruce Wayne will be killed off today in a new comic titled "Batman RIP". Boo, I say, Boo Hoo!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bollywood comes out of the closet

People, get ready for the future coming out of Karan Johar!! For Tarun Mansukhani's Dostana preps you for just that, going where no Bollywood film has gone before. Not boldly though, the leading men of Dostana are just pretending to be gay, which seems to give them every right to behave like retards. This is the third Bollywood movie that critics seemed to like, which led me to believe that the movie would at least not bore me (Bachna Ae Haseeno and Rock On!! being the other two). But G and I could barely contain our yawns by the interval.

Sameer (Abhishek Bachchan, who desperately needs a shave) and Kunal (John Abraham, a sad convert to the Salman Khan school of fitness) are forced to play gay to find an apartment in Miami. Who would've thought that getting an apartment in the US would be tough these days, what with plunging real estate prices and all! But that would not serve the director's purpose, so we have these red-blooded, lady killing studs who pretend to be gay to share a condo with pretty girl Neha (a stunning Priyanka Chopra). Needless to say, both gays, oops guys, fall in love with Neha, who displays real bad taste by falling for her ugly boss (Bobby Deol). Much ado and a forced kiss later, all is well that ends well. Thank God for small mercies.

Bachchan is rather fearless here - he plays the effeminate man with surprising ease; Chopra is adequate. John Abraham lets his butt do the acting instead! The songs are peppy and fun, though John Abraham should stay away from dancing - he reminded me of Sunny Deol stomping around in Yaara O Yaara! Kiron Kher was over the top, but still managed to steal a laugh in the hilarious Maa da laadla sequence. Still, it was tough sitting past the interval. The self-referential nods to earlier Karan Johar films were irritating, at best! Did I mention that Johar should be coming out soon?

Verdict: Watch if it plays on TV.

PS: Watched Quantum Of Solace and liked it. Though I couldn't help feeling that Bond was turning out to be a lot like Batman with all the vengeance and guilt. Loved the action, thought I realised what inspired it when I watched The Bourne Ultimatum a few days later. Still, liked it better than the Die Another Day kind of disasters that came out of the Bond stable!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dry spell

I just cant bring myself to blog these days. Maybe its just as well, and the world will be a better place for it :).

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Dev D

Ju sent me this:

Dev D is a modern take on Sharat Chandra's classic Devdas directed by Anurag Kashyap, starring Abhay Deol. The idea of Devdas (Dev D here) potrayed as a self-destructive loser sounds very interesting. I haven't seen any of Kashyap's movies so far - though I did want to see No Smoking - I think I'd be keen to catch this one. Abhay Deol is turning to be a very interesting actor - loved Manorama Six Feet Under. Glad to see that he's not taking the Sunny-Bobby route!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


India can now say hello to the man on the moon through their own phone lines. ISRO has successfully launched Chandrayaan, its first indigenous unmanned mission to the moon. Plans to send people to the moon in a another couple of years are on. One small step for ISRO, a giant leap for India? Bravo!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What the $@#% do these people think they are doing?

This is beyond disgusting. I quote from the PanIIT 2008 site-

The theme for the spouses' track in this year's PANIIT is "Sampoorna" - programs meant for the complete woman, who is able to perfectly balance her personal, professional and public personality. With this in mind we have a galaxy of presenters and performers who are bound to enlighten the IIT spouses.

And who should represent this 'galaxy' better than Hemamalini - A professional dancer, a top-notch film actress, a successful home-maker, now devoting time to charitable and social ventures, she has lived life on her own terms, and remained 'beautiful' in terms of outlook and attitude over the years. She epitomizes the Complete Woman.

There is more - a tour to arts & crafts villages, dance academy and - hold your breath - shopping trips! The message is loud and clear, isn't it? Granted, most IIT alumni might be male, but the "Especially for spouses" programme takes home the trophy for the most male chauvinistic ever. And IITians (at least the ones who are organizing it, or are participating without a murmur of dissent) are now firmly etched in my mind as the most stupid tribe of intellectuals ever, Bill Gates' attendance at their events be damned!

Monday, October 20, 2008


... of the non religious kind. I mean, of the kind you get when you are non religious. Discrimination is the last thing you'd expect though. And of all places...! Anyway, another first - experienced discrimination on the basis of belief, or lack thereof! Its sheer coincidence that I am currently reading Richard Dawkins. What did the hubbysaurus say - why bother about things that don't affect you personally?

PS: Heard this nugget of 'wisdom' - "atheism is something that people do to seem cool". I wonder what Dawkins would say to that?

Friday, October 10, 2008

And so it begins

Infosys, the bellweather Indian IT Services firm cut its earnings outlook for the year citing uncertain demand conditions. In my last post, I talked about the possibility of dark days for Indian IT. And Infosys' guidance of negative growth for the next quarter seems to signal the beginning of just that. IIP numbers also signalled ominous trends for other sections in the economy. The world as we know it could very different by the time the global economy revives.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


The Karthik Rajaram shocker has laid one fact bare - no one is immune from what's happening in the current financial crisis. Sure, one could always argue that he might have been mentally unstable, which is why he killed his hapless family as well. But it makes me wonder if we are likely to see more opting for this route out of financial ruin. Indians may be less immune to the economic downturn that currently believed - lifestyles have changed since the last downturn in 2000-2001.

