Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bluffmaster

Saw Bluffmaster, first week, second show. (I hope you can see my cat-ate-canary grin.)It being first-day-second-show, I had no advance knowledge of which film 'inspired' this one. None in MSM have speculated so far. Cheers to the production team to maintain a tight lid. I think this is the first in a long time, that I did not know how this movie would end :D Usually I go armed with info beforehand and my friends are extrememly wary of me, cause I give away the spoiler, albeit with an alert. Anyway, this time around, I think all in theatre were waiting for a point to identify the original movie. It almost never came. Only the 'head-rushing' sequence towards the end, made a guy blurt out one name. But no, that does not qualify to be called a rip-off.

So that way, Bluffmaster is good, ok Hindi movie. Good entertainment. Funny dialogues. Good sequences taking the story forward. Consistent performance from all the actors. Eccentric shark Nana Patekar, phunny doc giving profound tips Boman Irani, hurt Priyanka Chopra, the devoted and hard to shrug-off chela Ritesh Deshmukh and living-in a limbo Abhishek Bachchan.

Genre-wise, I don't know where to place this movie. Film name and promos promise a heist movie. We did get that. From the opening sequence of police-encounter to the credit-card swap sequence and the final one with Nana. But those are only props. The main thread is that of a betrayed and hurt Priyanka, while Abhishek is still-in-love but unable to shrug-off his main occupation.

Its definitely a very atmosphere movie, but a mild variety. It's not heavy. From a tastefully decorated, but cramped apartment in a high-rise, with a lovely seaview, to Ritesh's shabby terrace flat; then the Mumbai seaside, dance bars, dark alleys in the night. Flyover, express highways, mall. And a wide variety of restaurants - Irani restaurant, five-star one when AB waits for Priyanka, another one where AB explains the fish-metaphor to Ritesh. If Bunty aur Babli was a tour up North India of today, Bluffmaster was our tour across Mumbai. Not the dark underbelly, not the chawls, just the normal city.

Talking about fish metaphor, that was a good one. Where AB maps different human demographic to a variety of fish - bangda, pomfret, Shark and finally Whale.

Music, hmm, was not a striking feature. The opening sequence remix Sabse bada rupaiya was the yummiest. Bure bure hum caught on because of a catchy disco effect. Right here, right now original came up … I don’t know why. But the remix, umm the audience stayed back in their seat even if it was a credit sequence item number video.

Since it is not a rip-off and genre is not to be easily identified, the result seemed aimless, but it definitely arrived at its station and ended properly.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Nach Baliye

Nach Baliye aired it grand finale yesternight. It was a good show, wrapping up at 12:30 AM. Reminded me of the good old Doordarshan times New Year programs. (They don't do these anymore).

All these weeks, only the ten couples have been dancing, with one dropping off every Thursday. This time every one danced. The finalists danced to Aa dekhe zara, the ultimate Hindi film song for a couple competition dance. So did the other couples, even the anchor couple. And the lead pairs of a new upcoming series. Even Farhan swayed to Nach Baliye song, which was cute, accompanied by Malaika and Saroj.

Okay, my favorite jodi have been Rajeev-Delnaaz. They were cute and hardworking. Delnaaz was so lively. And Rajeev's Mithun number was the ultimate. Of course the judges are biased. They gave glowing praises and full marks for a lousy Don song. Na I mean, the song Khaike paan banaraswala... is a gem. Varun performed some lousy parady and that too very ineffectively. And the way Varun-Rajeshwari have been sulking ! It’s as if they have been well compensated to keep their mouth shut, but need to sulk to blame the producers for snatching away all fame. This is my conspiracy theory. What else can explain the way judges kept putting maska to this couple, though they put up a faltu collage of all well-known actor dance styles.

One more jodi, not exactly a favorite, but they kind-of grew on me - Amit-Neeru. First it was irritating to hear him crib after every performance. But he gave a very dignified and sportive goodbye speech. And that day they had given their best performance. Kab tak ... Mujhse Shaadi Karogi he was in white sherwani and she in lovely pink ensemble.

Anyway moving on to the good couples, Parmeet & Archana were the beauty in this whole ensemble. To quote Farhan, "... the positive vibe which you two create.. its very addictive..." Seriously they were the second best. Great dance and witty remarks.

Supriya, Sachin, hosts Shabbir Ahluwalia and Sangita Ghosh and Manish, Poonam So the best jodi is Sachin-Supriya (my vote to them as well). Seriously they almost danced ekdum dil-phek-ke. It wasn't like huge effort or so. Just fun and enthusiasm. That's what dance is, according to me.

It was also a good show, cause they gave equal footage to the runner-up Poonam-Manish, after the results were announced. Acknowledged all choreographers. Indeed this must be a very good career opportunity for the choreographers and various designers. One more thing, I must say, this show demolished any remnant wonder at bulky people indulging in fast dance. I mean, we always had Saroj Khan. But now we got to see non-professional dancers like Delnaaz, Manasi and Poonam dance very well and enjoy themselves, inspite of their extra pounds.

And for some reason, this reminded me of all school competitions. Only here, parents were competing and kids cheering ! Over all a very well choreographed show indeed !

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Aug ... Dec

Phew, its already December. Less than a month for the year to end ! August to December is my favourite part of the year. For various reasons:
  1. Mainly for all the Festivals - Ganesh Chaturthi, Janmastami, Dusherra, Durga Puja, Deepavali, Ramzan, culminating in Christmas and New Year's Eve
  2. And so there are more oppurtunity to get the fairy-lights out and adorn the balcony.
  3. All our family birthdays and anniversaries fall in this duration.
  4. That gives us more reason for winter parties. Especially the ones organized in Gardens. Chilly evenings, shawls swish-swashing, crackling bon-fire, kids running around in colorful sweaters, ghazals in the air and steaming hot scrumptious dinner. Yum ...
  5. Diwali movie releases like Veer Zaara, DDLJ, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and many other of my fav movies. This is the time to add to my library list.
  6. And the Christmas movies. My fav being: Home Alone 1 & 2 and It's a Wonderful Life.
  7. This is also the time to start a review of all things that happened this year. Personal, local, national. Best movies & songs of this year. Lot of ammunition for media to churn out their daily potboilers.

Its amazing, at the begining of the every year, I wait for August. And soon, its time to way goodbye to the entire year.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Dinosaur poster

I have to chip in about Abhishek Bachchan's Ford Fiesta billboards. Seriously what is it about ? A bored looking AB, giving awkward poses and towering over a tiny car. It is very similar to some Dinosaur movie poster. And as far as I can remember this is his first ad. How did he get it ? More like BigB was overloaded with his share and so passed on some of the ads to SmallB.
Abhishek Bachchan's Ford Fiesta
More pics here.

Oh btw, Amitabh Bachchan is down with colitis and hospitalized. I think it's all due to overwork. I wish him a speedy recovery and hopefully he takes a long holiday. Though yes, I will miss his movies for that duration.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Kind of Train

More Quizzes. And, this is more like it ! :)



You're the Hogwarts Express!

While you are revered and admired by many people around you, your main task in life is really just taking the kids to school. Nevertheless, this is a vital job and one that you manage with great gusto and more flair than most think is reasonable. You don't seem to have much sense of order or control over the kids while doing this, but you take the same predictable route every time. Next time, you really shouldn't let that shadowy hooded figure come along for the ride.


Take the Trains and Railroads Quiz at RMI Miniature Railroads.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Book quiz

Totally unbelievable ! I thought I might be some exotic book. But this ... Have to take these quizes with bucketful of salt.



You're The Dictionary!

by Merriam-Webster

You're one of those know-it-all types, with an amazing amount of knowledge at your command. People really enjoy spending time with you in very short spurts, but hanging out with you for a long time tends to bore them. When folks really need an authority to refer to, however, you're the one they seek. You're an exceptional speller and very well organized.


Take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

india calling

There's a new show on Star One "india calling". Promos are interesting, as any on Star bouquet. But I can't help feeling, these guys are trying to fill-in the gap left by Kareena Kareena. Mon to Wed 9:30 pm slot. Protagonist Chandni, a Punjabi working girl from Jallandar (Chandigarh, in case of KK). Directly speaking to camera. The first episode was ok, usual kind - considering that it was to give some background.

india calling


If Kareena Kareena was a comedy of errors, from the promos it feels like india calling is about office politics. Ya, going by the good track record of Star One, this one might just work !