The average young urban professional has a much more expensive lifestyle and much less savings than ever before. Add to this the huge EMIs on houses and leveraged investments in the stock market, and we are looking a potential disaster in the making. The software sector has been feeling the heat for the last 2-3 quarters already, and the next 2-3 could well be dark days for the industry. Things are likely to get worse before they get better. Brace yourselves, and stay strong!

On another note, here's a sure shot way of guaranteeing economic aid - grow a particularly nasty and resilient brand of terrorism and all those dumb western nations will form a group and continue to support you economically. Bangladesh, sub-Saharan Africa, are you listening? Starvation and death doesn't move the west anymore, except maybe aging rockstars!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Gloom time

A blood bath in the markets, so keep it together folks! This storm too shall blow over!

Just finished Hari Kunzru's "Transmission". Gripping read. I'll try and review it when I get the time. Reading Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion" at present and loving it!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Sometimes the toughest thing to do is to not say anything!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rock On!!

All of us have been conditioned to believe that people have to be passionate, follow a dream, else life is nothing but a compromise. Great men were passionate - Vincent Van Gogh, Jim Morrison, Fox Mulder. If you are working 9 to 5, then it is assumed that your life is a compromise. If you don't go bungee jumping, don't party every weekend, or watch movies on weekdays, you have become old and jaded. Or so we are led to believe. Rock On!! works on similar premises - if you don't become a rock star, your life is not worth living. The fabulous house, the loving wife, the BMW don't offer an iota of comfort if you are not a rock star. Or at least, a pale imitation of one.

So there we were, G and I, being cool on a weekday evening, wasting our precious time on Rock On!!, a movie that is filled with one cliche after another! Director Abhishek Kapoor (such a perfect filmy name) doesn't even attempt to use something so banal as intelligence. Why try realism, when pseudo realism will do? Why bother at all, when Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy have done all the hard work for him? Never mind if your cast can barely act, the music is great and all they have to do is swagger around and look cool.

When will Bollywood learn the difference between an investment banker and a wealth manager? Did you know that a selfish moron who can't appreciate what his wife is trying to do to make him happy will get a blinding flash of clarity at a passing comment from some third person? Could I get my hands on the teleporter that Arjun Rampal used to navigate Bombay traffic and land up at the right spot before a 5 minute song ends? Mr. Kapoor, too many short cuts may make your job easy, but attention to detail never hurt a movie. See Johnny Gaddar if you want to know what I mean!

Verdict: Pretentious, shallow and a total waste of time.

PS: Shahana Goswami and Purab Kohli deserved better. Two bright spots in an otherwise dull movie.

PPS: The end credits say "Don't download the music, buy the CD". I downloaded, then bought and regretted the purchase. Dudes, if you want us to buy, then the least you can do is give us better sound quality on the CD!

On that note, here's Nickelback:

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Child-free zones

A couple of weeks ago, I went out to have dinner with some people my husband knows. I was the last to arrive at this chic SoBo (South Bombay) joint and was surprised to find them sitting outside the restaurant. My eyebrows went up in the air when I was told that we had a child in the group, who would not be allowed inside. Is this India? - was my first reaction. But when I went home and thought about it, it didn't seem like too weird an idea. How many times have you been to a public place where kids are running berserk, even as their parents smile indulgently at their misbehaviour? More often than not, people (self included) don't mind because of the social conditioning. This Times of India article on child free zones in the country offers some interesting perspectives.

I don't know if I agree to the idea of child free zones, but people could ensure that their children do not create trouble in public places. My Indian friend who lives in Tokyo once told me that the only children in Japan who run amok are Indian; the local children are supposedly very well mannered. Maybe its just the way we bring up our children.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Much ado...

This post has ruffled a few feathers. I have great affection for both the kids in question, having seen them grow up from wee little ones. At any rate, there was no intent to make anything an issue, just like the time I posted this. If I can be proud about something, then I can be alarmed by something else.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


The Guardian is running a poll on whether Margaret Thatcher should be given a state funeral when she dies! The poor woman is alive for Chrissake!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Got my first vote in the Asiamoney Polls. Yipee!

What a life!

Sometimes there's nothing to be done about it but grin and bear! Or grimace!

Friday, August 08, 2008

I'm male?

Says this gender calculator,which is based on browsing history. Here are the results:

Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 1%
Likelihood of you being MALE is 99%

Apparently, sites like Oanda, Bloomberg, Reuters, and NASDAQ are highly male! Talk about gender stereotypes!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The first Bollywood rock track

For the last 2 weeks, I have been testing the hubbysaurus' patience by playing the same album over and over again. I'm talking about the soundtrack of Farhan Akhtar's debut 'Rock On!'. When I heard that Akhtar was making a movie about a rock band, my reaction was 'oh no, not again'. I mean, how many Hindi movies have we had where the hero/heroine is a 'rock star' who belts out standard Bollywood fare. Even Himesh Reshammiya was a 'rock star' for Chrissake. So I just wrote it off. Till I caught 'Pichle Saat Dinon Mein' on TV- a neat little rock number that kindled my interest. I downloaded the album online and loved it. Bought the CD a couple of days later and have been listening to it ever since!

Rock On! is a great effort by trio Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy (more on their music here and here). Even though it is watered down to suit Bollywood, the soundtrack is true to the spirit of rock. Ehsaan goes wild with his guitar, there are some great chords in this set. I love 'Zehreeley', a rocking number that one can freely headbang to. But the award of best track goes to 'Sinbad the Sailor' - a lovely, peppy number that gets me charged up every time I listen to it. Heck, most of the songs in the album do that to me, but 'Sinbad the Sailor' is my favourite.

The primary drawback to this album (other than the bad sound quality on the CD) is Javed Akhtar's lyrics. While Javed Akhtar (Farhan's father) is supposed to have written some of the best Hindi/Urdu lyrics in Bollywood, he is no rock lyricst! Give him a headbanger like 'Zehreelay' and what do you get? - some silly stuff about snakes, and all things being kaalay, neelay, peelay. The other tracks are uneven at best, 'Pichle Saat Dinon Mein' talks about sunglasses and match passes - give me a break! He is better in the slow paced ballads 'Phir Dekhiye' and 'Ye Tumari Meri Baatein'. The only saving grace is 'Sinbad the Sailor', a sweet number about following one's dreams, no matter what comes in the way. 'Socha Hai', with its wide eyed exuberance, is not bad either.

Farhan Akhtar has sung most of the tracks himself, and he's not too bad. He is like Jon Bon Jovi - he can sing alright, but I can't decide if he's good at it or not. The guy on 'Zehreelay' is pretty good.

Verdict - Great effort, love it!

PS: Love the way Arjun Rampal looks in the poster!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Why is it called "The Dark Knight"?

This movie should be called "The Joker - the rise of the most sinister villain ever seen on film". He is so dark that Batman (Christian Bale) seems a pale shade of grey in comparison! Heath Ledger's Joker is the consummate anarchist, creating chaos just so that he can revel in it, cackling with glee as the morally uptight Batman struggles to prevent disaster after disaster. The Joker casts such a powerful and menacing shadow over The Dark Knight that its easy to overlook the central theme of the movie - how far can a man go up against evil before he either gets tainted by it or loses his humanity in an attempt to persevere?

In The Dark Knight, Nolan's vision of Batman expands into a struggle of man versus vigilante as Bruce Wayne tries to grapple with an alter ego that is increasingly taking over his life. As old flame Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhall) puts it, Wayne needs Batman more than Gotham does. At some level, Wayne realises that, which explains his misguided attempts at giving Gotham a legitimate hero. But even as Batman resists the The Joker's temptation to cross the line, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhardt), Batman's candidate for Gotham's hero succumbs to the same. In other words, Dent's humanity makes him cross over to the dark side, even as Batman's own is compromised by his refusal to respond to similar emotions.

A lot of the movie's underlying message gets eclipsed by an electric Heath Ledger, whose interpretation of the Joker is beyond all glowing descriptions. Unlike (a highly overrated) Jack Nicholson's buffoon, this Joker is by no means a cardboard villain. He is the kind of guy who shoves grenades into mouths and rigs up bombs inside stomachs. To top it all, he is totally insane. One of my favourite Joker moments is when he tells Batman, "you make me complete" - a great spin on the cheesy Jerry Maguire dialogue played to extremely interesting effect. Absolutely perfect!

The Dark Knight leaves some dramatic opening cues for the next Batman movie - TwoFace, a grittier (and possible more embittered) Batman, and a potentially more interesting female lead. I'll leave you with my favourite lines from the movie:

"Do I really look like a man with a plan, Harvey? I don't have a plan. The mob has plans, the cops have plans. You know what I am, Harvey? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do if I caught one. I just *do* things. I'm a wrench in the gears. I *hate* plans. Yours, theirs, everyone's. Maroni has plans. Gordon has plans. Schemers trying to control their worlds. I am not a schemer. I show schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are. So when I say that what happened to you and your girlfriend wasn't personal, you know I'm telling the truth!"

Verdict: I want to watch it again, and again!

Friday, July 25, 2008


Stuck in office on my birthday, waiting! Its all that I seem to be doing these days!!!

Fascists in the family

Today, my 12-year old cousin called me a "Brahmin betrayer". Now, this raises several interesting questions:
a) Who, or what, is a Brahmin?
b) What then is the definition of a Brahmin betrayer?
c) Why is a 12-year old so infused with caste related sentiments?
d) What gives a 12-year old the spunk to talk to a grown up like this?
e) Should this kid be talking about such things in the first place?
f) Where does he get such ideas from - a balanced, informed source, or some fundamentalist news letter ? (yes, there is such a thing as a Brahmin fundamentalist newsletter!)
g) How does his family feel about this?

And, in a separate conversation, I asked my 14-year old cousin (first cousin to the aforementioned 12-year old) if there was any local news in Bangalore about suspects in today's bombings. Pat came his reply, "Muslims!".

Well, potential fascists at any rate.

What did I get?

The complete Calvin and Hobbes collection that I have been lusting after for a while now! Hooray for the hubbysaurus!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mulder and Scully will be back tomorrow

The new X-Files movie "I want to believe" will be out tomorrow. I am one of those who are fervently praying that it wont destroy the special memories that we carry inside our heads of one of the best TV series ever. Meanwhile, Salon has a great story on Scully. Now, now guys, be good and do one on Mulder as well. Please?