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Garam Masala

Akshay Kumar and John Abraham in Garam MasalaWatched Garam Masala 6 hours ago. It was good. Considering I was watching a movie in theatre with friends, after a long time. The movie was good, I mean.

Among the song, my favorites are Ada, simply for the way Sonu Nigam plays around with the word. And Garam Masala, for the rap part of it and more importantly for the signature tune, the whistling type. Very catchy and smile inducing.

Well, the movie is about Makhrand or Mac (Akshay) and Shyam or Sam (John Abraham) and their jugglery. Paresh Rawal plays their cook, who bears with it all. Which means tremendous scope for face contortions, especially when he has to keep his mouth shut. He had the minimum dialogues, which is a waste considering his part in Hera Pheri. Other characters come & go. Oh the girls. Ya they all looked good in their air-hostess uniform, which was expected of them.

Akshay Kumar and John AbrahamThe movies moves so fast that there is no time to think about morals or ethics part. Plagiarism and debauchery is not an issue. Stopping the ‘Bangkok flight’ from opening the middle room door is. Akshay’s emotional cycle is the high point of comedy here. One moment he is cursing and next he is a giggling, sweet talking jerk. Abraham is the manipulative goof here. He executes it well with his looks alright, but he’s got a lot to learn. And the living room sofa ! My my ! Everybody trips the sofa, all the time. The only disgusting part was the way cook dumps food in the bin. Okay okay it’s a comedy, plus they don’t show the actual food; so it’s ok. Priyadarshan, as usual, delivers a paisa vasool

The movie was two and a half hour long, but the whole thing felt like 5 minutes !

And oh, the parting shot of the movie - now that's delicious. Not to be missed !

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Wonderfalls

I say, why do I have to discuss my favourite serials after they are gone ? Yesternight I rushed through the dinner and parked myself in front of the TV for 10pm show of Wonderfalls. And boom ! they show some silly filler. Pst.

Well I hope they come back with the next season. But from what Google tells me, there was no next season. Shame.

I had been skeptical during the promos, but the very first episode got me hooked. Fabulous background music. I don't catch the lyrics, but the sounds are always apt. The star of this show is Caroline Dhavernas. Straight hair, shining eyes and eyebrows flying all over the face. Its about Jaye Taylor, to whom suddenly, all the figurines with faces start talking ! I specially like the therapist's book-reading monkey, which always goes "Eye Love you". Cute. Incredulous & resisting as she was initially, by 6th episode she starts working on their instructions in almost auto mode. Even 'staple her shoe-lace to wall'. She needs to do what they ask her to, no matter what the intepretation. Or they nag & nag her.

I think the fun here, is that, it is very adventurous, in a limited setup. No exotic locals or characters. Just Jaye Taylor, her family, friends and Niagara Falls.

Anyway now, the SaveWonderFalls guys share my enthu. They have put up a good lot of info about this show. And here a really really good review if you want to know more.

Monday, November 7, 2005

Happy Diwali

Wow ! I am back from my week long vacation. Had been to my in-laws to celebrate Diwali. Belated, but

Wishing you all a very Happy Deepavali and Health, Wealth & Prosperity in the coming year !!!






Well, I was lucky Chennai was dry on Friday. I was very apprehensive when I left from here on thursday night. Cause all types of news said it was pouring like mad out there. But I made it safely to Raipur by evening.

And I must go ga-ga over Chattisgarh. Its such a beautiful place ! I felt the same way when I visited it for the first time four years ago. Forests & farms, just the sights. Last time it was by train. This time I got an arieal view. And again, I have to say it was beautiful. Different from all other arieal views. More open areas. A complete patchwork quilt, in different hues of Green. Amazing.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Water visits Bangalore

Water visits Bangalore this time. Heavy rain batters Bangalore.

Monday was not a great day to be outside, in Bangalore. But several homes were flooded too. Water logging on major roads led to 3-4 hour long traffic jams. Flash floods affected animals too at Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Banneghatta National Park and Mysore Zoo.

Friday, October 21, 2005

P. G. Wodehouse Rocks !

P. G. Wodehouse Rocks ! He is the humor equivalent of Conan Doyle's suspense and Austen's, hmm, formality.

JEEVES IN THE OFFINGHere I am, sitting in a bus, stuck in a bumper-to-bumper traffic, yet unable to control my sudden bursts of giggles. Thankfully most of the bus is asleep, tired from work and rocked gently to zzzz. Else they would have wrongfully assumed me to be a loony. Much like the way, to solve a huge impending problem, Jeeves puts Bertie in a situation where everyone but the intimate circle, assumes he is a loony or kleptomaniac or boot-polish faced tresspasser. And yet all Bertie can do is worship Jeeves and sing his praise.

I had hoped I would be concise and finish with just "P. G. Wodehouse Rocks !". But looks like I can't escape PGW's influence and just need to use long-winded sentences. I have finished 2 of his books and now 3 unread PGW, lying in my library, beckon me. Lets see, what they turn me into ?

PGW created such amazing plots, filled with peculiar but adorable characters (much like Kareena Kareena). I wonder how he wrote all this ? Was it at one go ? Or one chapter per week ? Were these serialized in some magazine, like Dickens & Alexamder Dumas ? Did he make a hundred drafts ? Did he create the plot first and then fleshed it up with his wit and wordplay ? There is so little I know of his writing method. I have purposely refrained from Googling him too much. Want to let the mystery continue. Ignorance is bliss.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

What Mythological Creature are you?

This is some dangerous description about me. But, nevermind, I took the quiz.

You scored as Mermaid. Mermaid: Mermaids are also known as Sirens. These creatures were beautiful women who tricked sailors into becoming completely entranced by their haunting voices and found death soon after. Not all stories of Mermaids are about gentle loving sea people. They are mystical, magical, and extremely dangerous. They have a way about them that brings anyone they are around to seem enchanted. They are very mysterious creatures and to meet one... Would mean certain Death. Let the song of the Sea fill your soul, for you are a Mermaid.

Mermaid

92%

Angel

92%

Faerie

67%

WereWolf

59%

Dragon

50%

Demon

0%

What Mythological Creature are you? (Cool Pics!)
created with QuizFarm.com

Friday, October 14, 2005

Ta Ta Kareena Kareena

Noooooo. Yeh nahin ho sakta .... ah...



I was watching Kareena Kareena just a usual. And bang - at the end of it, they said "Good Wishes & GoodBye". Just like that. I didn't see this coming, so it's a real shocker.

Tried to cheer myself that Hum Paanch is coming back. But no Kareena Kareena, boo hoo hoo. This is not fair.... Ok, let me compose myself and say what I had been wanting to say, but did not find time to.

Kareena Kareena was the Best of Hindi serials around. Just last week I was thrilled, coz it was Kareena-Tushar wedding week. And Prem (Shah Rukh Barucha), my favourite, came back, even if a cameo. And few weeks before that, I was thrilled that my emails had worked, and she was back in Saree.

This fast-paced serial has been through a lot of changes. But unlike, others, where the plot may move 20 years ahead, or the actor may change anyday, any time (even mid-serial), here the changes had been gradual and smooth. For that matter, after watching it from the past one half year, I can say, its in its fifth stage now. Its more like fifth season, only there is no concept of seasons in Hindi Serials. Its always non-stop and then they go dead without winding up of any of the threads.

Here the pace was fast, but even. The story keep twisting and turning every 10 minutes. Everything what we except seem to about to happen, but never does - something else happens.

It was an experience to see her fib. She gets caught in something, and then right from the top of her head, she would spin a tale. Each one incredible, but obivious at hindsight. Ah the cycle of shocks and relief. Each of the charaters, major & minor, are well developed. And most of them adorable.

Ah, now its all over. I think they got exhausted churning out good, refreshing & innovative episodes, 4 days a week. They should take a break, and come back with new season. Fingers-crossed.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Five Things Meme


Becky (pith, marrow and coffee spoons) tagged me last week. But this one required some homework. So here I am.