Anybody but me, anywhere but here, anytime but now...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I'm sick of the routine, sick of the rat race, sick of meeting deadlines and expectations. Morrison offers me comfort with similar sentiments:

I'm sick of dour faces
Staring at me from the TV tower,
I want roses in my garden bower; dig?
Royal babies, rubies must now replace
Aborted strangers in the mud.

That, and the hubbysaurus' habit of waiting for me to disappear into my office building before he takes off!

Been meaning to review Rocky Balboa and Kungfu Panda. Will do that sometime soon.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Or Mahastupid, or Mahasilly. Call it whatever, but Ekta Kapoor is determined to destroy one of India's most beloved epics, one that still inspires numerous interpretations. I missed the over hyped first episode (glad that I missed the oily Aryan Vaid as Duryodhan, Puneet Issar must be preparing to roll in his grave!), but had the misfortune to catch the second one.

Episode 2 (the Bhishma story) is true blue Balaji soap opera. Extreme closeups that illuminate every single pore and wrinkle on the woman playing Ganga, a really weird guy playing King Shantanu, horrid special effects, extremely clunky dialogue and worse delivery of the same, weird Greek costumes ... I could go on and on. Even more unbearable is Makarand Padalkar as Ved Vyasa - his constant interruptions are terribly irritating! The amazing thing is that all 7 kids are thrown into the Ganges in one single episode - I thought that each one would get a whole episode!!

Verdict: Stay miles away!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


The hubbysaurus keeps ruminating on how everybody seems to be stopping to smell the roses. Everybody but us, that is. I can't help but agree - everyday is a race against the clock. Sometimes, it feels as if life is passing right by my window, while I am stuck at my work desk. More so when the hubbysaurus is out of town.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Why I got off Facebook

After ignoring multiple invites, I signed up at Facebook a few months ago out of sheer curiosity. Most of my friends were raving about it (Except one, who said "whats a facebook?". Smart guy!), and I didn't see any harm in checking it out. But after a couple of months of being poked, super-poked and walled, I have had enough. For all its merits, Facebook failed to excite any interest.

What really got my goat was the fact that I couldn't shake off that nagging feeling that every time I added an application, a small bit of my privacy was being eroded. After a few applications, I started to resist adding applications, which in turn took away all the fun from being on Facebook. Plus, I really couldn't stand the clutter - why tell me what someone I barely know did to/with someone I haven't even heard of ? So last week, I concluded that Facebook was not for me. And I got off!

Monday, June 30, 2008

You will be missed...

Saraswati Rajan a.k.a. Pappa patti (1923-2008).

Teacher, master cook, force feeding expert,
Confounder of all logic, the one to fall back against everybody else,
Secreter of Charlie perfumes, lover of Lakme foundation, collector of key chains,
Beloved aunt, grandmother and great grandmother.

We will miss you so much.

Friday, June 20, 2008

How things change

"One hardly need add that the Paumacariya is filled with references to Jaina places of pilgrimage, stories about Jaina monks, and Jaina homilies and legends. Furthermore, since the Jainas consider themselves rationalists—unlike the Hindus, who, according to them, are given to exorbitant and often bloodthirsty fancies and rituals—they systematically avoid episodes involving miraculous births (Rama and his brothers are born in the normal way), blood sacrifices, and the like. They even rationalize the conception of Ravana as the Ten-headed Demon. When he was born, his mother was given a necklace of nine gems, which she put around his neck. She saw his face reflected in them ninefold and so called him Dasamukha, or the Ten-faced One. The monkeys too are not monkeys but a clan of celestials (vidyadharas ) actually related to Ravana and his family through their great grandfathers. They have monkeys as emblems on their flags: hence the name Vanaras or "monkeys."

- A.K. Ramanujan in Three Hundred Ramayanas: Five Examples and Three Thoughts on Translation

Funny, that last thing I would have thought about Jains I have met in Mumbai is that they are rationalists. I recall discussing with a long lost friend that Jainism and Buddhism were the Renaissance in Hinduism. Its weird that they have evolved into something , and in some instances, something so militant. If you don't get what I mean, take a walk down Chowpatty one of these days!

Have you seen this?


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Why need a stunt when you have a great product?...

... is the question I want to ask Mozilla. Alright, I did download Firefox 3 on the set day, but that was because I was eager to experience the highly anticipated new version. Which is probably the primary reason why most of the 8 million odd other people did as well. Firefox didnt need this publicity stunt to get people to download v3. More so since their site almost crashed with the number for download requests. Anyway, just waiting for my favourite add-ons to get updated.

Sexy veggie my foot!

Does anything about this man suggest any connections whatsoever with the word 'sexy'?
AB has been voted 'Asia's most sexy veggie'. Is he the only veggie in Asia or what? If you want to know what a sexy veggie really looks like, look below.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Somethings are just not worth it! And some...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Song in my head:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


My first ever client vote - Yay! The problem is repeating it every quarter. Bless me!

Friday, June 06, 2008


The best day of the week. Even more so if its has begun to rain and the skies are a lovely gray. The cool breeze is such a relief after the sultry days of summer. And to top it all, the hubbisaurus returns tonight. Happy :).

Monday, June 02, 2008

Why, oh why?

Is Harrison Ford's age the issue in the movie? I am not sure, but clearly George Lucas and Steven Spielberg seem to think so. That Ford is still capable of doing his own stunts at an age (60? 70?) where most leading men would have to huff and puff to get running seems to have made no impact on these two. Worse still, they seem to have had little faith in Ford's ability to recreate the Indiana Jones magic well enough to pull in the crowds. So we get repeated reminders of Indy's advanced years, more Henry than Indy, a diminutive Marlon Brando wannabe, and one big mess of a movie. Well, maybe not that big.

The movie is great wherever they let Ford get into full blown Indiana Jones mode - Indy might be old, but he can still kick some bad ass! Unfortunately, that is kept to a minimum. The feisty Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen, who has wisely resisted the many charms of Botox), whom we first saw out-drinking Nepali men under the table, offers no resistance to falling for a cheapskate who (supposedly) ditched her at the altar. Worse, we get a green-behind-the-ears Shia LaBeouf trying to out swagger the great man himself. Which is a pity, since Ford and Allen by themselves would have made the movie more watchable. Honourable mention goes to Cate Blanchett as the deranged Russian psychic Irina Spalko, she looks like she had great fun playing to the gallery.

I had nearly had a heart attack in the scene where LaBeouf attempts to try on Indy's fedora, only to have its rightful owner snatch it away at the last moment. Harrison Ford is Indiana Jones, its a pity that Lucas and Speilberg didn't remember that!


Some things are difficult to accept, no matter what the reasoning. Even if you try and adjust, it stares at you in the face because in reality, it is a compromise.

Friday, May 30, 2008


... you feel like you are always swimming against the tide. Need a break, but can't say it!

Monday, May 26, 2008


Oh, we now have a gleaming black car. Neat :)


Material Mom led me on to Pablo Neruda's Keeping Quiet. Lovely. My favourite lines:

if we could do nothing for once,
perhaps a great silence would
interrupt this sadness,
this never understanding ourselves
and threatening ourselves with death

On another note, my Whirpool refrigerator is yet to be repaired. Did I mention that its brand new?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Price Caspian is a bore

I wasn't expecting too much from The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. But the movie managed to disappoint me even then. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was way better. This one is long and cumbersome! Except for little Georgia Henley (the youngest Pevensie), everybody else seems to be sleepwalking through the movie. Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) tries to go for dashing, but ends up looking dirty and unwashed instead. (spoiler) I wonder why Aslan (the lion) had to wait till the Narnians were almost exterminated before showing up! Ho hum!

The storming of the castle was pretty spectacular, primarily because of the dark lighting. Otherwise, the CGI is real bad - especially the animals. Aslan looks terribly unreal, as he did in the first movie as well. Loved the cameo from Tilda Swinton, hope the Ice Queen comes back in the next movie. Yep, I haven't read the books.

Verdict: Give it a miss.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Niggling little health problems, teething trouble at the new place, a living room that is still bare, a brand new fridge with a broken part that is yet to be repaired - no wonder then that I have this feeling that I woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Though I'm still debating on which side that is! Need some music to soothe me and some exercise, which can't happen till those niggling problems go away. I need a break!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Do you have a reputation

Stumbled upon Naymz, a website that creates an online profile based on publicly available information on the Internet. Without telling anyone about it, that is! Just the other day I was reading about how Internet users leaves bits and pieces of themselves online; well Naymz collates these and puts up a summary (they call it reputation) without you knowing about it. At least they have the decency of letting you remove profiles if you don't want them. Check it out today to see what kind of a reputation you have online and take control!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Look who's talking

Excerpt from Steve Ballmer's letter to Jerry Yang:

"We regard with particular concern your apparent planning to respond to a "hostile" bid by pursuing a new arrangement that would involve or lead to the outsourcing to Google of key paid Internet search terms offered by Yahoo today. In our view, such an arrangement with the dominant search provider would make an acquisition of Yahoo undesirable to us for a number of reasons:

-- First, it would fundamentally undermine Yahoo's own strategy and long-term viability by encouraging advertisers to use Google as opposed to your Panama paid search system. This would also fragment your search advertising and display advertising strategies and the ecosystem surrounding them. This would undermine the reliance on your display advertising business to fuel future growth.

-- Given this, it would impair Yahoo's ability to retain the talented engineers working on advertising systems that are important to our interest in a combination of our companies.

-- In addition, it would raise a host of regulatory and legal problems that no acquirer, including Microsoft, would want to inherit. Among other things, this would consolidate market share with the already-dominant paid search provider in a manner that would reduce competition and choice in the marketplace."

Funny that Microsoft should be concerned about "reduced competition and choice" in the market place. Oh wait, we aren't talking about Windows, or Internet Explorer, or Office! However, it worries me that Google seems to be on the way to becoming the next Microsoft.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Thoroughly enjoyable

Disclaimer: I have a soft spot for Robert Downey Jr. And I haven't read any Iron Man comics.

A superhero movie where you don't get to see the superhero as much as you get to see the man underneath? One with incredible special effects, but these are kept to a bare minimum? If you think that such a movie won't work, watch Iron Man.