FIVE SNACKS I ENJOY
All heavy cal ones
1. Banana Roti Roll
2. Dilpasand
3. Lays classic salted chips
4. Biscuits dunked in Tea - entire packet of it. If its opened, its got to be finished.
5. Pakodas - Onion, potato, capsicum, brinjal, yummmm...

FIVE SONGS I KNOW ALL THE WORDS TO
Man, this is difficult. I feel I know all Hindi movie songs, thanks to constant repetation. But let me list out these:
1. Tere chehre se - Kabhi Kabhi
2. Lakdi ki kati - Masoom
3. Gajab ka din, socho jara - Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak
4. Tujhe dekha to yeh jana sanam - Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge
5. Kabhi Kabhi Mere dil mein khalyal aata hain
Ke zindagi teri zulfo ki narm chao mein gujar na pati,
Toh shadab ho bhi sakti thi
Yeh ranj-o-gham ki siyahi, jo dil pe chayi hain,
teri nazar ki shuwao mein khobhi sakti thi.
Magar yeh ho na saka ....

Didn't understand a word of it, but it sounds so Beautiful. Esp when Amitabh recites it.

FIVE THINGS I'D DO WITH A MILLION DOLLARS
Hmm, what will I do ? Never thought about it.
1. Maybe be boring and invest on house
2. Dispatch a chunk to PM's National Relief Fund
3. Take a long holiday and visit all places I want to
4. Buy loads of handbags
5. And Gold & Diamond Jewellery. And Silk Sareeeeees, oh ya :)

FIVE PLACES I'D RUN AWAY TO
1. Toronto
2. Leh
3. Udupi
4. Assam - Beautiful place. One of my childhood places, memories of which are still unspoiled from my revisiting.
5. Amsterdam - To check out Vincent van Gogh gallery

FIVE THINGS I'D NEVER WEAR
1. High-heels - Mom says I am tall enough
2. Blunt or short hair cut - Mom, and now my Hubby, like it long
3. Nylons or any synthetic material. I get too much static.
4. Talcum powder - I get a sneezing fit
5. Piercings - no way

FIVE FAVORITE TV SHOWS
Oh I have my list ready here. Maybe even overspill the limit of 5. All I do is be online or watch TV.
1. Wonderfalls
2. The Monk
3. Desperate Housewives
4. Kareena Kareena
5. F.R.I.E.N.D.S. - I LIVE on this rerun.
6. Sarabhai vs Sarabhai
7. Instant Kichadi

FIVE BIGGEST JOYS
1. Receiving a letter
2. Seeing my Hubby
3. Visiting my parents
4. Completing an esp rogue task at work
5. Seeing my name in print

FIVE FAVORITE TOYS
1. Our new car
2. TV Remote
3. Blog
4. Taperecorder
5. Mobile phone

FIVE FINE FOLKS WHO CAN NOW CONSIDER THEMSELVES TAGGED:
Let me pass on this baton to
1. Thomas @ Your ever well-wisher
2. Sugar @ Barefoot Mailman
3. SonSon @ Just Being Me
4. Amarnath @ KhelNayak
5. On a lookout for the fifth one !

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

North Indian Sub-continent Earthquake

Reports of the devastating earthquake in Jammu & Kashmir, and in Pakistan, are horrifying.

  • Red Cross
  • Concern
  • Mercy Corps
  • Monday, October 10, 2005

    Cart procession


    Click on the photo for a larger pic.

    Took this in Belgaum last month. Photo doesn't capture it all. The real procession looked, and sounded, real good. After years of watching motorised vehicles, it was a novelty to see the road captured by a single file of Bullock carts !

    Thursday, October 6, 2005

    Years Meme

    Wow ! I have been tagged after a long time. By Becky @ pith, marrow and coffee spoons. I am going to break the two of them into 3 memes.

    10 YEARS AGO
    I had newly met my hubby and was walking in the clouds with a perpetual silly smile, followed by wild checking if anyone saw me. Mutual declaration was to follow, in 5 more days.

    FIVE YEARS AGO
    I was soaking in the lovely place called IISc. Beautiful place to work. I clearly remember all those walks in the campus. Halogen-lit rain-soaked Gulmohar & Jacaranda avenues. << deep breath >>

    ONE YEAR AGO
    That doesn't seem like long time. I am sure I was doing the same thing I did today. Hmm. This is dull.
    Also, maybe constantly cross-checking the 9th anniversary surprise gift I hide, from my hubby.

    YESTERDAY
    Was Wednesday and I drove. Via treacherous terrain of rain-soaked Banshankari VI Stage and perpetually-in-repair Mysore Road. To my parents home, for their Grihapravesh (house-warming) ceremony. They finally moved to their new house. (And I have no immediate plans of returning their TV. Tsh Tsh, I am a TV-Addict, what can I say?)

    And let me pass on this baton to
  • Thomas - Haribol!
  • KhelNayak
  • Sugar
  • SonSon
  • Arranged inter-caste marriage

    This weekend, I was gossiping with Mom & Dad. And topic veered towards weddings. A Kannada dentist school friend of mine had married a Gujarati doc from her city. I always assumed it was a love marriage. But Bingo, now I am informed that it was an arranged match. I was incredulous. "Oh come on, it’s just a story they make up." But nope. Dad replied, "I know the boys side. And this was properly arranged by the family via a matrimonial ad in newspaper."

    I was aghast. Totally shocking. "How is that possible ?" Obviously I don’t live in the real world. "Why not? There are so many other cases." And out tumbled the list.

    Another Kannada colleague's daughter got married to a Delhi fella. This looked like a plain love match, both working for the same company. But no, it’s an arranged match. The boy was her colleague’s colleague in a different location. "Oh please, they just made up the story". And when another family friend was looking for bride for their eldest son, they talked to their second son's classmate's family, for his sister. After their family Guruji said it was fine, wedding was fixed. Here, boy is North-Karnataka brahmin and girl Punjabi Sardar. "Oh this is impossible". And, I was brought up-to-date on a lot more cases.

    But how can there be an inter-caste, inter-language arranged marriage? Won’t there be language or some cultural problems?
    My Dad came back with, "Why? Do we have language or any other problem with our son-in-law? No."
    Um, er, well our match was fixed by the boy & the girl. I didn't utter that. Because that’s very old water under the bridge.

    Anyway, still, don’t they face any problem in their community ?
    Mom replied, "Its only villagers who whisper, that they didn't marry in the same caste. Educated people in cities don’t care about such things, as long as all other criteria are met." Good family, stable job, proper behavior, decent social standing, etc etc.

    Wow! Now this is mind blowing. And in a good sense :) I mean, how come there is no publicity for arranged inter-caste marriages. 'Arranged marriages' are discussed threadbare by people who are scared of the expected. 'Love marriage and why they fail' is the favorite of writers in 50 & above age bracket. But this - arranged inter-caste - is going on from so long and is totally ignored. There is such a disconnect between media and real-world.

    Last I read was this report on Haryana-Kerala alliances in issue of The Week (they haven't put it online). And 36 of them ! Here the factor is shortage of marriageable age girls in Hissar. Before I can panic, we are told that all girls are very happy. That's heartening. And this too began with a 'lovu marriage'.

    And for some reason, this report reminds me of Punjabi-Mexican families who settled, a century ago, in Southern California's Imperial Valley.

    Maid in Kerala
    Haryanvis seek brides from down south

    by Vinu Abraham

    The two places have little in common: language, clothing, culture or food. But Hissar in Haryana and Kunjimangalam in Kerala are fast building bonds - through marriage. It all started innocuously. Eight years ago, Sudheendran, a young man from Kunjimangalam in Kannur district, went to work in Delhi, fell in love with a girl from Hissar district and tied the knot. Soon after, his brother-in-law Rajeendar, who was looking for a bride, saw a picture of his younger sister Rathi and liked her. Both families approved the match and marriage took place.

    Instead of being an exception to the rule, Rathi's good fortune transformed the destiny of more than 35 girls from Kunjimangalam area. Social factors played the matchmaker. In Hissar, girls of marriageable age are a minority thanks to a skewed female to male ratio. Most men wait well into their 30s before they find a match....For the Malayalis, glowing reports of marital bliss and the fact that the men do not demand dowry made up their minds.