Iron Man doesn't stray too far from formula of depicting the rise of a superhero - there is the rich playboy, the mandatory angst, the perfunctory side kick and love interest, the scheming villain etc., etc. The primary reason Iron Man rises above the clutter is the choice of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, the genius weapons manufacturer who has a change of heart when captured by Afghan rebels and brought back from the brink of death with an electromagnet that protects, well, his heart.

Iron Man is like Batman in the sense that he has no intrinsic/natural superpowers, but Tony Stark is no Bruce Wayne, and Robert Downey Jr. never lets you forget that. He plays Tony Stark with an unabashed bad boy edge - even post his rebirth-of-sorts in a dark cave in Afghanistan, he never fully loses that naughty/haughty gleam in his eye. Make no mistake, Tony Stark immensely enjoys the blue blood that runs in his veins. There is some angst - the loss of his father, an unconsummated love interest - but nothing so deep rooted as to drive him to be a caped crusader. Stark's driving force behind Iron Man is personal - he has done harm and his ego wont let him sit back and allow that.

Though the special effects are phenomenal, they are kept to a minimum here (more likely in the sequel). Iron Man focuses on the birth pangs of the superhero, the hits and misses that lead Stark to perfection (the villain, played by a menacing Jeff Bridges, gets it right on first trial though!). This is a movie that is more human than superhuman, and like I said before, Robert Downey Jr. is perfect for the part. He is an immensely likeable screen presence with eyes that go from bad boy to puppy dog within seconds. My first reaction when I heard that he's been cast for the role was that he didn't fit my description of a superhero (neither did Christian Bale when he was roped in as Batman, for that matter), but now I can't think of anybody else who could have pulled it off better.

Gwenyth Paltrow (Pepper Potts) is completely wasted, so is Jeff Bridges. With that bald head and beard, he looks like a cardboard villain, and its to his credit that he lends some spark to an otherwise bland role. Fan reviews tell me that Terrence Howard will become Iron Man's sidekick, so we can expect more out of him in the next movie.

Verdict: See post title.

Friday, May 02, 2008

I am through with Jhumpa Lahiri

I loved "The Interpreter of Maladies" and even though the woes-of-the-Bengali-diaspora theme began to wear thin, enjoyed the lucid prose in "The Namesake". In parts of "An Unaccustomed Earth", Lahiri seemed capable of breaking free from the mould that she has cast herself in. But she fails pretty spectacularly and that is my biggest complaint against her otherwise beautiful writing. Most writers carve a niche for themselves - Marquez for instance, wrote about mostly the Latin world. But his themes transcended his locales, didn't stop anyone from connecting with his characters and the worlds they inhabited. The ethnicity of his people added colour and potency to his stories, but was never the story in itself. A point that Lahiri would do well to remember!

I am not saying that "An Unaccustomed Earth" is not an engrossing read (ask my hubby about it!). In a couple of stories, the lead character's Bengali roots do not get in the way of the story. But Lahiri fails to rise above her own limitations, just like her characters always fail to rise above themselves. "Hema and Kaushik" was the biggest disappointment - this lacks the subtlety that graces most of Lahiri's writing. Critics have gone gaga over the book, but I think I've read all the Jhumpa Lahiri I need to read.

Friday, April 25, 2008

At this rate...

... I will swear off this country's prospects for development. I have been behind Whirlpool for a week now and everyday, the customer care centre assures me that a technician will come to fix my problem. Btw, my 'problem' is that my brand new refrigerator came with a broken ice tray, and rather dusty interiors. And I'm still running behind their really pathetic service set up to get at least the tray replaced.

In the meantime, DTDC has managed to lose some of the stuff my mother couriered - they seem pretty confused about how many items they've lost. They charge as much as a plane ticket to my hometown, and don't even bother calling up to say they are delayed. Its been 5 days post their 3-day delivery schedule and I don't even know if they are going to deliver my stuff this year or the next. No wonder my green-card-holding-US-relatives complain about living standards in India!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Moving again

Three houses at Andheri, a couple of months at Colaba and now I have landed up at Wadala. That makes it the fifth house in 4 years, and 11 moves over 12 years. If anyone tells me I have to move again in a hurry, I solemnly swear that I shall scream.

Btw, did I tell you that service quality in India s$#%s BIG TIME? For example,

(See missed call on the phone from Whirlpool customer care and call back)

Disembodied Voice (DV):
Hello, Whirpool service centre.
Me: Hi, I'm calling from (number), I received a call from your centre.
DV: May I know who I'm talking to?
(Couple of exchanges while I give him my name and explain that I have lodged a complaint for my fridge and washing machine. Could he please send someone over on Saturday/Sunday because I'm working during the week?)

: Yes ma'm, you wanted an ice tray.
Me: No, I don't want an ice tray. The one in my brand new fridge came broken and you have to replace it.
DV: Yes ma'm, you have lodged a complaint.
Me: Yes, I know that. Could you please tell me why your service centre was trying to reach me?
DV: Yes ma'm, you wanted an ice tray.
Me: Of course I did. But why did you call me?
DV: You lodged a complaint.
Me: Yes, so what about it?
DV: Do you want an ice tray?
Me: Yes, I do. Are you planning to give me one?
DV: Yes ma'm.
Me: ????
DV: Will you be at home at 5 p.m.?
Me: I just told you I want someone sent over on Saturday/ Sunday.
DV: Can I send someone over tomorrow?
Me: ??????????
DV: Will tomorrow be ok for you, ma'm?
Me: No, Saturday, Sunday!
DV: Ok ma'm, we will call you.
(Hangs up)

You dont want to know what happened with Haier!