    Bit how do the couples overcome the language barrier ? "For the first two to three months we did have trouble," says Preetha who is back in her village for the birth of her first child. "But our in-laws rigorously coach us in their language. We also got used to their food in a few months."

    Word of mouth has helped sustain the trend. The girls often suggest names of friends and relatives to the prospective grooms. Krishnakurup, a barber, recently married his daughter Prasanna to Gulshan Kumar from Hissar. "When the proposal came, we made inquiries with families who had sent their daughters to Hissar", he says. "We found that all girls were happy. Hissar men are caring and their family bonds are very strong." And with more proposals coming, the love story of Kunjimangalam and Hissar is likely to endure.

    Friday, September 30, 2005

    Kumar Sanu's new album


    Its a good thing Kumar Sanu is back. Latest thing going on is:

    Dil nashe mein chur hain
    pass aa kyun door hain |
    Do dilon ki doooooriya
    Ab nahin manjur hain ...


    No exceptional lyrics. Music from the Nadeem-Sharavan gharana. Which is just fine. Just when I was missing my staple food, he is back with an album, Aise Na Dekho Mujhe . Ah, I am so relived. It is so soothing to hear his voice amid all the orchestra & chorus.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2005

    Shivgange

    We went treking up Shivgange, this Saturday. Shivgange is about 70 kms from Bangalore.

    I am not much of an outdoor person, but this was great ! The view got progressively better as we moved up. This was not mountain climbing or walking through a forest. It was about climbing steps. Now the word 'steps' is very misleading. Because it was not easy as it sounds. Climbing up required effort, and we were all giggling at how much effort. We kept climbing with many stops at stone structures on the way, for chips & bhelpuri and drinking water, buttermilk & sugarcane juice.

    We didn't make it to the top, because monkeys attacked us near that point. They wanted our chips packet. Anyway it was 2 pm and we needed lunch.

    Climb down was a different adventure altogether. Steep portion were a bit scary. The huge green expanse seemed to spread out from the next step. Very deceptively inviting. And knees got all wobbly from climbing down so many steps.

    I thought I would be really really tired and had planned to spend rest of the day & Sunday in bed. But surprisingly I was very active on both the days. But exhaustion did catch up with me on Monday :D !

    Friday, September 23, 2005

    Water

    Nature is at its furious worst this year. Especially Water.

    Begining with the Tsunami in Dec. Then floods in the most unlikelest places like Gujrat, Maharashtra, North Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh. Even Switzerland - I didnt know mountains are susceptible to floods. And Hurricane Katrina. Updates on upcoming Hurricane Rita are disturbing. And now cyclone in Andhra.
    Andhra, washed away
    The coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh were battered by torrential rains following a tropical cyclone that hit the area. It claimed 58 lives in two days. Heavy downpours also saw rivers overflowing their embankments, forcing the evacuation of thousands.

    Tuesday, September 20, 2005

    City planning

    Tavleen Singh squarely blames the bureaucrats for hindering India, on its way to becoming an economic success. She feels administrative reforms will help here.

    The Govt is a dead elephant
    By Tavleen Singh
    The Indian bureaucrat does not want India to become a rich country, he does not want free markets and he does not want a truly free society because when these things happen, his powers diminish immediately
    .....
    Let us go further. India has the worst roads, water and electricity supply, public (government) schools, hospitals and cities in the world. This affects us directly but too few of us ask any questions. If we did we would discover that the obstacles officials put in the way of our ordinary needs get multiplied a thousand times as we go higher up the echelons of bureaucratic power. So even when you have a Chief Minister who genuinely wants to make a difference, even when he comes up with plans to improve schools, housing or healthcare, when these plans reach the hands of his officials they stop. The bureaucrats he is forced to deal with allow nothing to happen, nothing to go forward and soon his five years are up and he loses his election because he has succeeded in doing nothing and the same bureaucrats remain in important jobs to ensure that the next chief minister does nothing either.
    ...

    Is this what is stopping Dharam Singh from achieving anything so far ? Possible factor. But, he also has power over them. So he can, if he wants to.

    Is this the reason behind Bangalore infrastructure woes and failure in Mumbai in July ? Venkat Krishnan suggests more power to local governance as a solution. Well that idea did come up during the Mumbai deluge, esp when you compare the city's tax revenue vs returns in administration, city planning and infrastructure.
    How about city govts?
    By Venkat Krishnan
    The only way to get cities some attention would be to get local governments, for which autonomy and representation are both important.

    Friday, September 16, 2005

    Travel & Being a grandparent

    I read this interesting middle one night.
    Grandma's tale
    By Maya Jayapal

    Being a grandparent is getting a second chance at atoning for and amending mistakes one had made


    ....We have got a second chance to atone for the mistakes we made as parents, young parents sans the wisdom and the experience we possess now...

    I have been reading Maya Jayapal's articles, from like what, from the time I was in school. She is a regular contributer, mostly traveloges from across the world. I think I got my want-to-travel bug, from reading her regularly.

    Thursday, September 15, 2005

    Happy Birthday Mom

    Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
    Watched Home Alone 2: Lost in New York tonight.

    Some nuggets like 'I thought being alone will be fun. But it's not. Now I dont want to be alone. Even if it is with somebody who bugs me. Even Bus'. My thoughts !

    I love this movie for the Kevin's pranks, his slow torture of the burglers, snow and the fairy-lights lit streets, and the scene of all cousins asleep, sprawled across one room. But most importantly, what stuck me in both these movies, even the first time I saw it like 10-12 years ago - is Kevin's mother. Her despair at having left him behind at home and then at the airport. I dont have many words to describe, what I felt and still feel. But its just stuck on my mind.

    Happy Birthday Mom !

    Tuesday, September 13, 2005

    Lux for Shah Rukh Khan

    Shah Rukh Khan in petal bathAfter 75 years of using almost every actress for their advertisements, they have Shah Rukh Khan now. Finally (and I think definitely), they are going to sell more soaps now ! I am yet to see the actual ad, so I will reserve my comment on it.

    Bollywood's beau smells of roses

    Khan was keen to appear in the ad
    Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan has ventured where no male Indian film actor has before - a bathtub filled with rose petals for a soap advert.

    But SRK says, he is not the first guy to do the Lux ad. Well, but in India, he is. I liked his explanation of why this is no big deal?

    Not for Shah Rukh

    Shah Rukh has made headlines for his Lux ad -- a first for a male celebrity. "Not true," SRK corrects. "Before me, Paul Newman had done the Lux ad.....
    ....Actually, all my favourite heroines have done the ad. Lux has traditionally been considered a woman's soap. But I can't remember a time when it hasn't a been a part of Indian households, for a male or female.

    Wednesday, September 7, 2005

    Happy Ganesh Chaturthi

    Ganesha

    Happy Ganesh Chaturthi

    Thursday, September 1, 2005

    Tubelight Gyan

    Questions:
    Before 18, you are considered not intelligent, if you don't ask questions.

    After 18, you are considered not intelligent, if you ask questions, without providing answers for them.

    Sarcasm is the worst form of communication. Nobody gets the point. And its not funny. Also, the satisfaction of giving a biting reply often leaves a bitter aftertaste.
    Art form, maybe. But definitely not for communication.

    Accusatory tone
    Anything said in accusatory tone need not be so.
    Repsonse in accusatory tone, does not imply you are guilty. Its just their attack mechanism.
    Example:

  • You are being defensive - Ofcourse I am, since you are being offensive.
  • Oh his English is simply a translation from vernacular. - Big deal. As long as you talk confidently and communicate your idea, its good enough. Wait for 20, or even 5 years, and your phrases will find a mention in the Oxford dictionary.
  • Friday, August 26, 2005

    License to ...

    Yuhoooo !!!!!!!

    I cleared my Driving License test. First attempt. Not bad.

    But there's one more week wait to get the actual license. No problem ! After that, it's me and my car and Bangalore city (for now). All the congested roads (Majestic), open freeways (Outer Ring Rd), crawling-traffic roads (Hosur Rd) and loop of one ways (Richmod-Residency-MG-etc), and the countryside (Mysore Rd, Magadi Rd, etc) - Be Alert ... here I come !!!!