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Ever been in between a rock and a hard place? Then you know what I'm talking about. Its pretty frustrating if you have to wait for life to play out before you know how it will touch you. Which is why some people shy away from anything that would bind them, restrict them from being free to plan their little lives in their own little ways. While I try to breathe, read T.S. Elliot:

The broad backed hippopotamus
Rests on his belly in the mud;
Although he seems so firm to us
He is merely flesh and blood.

Flesh and blood is weak and frail,
Susceptible to nervous shock;
While the True Church can never fail
For it is based upon a rock.

The hippo’s feeble steps may err
In compassing material ends,
While the True Church need never stir
To gather in its dividends.

The ’potamus can never reach
The mango on the mango-tree;
But fruits of pomegranate and peach
Refresh the Church from over sea.

At mating time the hippo’s voice
Betrays inflexions hoarse and odd,
But every week we hear rejoice
The Church, at being one with God.

The hippopotamus’s day
Is passed in sleep; at night he hunts;
God works in a mysterious way—
The Church can sleep and feed at once.

I saw the ’potamus take wing
Ascending from the damp savannas,
And quiring angels round him sing
The praise of God, in loud hosannas.

Blood of the Lamb shall wash him clean
And him shall heavenly arms enfold,
Among the saints he shall be seen
Performing on a harp of gold.

He shall be washed as white as snow,
By all the martyr’d virgins kist,
While the True Church remains below
Wrapt in the old miasmal mist.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Katee Sakhoff kicks ass...

... as the evil Bionic Woman (Star World, marathons over the weekend). I loved her as Starbuck, but she is even better here. The good Bionic Woman (Michelle Ryan) is vapid in comparison to Katee's awesome Number Six-inspired take on the character. The show has been canceled after the first season, presumably because the title character is so damn boring! How about a new show with Katee's Bionic Woman as the lead?

Monday, April 07, 2008

Sky high

If you don't have a damn good health care plan, I'd recommend you get one today! For if you don't, you might find yourself and your family being bled dry by some big hospital someday. Hospitals like Jaslok, for instance. This place is outrageous- in addition to whatever they charge patients (its a South Bombay hospital, take a wild guess!), they even charge visitors a visiting fee! I have never seen anything like it before, and hope that I never do. Went back home planning upgrades to my current health care plan!

Friday, April 04, 2008

I am numb

That's all.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


The primary downside to married life is that the number of variables in the equation increase dramatically. For someone who likes to be in charge/control of his/her own life, this can be very unsettling! On that note, hand me a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, the recipe of which is given under:

  • Take the juice from one bottle of that Ol' Janx Spirit, it says.
  • Pour into it one measure of water from the seas of Santraginus V - Oh, that Santraginean sea water, it says. Oh those Santraginean fish!!!
  • Allow three cubes of Arcturan Mega-gin to melt into the mixture (it must be properly iced or the benzene is lost).
  • Allow four litres of Fallian marsh gas to bubble through it (in memory of all those happy Hikers who have died of pleasure in the Marshes of Fallia).
  • Over the back of a silver spoon float a measure of Qualactin Hypermint extract, redolent of all the heady odours of the dark Qualactin Zones; subtle, sweet, and mystic.
  • Drop in the tooth of an Algolian Suntiger. Watch it dissolve, spreading the fires of the Algolian suns deep into the heart of the drink.
  • Sprinkle Zamphour.
  • Add an olive.
  • Drink... but... very carefully...
- From The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Caught between hectic work schedules and new-found marital status, I seem to have no time for the little things I enjoy - blogging, reading, movies, etc.The only saving grace is that I still have found time to meet people, socialize a bit. Saw Juno, read some books (Slaughterhouse Five - what a book!), been trying to write reviews... but its difficult to do all that when one eye is on the stock ticker all the time. Ah, the perils of working in the stock markets!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


... by tons of work. Its back to chasing the clock, and my long vacation has already started inspiring nostalgia.

Btw, if someone tells you that women have moved up the equality ladder, be sure to roar with laughter!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Someone wished us for our one-month anniversary, and my reaction was "already??". We'll be old before we know it!

Friday, February 29, 2008

A damn cute wedding gift

Gifted by G's colleagues. Was thrilled. A wedding gift couldn't get more personalized than this.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

On vacation

Blogging from Lombok, Indonesia. This is such a beautiful place, and the resort is so well done. Lazing around like nobody's business. We'll be sad to leave when the time comes. Cheers!

Thursday, February 07, 2008


... and damn it all!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Great show

The Iron Maiden show on Friday night was great. Bruce Dickinson remains the same bundle of energy he used to be in those old videos. Great performer. The guitarists were just amazing. Enjoyed it, for the most part. Came away thrilled, but with a nagging feeling that I might be getting a tad too old for such concerts! My favourite part of the show was this:


I am supposed to be excited. But all I feel is boredom, and a gnawing feeling of irritation.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The cute little fella is the movie

Watched Taare Zameen Par after a lot of glowing reviews and feedback. But it was Darsheel Safary's bunny teeth that pulled me into the theatre on a Sunday afternoon. TPZ is the story of Ishaan, a seemingly misfit boy who's spirit is almost broken down by the demands of uber-competitive today's education system.

The first half of the movie is wonderful - we get introduced to an adorable 8-year old who is not quite the model child, but one with a lot of spunk. Ishaan's world is slightly different, its ruled by colours and feeling - a sensory world that has little room for mundane, everyday things such as studies and homework. Ishaan is more interested in the bird outside the window and the letters in his books keep swimming out of reach. Aamir Khan does admirable work in letting us get a glimpse of Ishaan's world, his day away from school is simply brilliant. But Aamir is trying to make a serious movie here, with a message and all that jazz. So we get highly caricatured parents who try their best to whip (not literally) their wayward son into shape all through.

Enter Aamir Khan as this extra-sensitive, overemotional art teacher who takes it upon himself to bring Ishaan back into the light. Or something like that. And the movie begins to slide into preaching mode. To paraphrase G, the movie 'underestimates the viewer's intelligence'. We know how the system works here, we know about pressure on school kids, we are aware that parents can be demanding. But Aamir goes overboard, I wanted to hurl a brick at Aamir whenever he got preachy with the father (Vipin Sharma), who is treated pretty unjustly here. He is portrayed as the guy who scowls when his elder son fails to win a tennis tournament and we are supposed to believe that he has no affection for Ishaan because he's not an achiever. For a movie that stresses on the demand placed on kids to be achievers, its strange that Ishaan's redemption (and parental acceptance) comes from a damn good achievement. Aamir, if you want to make a point, then stick to it, don't dilute your own message!

That said, I loved Darsheel Safary. That kid is amazing!He simply rules in the first half (the focus shifts to Aamir in the second). That expression on his face where he finds out his father is just fooling him about going away forever - priceless! Darsheel is the heart and soul of TPZ. Him, and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's music. Those guys have done a fabulous job again.

Verdict: Not bad, would have been better if it hadn't been so preachy!


I thought it would never get over, and then one day it did! My first sector report as solo analyst is out!! Over a month of hectic work, hope at least a few people read it. Now, its a week of marketing, and then I'm off to get hitched. There, I said it. Hope to catch the Iron Maiden concert in Mumbai before I go.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


K.S. Mahadevan - 1923 - 2008. RIP.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Busier than a bee

An eventful weekend. Got bumped into not once, but twice. Wanted to tear those filthy $%@#&s apart. They should be grateful that I am not physically violent by nature! Was therefore doubly wary of the crowd at the Standard Chartered Marathon the next day. But enjoyed myself thoroughly, and got noble thoughts about running in the next one. Only time will tell. G finished the half marathon in 2:03 hrs - am so proud of him. 21 kms, all the way to Haji Ali and back. And he had the energy to go shopping (not for me) in the evening! Maybe he can shame me into participating the next time around.

In the meantime, work is killing me, and my to-do list (at work and otherwise) is getting longer and longer. Once again, I have overextended myself for this Saturday. And will probably get rogered for it. Cheerios folks, hope you're having a better time of it than this.

Monday, January 14, 2008


... my foot!

Humankind's lofty ideals and exulted emotions are but a blink of the eye of some pseudo sapient universal order. Individuals are inconsequential, mere bits of soggy paper thrown about in a maelstrom. Some individuals, bless our poor souls, are more so - worse than dogs who wag their tails in the promise of a bone, only to be pelted with stones and slink away with our tails between our diseased legs.

Some times...

... all people can do is disappoint you. Enjoy your Monday morning folks!

Friday, January 04, 2008

It makes me wanna hurl...

... thats why I didn't want to blog about it till now. But its difficult to ignore something as big as women being molested right outside one of Mumbai's poshest hotels, while the police commissioner makes statements about making mountains out of molehills! Calling this an outrageous act would be an understatement. The women I know, and I, have been rendered speechless by the enormity of this event. A lot of women I know like to go out at night with family and friends. This scares the hell out of all of them.

The 2 victims weren't even 'provocatively dressed' as some would call it. But these men needed no provocation. Like Tony Curtis famously said, being a woman is like waving a red flag at a bull! The police have caught 2 of the 50 odd men at the scene (4 if some reports are to be believed). One of them has been in fact turned in by neighbours. Admirable, yes. But does nothing to cover up the fact that Mumbai is no longer safe. The solution lies not in women staying at home, but ensuring that we set an example. Hang these men I say, that ought to scare the hell out of everybody else!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

It has begun...

"What has begun?", they asked, confused. "It" I snapped, "move!"

Reading The Unwaba Revelations, so couldn't resist. The eagerly awaited part three of the Gameworld trilogy by Samit Basu. Reading currently hampered by
  • Lots, I mean, lots of work
  • House hunting- Gaaah!
  • Socializing - inevitable, its the new year
  • Lesser time for self - unintended consequence of recent decisions.
2008 is off to a roaring start, and I have no time to breathe!