    I hope to make good use of all that I learnt from my hubby & the driving instructor.

    The test as such, was ok. It involved driving from the Jayanager RTO office to the Service road near Nandini. Via all the 4th block afternoon rush traffic ! Here, I had to get off for the next applicant's test. I was left wondering if I had made it ? Or did I flunk ? (Though I knew I am not so bad). Before the actual test, there is some patience needed in the RTO office. 2 different queues, but smooth and quick moving. That's because of an early, very early morning start. The best part was, the view of Jayanager BDA complex market from the 7th floor office. Vendors setting up their wares. Strong coffee smell wafting up even up there.

    Hmm, I guess, now my real test will be to come shopping here. All by myself. Cool!

    Janmastami



    Janmastami - Lord Krishna's Birthday.

    Tuesday, August 23, 2005

    Flyover work - back in action

    The BTM-Bannerghatta road flyover work has started. Yester-evening, it took me 2.5 hours to reach home. Usually its 1.25hr. But thats ok. All new diversions create some confusion for a week. And then things settle down. As long as the flyover work is completed asap and the mess is cleared up, all's fine.

    All bylanes in JP nager were choked with buses, cars and people going home. I was envious of apartment blocks and houses out there. Though their peace was disturbed, atleast they were home. And not trapped in a bus or something.

    But never mind. This is a positive development. Fingers crossed for good results.

    Monday, August 22, 2005

    This is good news

    This is good news.

    ToI, HT get SC notice for vulgar content

    Its was high time, somebody pulled up ToI. Thank you Supreme Court and Mr. Ajay Goswami for the PIL. I hope it really has some effect.

    ToI had gone down long back. I had switched to Deccan Herald nearly 4-5 years back. DH always has good material to read. Indian Express is good in Maharashtra. But their Bangalore edition is not in a good shape.

    Condescending arm-chair critics - Part II

    It's time to stop cross-examining the past.

    To quote Outlook India,

    Letting Go Of The Past
    What is it about our historical icons that it becomes incumbent to deify or vilify them? Why not accept them for what they are, reclaim a common heritage?

    They were a product of their time. They did what they had to do. Ofcourse there were good people and bad people. But carrying today's political correctness to judge past heroes is ridiculous. What matters are their deeds.

    What kind of person he was ? Thats impossible to find out. Even if he maintained a 24 hour daily diary. After all, one is a coward till he performs a brave act.

    Friday, August 19, 2005

    TV free day

    When I reached home, there was no power. And this was great! Because my eyes were burning from all the sleep loss. I simply plonked into my bed. A short nap of one hour and I was feeling great. Though the power came back, I didn't go into auto-mode & switch on the TV. Instead, prepared grand dinner and arranged the balcony flowerpots.

    I promised myself a treat of my favorite sitcom 'Kareena Kareena' at 9:30 pm. Until then it was only Radio while I cooked. So promptly at 9:30 pm, I set my dinner, made myself comfy in front of the TV and turned it on. Boom, there was no KK. The channel was showing a cricket match instead. Agh ! Bah, with my schdeule disturbed, I lost all my focus. Watched a little bit of F.R.I.E.N.D.S and went to sleep.

    So ultimately, this was a great TV free day (after a long time), even with a TV & TV addict in the same house.

    Condescending arm-chair critics

    A lot of time-waste going is on, on various news-sites & blogs, about Rudrangshu Mukherjee's book - Mangal Pandey: Brave Martyr or Accidental Hero.

    People like Mangal Pandey, Tatya Tope, Laxmibai of Jhansi, Shivaji - they created the word Patriotism and notion of India. They were not born into well-defined structure, like we were. They were citizens of their village or provinces. Boundaries were defined later and have changed with time.

    People generally follow rules & definitions they were born into. Then something happens, which makes them question or break thise rules. Its ridiculous to judge them by today's standards. Its what you do at your current time, that matters.

    Anyway, every artist has his own interpretation. Whether it is Rudrangshu or Ketan Mehta or any historian. After all, everyone agrees, nothing of his personal life is documented. Our school history textbooks didn't inform of his drinking habits or its absense. Only about the repulsion to those catridge covers and the revolt (begining with personal level).

    But what matters is Mangal Pandey did something and it started something big. And it almost borders on ingratitude, that in this age, we arm-chair critics comfortably analyse and pass judgements on his ilk - to deify or vilify him.

    A post on Version of Ramayana - unconnected with Mangal Pandey. But it just goes on to show that times change, and stories change accordingly.

    Monday, August 15, 2005

    Happy Independence Day !

    Happy Independence Day !



    Here is my list of good wishes for India
  • better weather (proper monsoon, summer and winter in just the right amount)
  • more growth in economy
  • better infrastructure in rural and urban areas
  • balanced gender population ratio
  • better output from Indian writers
  • continue the success rate and good quality in Indian cinema & music industry
  • And increased sensibility among Indian voters - for next time.
  • Wednesday, August 10, 2005

    Aamir & Toby

    Found Mangal Pandey blog - by Aamir Khan. Ofcourse its one of the publicity material. But never mind. Though the songs are not so good, looking forward to Mangal Pandey - the Rising for two reasons.

    Firstly, because its Aamir's next movie, after a long time. And I love Aamir.
    Secondly for Toby Stephens. I like him a lot, since Die Another Day. Was very sauve in that movie.

    Trailers were ok. Liked that one shot - of Aamir rising from behind the steps. Slow, steady, Awesome !

    Changed my mind about the songs. 3 of them are good, in this order.
  • Dekho aayi holi
  • Mangal mangal
  • Main Vari Vari
    Not impressive at first hearing; but catches on after repetation. Energetic.
  • We need more Plastic Surgeons

    We need more Plastic Surgeons. Yes. For cleft-lip operations and for other birth-related deformities. For gnarled fingers and limbs of burn or leprosy victims, disfigurement due to accidents. There are so many patients who need these specialized doctors.

    I know lot of doctors who hold regular camps for cleft-lip operations in rural areas. Then there is the legendary Dr Modi, who performed maximum number of eye transplants (5,95,019 eye operations and examined 10,094,632 patients since 1943 till the 80's).

    Its one thing to look ultra beautiful, conforming to the nitty-gritty standards set by few people. And it’s another thing to be whole, hale and healthy; to not be stared at, so as to concentrate on other things in life.

    I hope the current batch of medical students show interest in this area as well. I know this branch of medicine is as lucrative as any another. And it makes a difference in many lives.

    Friday, August 5, 2005

    For Men too !

    Today, I saw a billboard ad of Emami fairness cream - Fair And Handsome, for Men! Too much I say.

    I mean, I know men always used these products. Men used talcum powders, Lux soap, moisturizer, etc; but no ad ever showed that. This is the first time a fairness cream has actually advertised their target group. Men - "specially made for tough skin".

    I mean we have borne with ads where they show, how fortunes of dusky ladies get changed overnight (or 14 days), along with the color of their skin. What are they going to say in the men's cream ad? As far as I know, in our society, men's skin shade never really mattered. Maybe there is something I don't know.

    The 2000 decade is going to be marked by the fact that anything that makes money is fine. Anyway, money always bought respect, from time immemorial.

    Wednesday, August 3, 2005

    Tagged ! Book baton

    I have been tagged. Passed to me by Becky at pith , marrow, and coffee spoons

    While filling this out, I realized, I haven't read much in a long time. Or bought many. This is sad. There was a time when I was the only bookworm in all neighbourhod. I read books, newspaper, mag and even the film end credits and fine print on music cassettes.

    Graduation and job-hunting phase made me go through all the theory-vs-practical doubt phase and I gave up books totally. But once I settled down, I realized books are the perfect things I need and we were back together. But lately I have been reading only magazines and blogs. Maybe I am temporarily off the books, as am busy with 100 other things. Anyway, definitely need to take some corrective action now.

    Am not very experimental and have stuck to classics or books I know most about (sometimes even the endings!).

    Number of Books on the Shelves:
    200 odd. All fiction and non-fiction ones were bought by me and the technical ones are my hubby's collection. I stuck to the bare basic tech books.

    Last Book Purchased:

  • Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince - by J K Rowling. Have linked it to my review.
  • Blink : The Power of Thinking Without Thinking - by Malcolm Gladwell

    Currently Reading:
  • Blink : The Power of Thinking Without Thinking - It’s a good one really. I now feel vindicated for all the instant decisions I have made :)
  • HitchHikers - Ah Gwad, when will I finish it ? I am trying to read it since January. But no worry - I know the day will come.

    Last 5 Books Read:
  • Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince - by J K Rowling
  • State of Fear - by Micheal Crichton
  • Deception Point - by Dan Brown
  • Da Vinci Code - by Dan Brown
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

    Have linked them to my reviews.

    Meaningful Books:
    Meaningful only in igniting my mind.
  • Internetworking with TCP/IP, Vol I, II, III - By David L. Stevens & Douglas E. Comer
  • Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austen. All time favorite. Because I love the book, I endup liking all film versions of it. Regardless of any demerits in the movie.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas - very huge, very detailed, humorous and profund stuff too.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird - By Harper Lee - reminded me of my good times :)
  • Sherlock Holmes Series - By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - for children. To develop lateral thinking.

    Adding my own question:
    Books on my 'To Read' list:
  • No Logo - Noami Klien
  • Sideways - by Rex Pickett
  • Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television - by Jerry Mander
  • Polite Lies: On Being a Woman Caught Between Cultures - by Kyoko Mori
  • In the Absence of the Sacred- The Failure of Technology and the Survival of the Indian Nations - by Jerry Mander
  • Bridget Jones Diary
  • Fried Green Tomatoes - because everytime I hear this name, I feel hungry. Want to see what the book is about.
  • Mrs Dalloway - by Virginia Woolf
  • The Hours - by Michael Cunningham.

    Almost everyone I know has been tagged this a long back. But I am passing the baton on to: Haribol and Ftz. And everyone is free to tag along from here.
  • Tuesday, August 2, 2005

    What’s goin on?

    What is going on, I say? Ayodhya attack, Gujarat floods, London blast, Egypt blast, renewed attack in Kashmir last week, attempt in Delhi, blast in Punjab train. Seriously, what’s going on?

    Rains in Mumbai, damage it has caused, its unbelievable. I did not bother about this piece of news, till I spent the entire weekend in front of TV, watching all news channels. All those images of people trudging in water, in rain. For more than a week now.

    This is not something out of the blue. Mumbai has been suffering rain damage every monsoon, from quite a long time. For that matter, I remember, during a month stay in 1997 in Mumbai, I was stranded thanks to overflowing roads. I walked home for 10km and stayed home next day. I was lucky. So many people who depend on the trains, walked almost across the entire city, all night & day to get home.

    About something so natural and regular, the administration did nothing from so long. Took no action. I mean I know, memory is short. But this is practically amnesia. Or good will thinking - that oh nothing will go wrong next monsoon.

    For now, rest of Maharashtra is also severely affected. Indore is flooded. Calcutta is usually in a similar situation about overflowing roads. When Bangalore receives marginal drizzle, all drains start overflowing. There have been serious damage and losses because of that last year and before. If we were to receive a fraction of what Mumbai got, I hate to think what will happen?

    Floods in Urban areas - I think even now nobody wants to adapt and believe that yes that’s possible. It’s like a myth, that oh other than crime, there is no danger in cities. This is nature’s fury, yes. But what kind of people allow weak buildings to be overpopulated? What kind of administration allows for slums to come up, by treacherous hillside, with a landslide waiting to happen?

    Administration is good to manage an existing properly running system. Any crisis and they start running away, hide and pray for us to forget it all - which actually we just might. Seriously why the hell do we pay taxes for, if we don’t have basic stuff in normal life and no help in times of crisis? I doubt even a fraction of all that working class tax-paying public in Mumbai can see any returns when they need it most, for what they have done so far.

    I know a lot of throw contemptuous sneer at news channels, for sensationalizing, for self-back-slapping. But hey, if they jolt up anyone in the administration, if they affect the way town-planning is done henceforth, then they have played their role well.

    Friday, July 29, 2005

    Name logo

    Google is too smooth. I Love Google !
    Replace < your name > with your name and see the magic:
    http://www.logogle.com/ggl.php?hl=ja&lo=< your name >
    Character that can be input [A-Z][a-z][0-9],[/\@;:+-!?] Space

    Here's mine.

    Wednesday, July 27, 2005

    Bangalore driving behavior

    Am noticing subtle changes in Bangalore driving behavior. Well there have to be changes in behavior considering the major hmm, roadblocks out here. Bangalore traffic is learning.

    Lately I have seen them drive in 3 single files. In other words, lane discipline. Not a new concept, but it being voluntarily followed out here - now that’s new. Seriously, earlier, driving meant winging your way into any possible gap available, to move ahead. It meant if you are lucky, you would save time. Else, get stranded and stall others as well. Now everyone moves ahead. Slowly but surely. Until few months back, there was this typical Bangalore behavior of no-honking. People had no problem spending extra minutes at a signal, simply because the guy ahead was slow at starting his bike. Over the last few years, when the few minutes at various signal have begun to add upto half an hour or more, in every commute, people have realized that every second counts. If that guy likes to spend his night on road, he may very well go ahead with that; but we don’t want to. So what’s the next best thing to do ? Honk. Honk him out of the way.

    Likewise the other major speed breakers are the slow moving vehicle driving ahead of us. They single-handedly stall/delay an entire part of the city.

    While there is growth and learning in people, there is hardly any trace of it in the administration. For that matter, they seem to be unlearning all lessons in commitments, discipline and helpfulness. The most pathetic example of this are the two crucial incomplete flyovers. They now resemble excavation sites. People have patiently borne with the ugly sight as well as the inconvenience of regular all-day traffic jams. For nearly 2 years. And while it is still nowhere near completion, the work has stopped. Total standstill. Government has revoked the contract because they didn’t finish it on time. While the contractors slapped a case and a stay order. So till this dispute is resolved, we will have to live with prime roads in dug-up state. This is seriously pathetic. It more than 2 months now. And as usual there is an acceptance of the fact. Indeed, now people have learnt to get over the adversities created by administration. Debris are being cleared to squeeze in as much space as possible. I guess Bangaloreans will continue to be patient for some more time !

    Sleep Deprivation

    Ahhgrh ! I am suffering from a major sleep deprivation. I go to bed with burning eyes, at 1 am and get up at 5:30am. There is no possibility of cat-nap anytime in the day.

    And guess what I do till that late hour? I was watching TV ! Ahgrh !

    I am baby-sitting my parent's TV, at my home for the past few months, till their home gets ready. That combined with the fact that I am alone for sometime now. Its like having a bar at an Alcoholic's house. And then leaving him/her alone. What can I say? I have caught up with each & every one of my favourite sitcoms. And movies. Marathhon sessions actually. Every evening, I come home early, with a resolve that I will grab some dinner and go to sleep asap. But it's never so.

    Just one more month, and then I will kick this one out.

    Tuesday, July 19, 2005

    Finished 'HP & HBP'

    I finished 'HP & HBP' last night.

    It was a good book. Quite and good. Still, not as much excitement as in the Goblet.

    And it did not matter who HBP was ? Now the mystery is - who is RAB ?

    Its incredible, he should die. How can he die ? There are so many questions he did not answer. Death always leaves unfinished business. And why did it have to be pathetic ? How can there be a 7th year without him ? Anyway it looks doubtful there will be a 7th year at Hogwarts. Maybe in 7th book, Harry will go out looking for Voldemort. And maybe in the end, Harry will die too; with Ron & Hermoine sad, just like Veeru & Basanti. Just guessing.

    I loved the romance bits thoroughly. I am still smiling, thinking about them. The way there were refrences in the begining, so subtle we can easily miss. And later we know for whom Harry heart beats faster.

    Monday, July 18, 2005

    First cut on 'HP&HBP'

    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
    This one is good. Definitely better than the 5th one. I mean Pheonix was good too, lots of happenings, lot of details. But it was not so interesting as the Triwizard tournament one. But the romantic feelings in each one of the characters, thats worth it.

    Here too, there is no tournament kind of excitement. But it has a good steady start. For that matter, while ploughing through the details about Prime Minister and all, I was worried, this is going to be a boring one. So I flipped through the pages. And then my eye caught sight of just a few words. And my heart plunged. Those words were enough to let me know who dies. And now I am rushing past the pages to get there. Its unbelievable really. How can he go ? He cant go. There cant be a 7th year without him? How can he go ?

    Now I want to finish the book today, before I read any more spoilers.

    Saturday, July 16, 2005

    Got my copy

    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
    Yuhuu ! I got my copy of Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince. No queues, nothing. Just a 60km drive ride by scooter in rain and nearly 23% discount.

    Now I want to finish it before I read or hear the spoiler somewhere.

    Friday, July 15, 2005

    Waiting for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

    As a prelude to reading new Harry Potter, I thought I will brush up my memory by going through the old ones.

    Found some nuggets in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, which I related to because of some events happening now.

    Like the time Harry, Ron & Hermonie loses 150 points for Gryffinder. And then has sleepless night wondering how everyone will react when the news gets out. Well I was there last week. But everything went well.

    And the meeting between earthy, practical Hagrid and star-gazer Centaurs. Who is to say who is better ? This is the struggle between the worker bees and dreamers (I would say lazy people).

    And I loved what Dumbledore said, "It does not do well to dwell in our dreams and forget to live".

    Well, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, looking forward to meeting you tommorrow. Both of you and others too !

    Thursday, July 14, 2005

    Driving lessons continue

    My driving lessons continue. I have joined a formal class now. My hubby taught me to be brave on roads. Now I will learn the rules of the game.

    Am driving confidently now. So not much of an adventure. Maybe the adventure will begin when I get my license and venture into congested city areas !

    But one amazing thing is, after learning all the details of driving, am now stuck with starting trouble. Everytime I stop and start, its with great many jerks.

    The instructor, who earlier was impressed with me, now is going mad. "Examiner will fail you !", he screams. Ah, maybe I should change from my loose sandals to a tight fit one - for better judgement of the clutch.

    One trivia about the instructor. Both the ringtone & dialtone of his mobile phone, have DDLJ songs. If you call him, you get to hear Tujhe Dekha to yeh jana sanam.. and if his phone rings, its Mehdi laga ke rahna. Cool. Maybe a good omen, that I will do well in learning this skill.

    Thursday, July 7, 2005

    The Hours

    The Hours". Kindof good. Liked its atmosphere, especially with the fast paced piano playing in background. Like Nicole Kidmans frown and voice. Liked the kid, totally devoted to his mom. And very much like Virginia Woolf's patient husband. Their talk in the railway station was very touching.
    Just saw "

    Liked certain dialoges.
    "Am I ready for the intensity, the arguements, the door slamming?"
    "Trivial, schedules, tasks, details" The way Streep says it.

    The connecting patterns were also important in holding together the three ladies. Especially the one arond the opening credits and ones to take pause of exhaustion - by all three. And was fascinated by the non-obstructive attention to detail - sets, props, dresses, mannerisms, accents.

    Yet, I was wondering what was the point of it all? That VW wrote "Mrs Dalloway", which triggered the screwed up mind of Laura , who was trying to finish reading the book. And that her abandonment screwed up her devoted young son, who in turn screwed up everyone's minds, esp Clarissa, in his adulthood. And then the liberation was with Virginia Woolf drowning and Laura Brown meeting Clarrissa with all explanations. I have not come to any conclusion.

    Maybe I should read the book. Both of them.

    Anyway after hearing it so many times, I now feel like "throwing a party"

    Monday, July 4, 2005

    Marriage videos

    There some movies, which I believe are a must-see for engaged couple and even newly-weds. Something of a what-to-expect-in-a-normal-married-life. No matter how formulaic the movie might be, I have found they have some reflections of real life in them.


  • Just Married: I liked the part where the French villa owner tells Brittany, "I had been married for 26 years, and belive me the first year is the toughest." That is so so true.
  • Chalte Chalte: Esp for the "wet towel on bed" sequence. I was almost pointing out that the wet towel will moisten the pillow, when Rani pointed it out. Again, this is so real. It could be a wet towel or a teacup, shoe, books or any stuff lying around. But the point is (a) the spouse should be aware (b) it really doesn't matter whats lying around.
    And oh, also the scene when SRK tries to show off as a responsible householder. Having bought vegetables and cleaning dishes, while Rani files her nails. that was funny & cute.
  • Flavors: Mainly for the lovely interactions between the Mother & Father (Bharati Archekar & Anjan Srivastava). And also the chat in art gallery between MIL & DIL (Jenni). Reminded me of my nice MIL.
  • And this movie has 5 other fun intersecting stories. So a must watch.
    I looked for the DVD EVERYWHERE. but its just not there. So I make do with this Youtube one.

  • Mr & Mrs Smith: A major lesson on marital fights. Its a part & parcel of any marriage and cannot be avoided. Best not avoided, atleast in the initial years. Because those times are some revelation times and only act in bringing the couple closer.

    Just Married (2003) Poster Chalte Chalte [2003] Flavors (2004) Poster Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) Poster
  • Friday, July 1, 2005

    Quiz :: What is Your World View?




    You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational

    Existentialist
    88%
    Cultural Creative
    88%
    Idealist
    75%
    Romanticist
    75%
    Modernist
    69%
    Materialist
    69%
    Postmodernist
    50%
    Fundamentalist
    44%

    What is Your World View? (updated)
    created with QuizFarm.com

    Wednesday, June 29, 2005

    I Love Bangalore

    I Love Bangalore. I never thought I would say that, but I do love Bangalore. I was so glad to commute to my office, after I returned from Chennai.

    I had been to Chennai for 2 days. Nice place. Huge billboards, different ads and good quality pictures. Only Tamil and absolutely no trace of Hindi. Good chunk of traffic, but it was totally smooth-flowing with no jams anywhere. They have lots of flyovers and have made good use of them. All that I have said is mainly in contrast to what I am used to seeing. No comments on the weather. I didnt feel much difference. Reminded me of Bombay though. Not sunny, but definitely lukewarm hot.

    And I should higlight this. There is something very ah, Chennai people are very courteous to ladies. I dont know if this is universal or it stuck in my mind, because both the times I was having a bad time. But its definitely something. First time, a security guard, whose job it was to keep the waiting crowd away from a gate and who was doing a good job at it. He very courteous asked/allowed me to take a seat near there, when I was very very exhausted. And this time, when I was travelling to Chennai, I had to exchange my seat with a guy so he could sit with his wife (who would be in the seat besides mine). I did so and an old couple were now next to me. But this seat headrest was damaged and no way could I complete the journey with my sore painful neck. So instead of me going back, the elderly gentleman exchanged his seat with mine. Nothing amazing to read, but it definitely mattered.

    Wednesday, June 22, 2005

    Hum Tum


  • Watched "Hum Tum" for the first time. Was really interesting.
  • Saif dailogue delivery really stuck out. I noticed it since he was the solo hero and there was no one else to distract.
  • Rishi Kapoor and the signature "Mein shayar toh nahi.." tune for him.
  • Kiron Kher was the best. For the first time, no slapstick comedy on a Sardar, rather Sadarni. Her Hindi mixed with English was very lovable.
  • Rani Mukherjee looked great in all her getups. My Mom's favorite is the one where she runs on the beach, holding up her red saree. She thinks its funny :) I liked her in the peach saree for the friends wedding. Her whole outfit was good and she looked great in it.
  • Great songs esp the romantic "Saason ko saason mein dhalne do jaara". Different fresh lyrics by Prasoon Joshi.
  • Monday, June 13, 2005

    Movie Day - D \ Mr. & Mrs. Smith. \ Parineeta

    Last week was a movie week for me. And especially after a long drought. Tuesday night we saw "Bunty Aur Babli".

    And Saturday was spent in just one multiplex. Hubby, me, a couple friend and their 5 year old daughter. We saw D, followed by lunch. Then came Mr and Mrs Smith. Followed by evening coffee and golguppas. And by now we were emptying our purses and wallets for money - as the theatrewallah refused to take cards. Anyway, we collected enough for the night show of Parineeta.The whole experience was so college time-ish.

    Nightout was at the friends place. I ended the day with a late night show of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge on TV. Wow !


    D: Randeep sported cool ray-ban and style, and spouted management lingo/jargon. What a new recruit needs? Not experience, but training and will to learn. How to increase revenue ? How to start from the scratch in a new area and make it to the top? Etc etc. Only this thing involved guns and underworld. Not bad and nothing special either.

    Mr. & Mrs. Smith.: Now this was a movie about a married couple, who discover each has been hidding a secret life from the other. And so, after the first shocks, get immensely mad at each other and into a big fight. After the fight reaches its peak, when there is nothing else left to do except kill each other, they make up - like any other married couple wanting to be together inspite of anything. Nothing unusual. Except that here they use guns (very sophisticated types) and hand-to-hand combat for their fight. Both these elements make this movie an immensely watchable. That plus the witty barbs and cool looking pair.

    Parineeta: Now this is a drama. All characters acted well. Lolita in love (for Shekar and her family), Shekar's jealousy, Naveen Rai's greed, Shekar's Mom as mom's usually are, Girish the gentleman, Koyal's crush on Girish, the extremely crisp talkative Bhabhi and her pretend-suffering husband, naughty Charu. All of them combined with beautiful sets and interesting location (Calcutta & Darjeeling) and few good songs, made it a watchable movie. One higlight, in climax when Shekar's mom goes "Sach beta"; here the entire hall exploded in a laugh. And instantly bounced back to the serious mood of the scene. Hmm also, this movie makes me want to start using all hair jewellery again :) Best songs here: Kaisi paheli zindagaani, Piyu bole & Kasto Mazaa (the train song). Sonu Nigam, Sunidi Chauhan & Shreya Goshal excel here.

    Friday, June 3, 2005

    Driving lessons

    I drove for the 6th time yester-evening. Wow !
    My first lesson were the ABC (Accelerator, Break, Clutch). Combined with Steering control. Gears were not new, thanks to my long experience with geared two wheeler. Same continued the next day. We drove in rural area with almost nil traffic on road. It went so well, my coach (my hubby) never once loss his temper. Next there was a huge huge gap. And I got my next lesson, only by incessantly bugging my hubby. Now this was such a disaster; as if I had never even seen anyone drive. Accel screamed at every light touch. Breaks were always sudden jerk. Wheels never went straight. And that was the begining of my hubby's "coaching rage". Fourth lesson was okay. Fifth lesson went smoothly and ended when I reached a deadlock with an oncoming bus, at a narrow stretch.

    Yesternight, I drove through wide but sparse-traffic road. And for a long stretch. 40 minutes, I think. There were two close calls. An overtaking lorry nearly touched us and managed to push us off the road. I stopped, without causing any damage to us or others. This was mainly because I was intimidated. The fix ? "Drive in the middle of the road". What ? "Give way only at the last minute, when required. Now START". Spelt out very patiently. Wow. And so it went on, till I was really really exhausted and really could not see anything in the dark. Hmm, well so this class was about being bold and also use of light blinkers.

    Well I do want to learn driving asap. I am worried I might cross the learning age. Dad says, after a particular age, it difficult to get the instincts required for this skill. Hmm, why o why did I waste so much time? I should have got started in my teens and thus by now, driving would have become second nature to me. Okay I was busy with the thrill of driving a scooter or in dozing off in bus, for my daily commute. Driving would have been too much of an effort. Thats why. :D

    Anyway, its a matter of some more time and I will be flying a machine ! Vrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrooommm.....

    Dus music

    "Deedar De" is good, zingy. The shenai or maybe some other wind instrument, it's delicious. In some portions it sounds Arabic. And then reminds of some south Indian folk tunes. Sunidhi Chauhan is growing at speed of light. She was good to begin with, and so has a lead. Sunidhi and Shreya Goshal are truely this generations top female singers. I like Alka too. She is also very skillful in playing with her voice. But now she does belong to the prev-gen.

    "Dus bahane" is more foot-tapping yes but also, ah I am not getting the term. Its something which makes you move your shoulders to the beat ! The way Abhishek & Zayed do. And a special edge with a left-dominant hand movement. Good peppy, with the background going "Hyena, Hey now" something :D The drums are good. Music is the highlight, and KK simply goes "Dus bahane karke le gaye dil" while the background sounds carries it forward. Though his voice is a definite plus.

    Nothing much to say about other songs. Except they are ok good.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2005

    Women scientists

    In a radio debate this Saturday, kids innocently said, "Boys are more intelligent than girls, because all great scientists are men."

    How incomplete is this info ! For that time, all I could do was wage my finger and declare to my husband that most of the useful inventions were by women and how men stole idea from their women subordinates (ex. DNA double helix). "Wait, wait, I will dig out all info and blog asap".

    Everyone knows about Rosalind Franklin. No ? Well now you know. She was the British biophysicist who took the actual x-ray photograph of DNA double helix, in course of her research of nuleic acid. Wilkins, Watson and Crick basically stole that and other info, and published it in their name. And for which they were later awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962. The structure of DNA was a basis on which many major discoveries to come were based and basically opened wide the doors to genetic. More here.

    Well, here is my list of inventions by women and important lady scientists. This is an important records and I wish it could seep into popular mindset.

    Ada Lovelace: Wrote a scientific paper in 1843 that anticipated the development of computer software artificial intelligence and computer music.
    Grace Murray Hopper: the Mother of COBOL and one of the most important women in the history of computers.
    Marie Curie: also known as Madame Curie discovered radium and furthered x-ray technology.
    Mary Anderson: was issued a patent for the windshield wipers in 1905.
    Automatic dishwasher was invented by woman named Josephine Garis Cochrane in 1893.

    No doubt women have been inventing since the dawn of time without the deserved recognition. These are only a few. There are so many more.

    TV Filtering

    Filtering can be an alternative. But control is never complete. We can filter what kids watch. Possible upto certain age. But how can you control what other adults in the family watch ? We cannot exert control over them. They have as much opinion of right and wrong, as yourself. Needless conflict can result. If not a one shot clash, then there might be slow simmering and an explosion later on.

    This is where personal TV concept comes into picture. Like a book. Watch what you want, where you want, when you want, blah blah.
    But I am sure the addicition can be so much, we will loose that member for ever. I mean, I remember the slight irritation I felt when friends visited us, while our favourite regular sitcom is on. Or when a long distance relatives calls up, while an interesting scene is playing on TV. This wont happen if it was a case of book, magazine or newspaper. We know it wont run away, and we can always go back to it, after finishing with the friend or relative. Nothing compares to a written word - whether in print or web.

    About information from TV, nowadays it is totally laced with some agenda. At most of the news channels, either a lobby is at work, or the sponsor decides the priority or its total crap we could do without. News channel dont build any global community feeling. They only want ratings. After the initial shock, we become passive viewers to far off tragedies. Crime prevention and awareness work better at local community level anyway. Celebrity opnions do not make a better life. Ad discussions, debates and acheiver profiles, are so tiny part of most new networks, they almost always get skipped.

    The overhead are too much with TV. We can do well without a TV at home. There is so much entertainment and information available anyway. Plus for learning and growing there are always books, magazines, newspapers, internet and movies in theatre. We can visit places, visit rural areas, see animals (domestic/wild), meet people (relatives, friends, elders, youngsters, strangers, acheivers, all). Nothing compares to first hand experience of life.

    Friday, May 27, 2005

    Harry Potter Series (1 to 5)

    I have read them all, 10s of times !

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK RowlingHarry Potter and the Goblet of FireHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsHarry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

    Wednesday, May 25, 2005

    Sunil Dutt is no more

    Sunil Dutt is no more. He was a nice guy. I always liked him, both as young and old man. When I think of him I remember:

  • Jalte hain jiske liye, teri aakhon ke diye | Doond laya hoon wohi, geet mein tere liye ... from Sujatha
  • Entire Padosan
  • Mother India, yes
  • Angry young brother and hurt son from Waqt
  • Dard ka Rishta
  • Also Rocky for some reason. With his direction, he put himself in the picture, though he did not star here.
  • Was nice to see him in Munnabhai M.B.B.S.
    More of his movies here.



  • Tuesday, May 24, 2005

    Amelie

    Amelie - was great. romantic, in different format. rest of the characters were also very interesting. but am fond of amelie and nino.