Friday, December 1, 2006

Lage Raho ... Munnabhai

Munnabhai is great stuff. Good thing they got the idea of making Series instead of Sequel. That gives them enough freedom to play around with story, characters & actors, while repeating only two of them - Munnabhai & Circuit !

This movie also opens with a kidnapping. But removing Munnabhai from this equation, make the MBBS kidnapping a better one. Anyway with the camera totally focussed on Circuit for this part, I could check-out all his gold jewellery.

I say, nothing beats watching a movie undisturbed, continuous & good quality picture on a big screen. And sharing every joke with hundreds of the audience. I somehow missed MBBS in theatre and got to see it only on TV - part by part. That means, I saw the middle first, ending next and begining last.



Apart from kidnapping, there were other patterns again, for our comfort. The father-son conflict & resolution. Swami look alike, who tackles the Spitter. Title song played against an interesting collage of Ladies. While 'Munnabhai MBBS' song showcased all regions, 'Bole toh bole ... Lage raho Munnabhai' featured all professionals.

Songs were defintely better this time. I mean, MBBS songs are not memorable but caught on. This one had better quality ones. And indefinitely hummable. Like 'Bole toh bole ..'. And 'Samjho ho hi gaya' was good timepass. Pal pal pal came at a very good moment actually. When things were to turn wrong for him. Of how now he has to stand alone.

Vidya Balan had to chirp throughout, which she did well. And do the dramatic bit for only one scene - which she did even better. Her Parineeta expereince must have come handy here. And Dia Mirza looked stunningly beautiful.

Dialoges were in ekdum Bambaiya dialect, keeping with the tradition started by Abbas Tyrewala. And this time, they had more profound things to talk about, ofcourse in light & digestible tone.

It was fun to watch Munnabhai translate Gandhiji's sudh Hindi advice to his Bambaiya Hindi. And pretty much adapt Gandhiji's solutions to a relevant one for today. Thus giving birth to Gandhigiri, as against Gandhiwadi. Isn't this what it's all about ? Use the idea. Don't fossilize old methods into unbreakable customs.

The press conference bit was quite a breaker. I guess, it was to tell us that, we know all the solutions, it's within us and we don't need any 'spirit' for that.

Rang De Basanti & Lage Raho Munnabhai are two very different movies in terms of style, but with the same good intention. Both made in the same year and successful in box-office & popularity. I doubt anyone thought such a thing can happen in Hindi Cinema. 2005 & 6 are producing one Gem after the other.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Picnic @ Lalbagh

What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon, than with friends in Lalbagh and enjoying a yummy potluck lunch. We had yummy Bread Rolls by Rachana, filling Kachori & tangy Tomato chutney by Sharad, delicious Aloo-Mutter by Kusuma and a lot of Veg Pulao & Chana-chole by me.

The sunny afternoon meant we needed no excuse to first simply gorge on the lunch and then laze around on the grass. All 4 kids chased each other, with their Mom's after them :)

Lalbagh is such a quite and beautifully green place. Even the mobile network signal is weak in the garden. That means no unneccesary phone calls. All there is to do is to check out the variety of trees & flowers, watch other family picnics and also romancing couples being interupted by whistling security guards.

Plus in the evening, Janapada Jatre was organised. Stage was set opposite the Kempegowda hill-lock, where the audience could sit on the natural amphitheatre steps. Fortunately this Saturday was not as crowded as it is on Aug-15 & Jan-26 Flower Show.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Hop, Jump & Skip visit to Udupi

Coconut grove outside Udupi homeI find it very amusing when friends praise the beauty and tourism value of Udupi. Whether it is the Udupi Krishna temple, or Maple beach or the Saint Mary's Island.

That's because Udupi for me, has always been my Grandpa's home, to go to for summer vacation. I never explored it as a traveler. Ofcourse we paid customary visit, to the temple and beach.

Well @ Udupi homeBut more interesting things were watching all fishes in the well. And to check the water level that year, that vacation ! Hoping the water has risen high enough for us to touch.

And then playing around in the coconut grove, lazing around along with the cows tied in open.

Visit to the beach has been more fun in recent years with more kid cousins. Growing up, me & my brother were the only ones to kid around. Malpe sea beach

Riding the rickety buses plying around. Esp for the parent supervised visits to Udupi market. For bakery stuff, chakli, rutti (for the delicious kori-rutti), Masala Dosa & cola at Diana and sometime Gold shopping !

Even if now I am a grown up, not much has changed. It's still parent supervised visits to the city so we don't get lost :)) I haven't explored anything beyond.

But I am ok with that. I get to the see rest of the world enough on my own.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Casino Royale

Too good, I say. 3 out of 3 of us found it that way. It's 1 am and I am still wide awake in awe.

Daniel CraigThe opening sequence may have been cryptic. But I got my answer, as to why they have bathroom tiles in background for the signature scene where we see Bond through a view hole, fire a shoot.

And we also come to know why he drinks Shaken Martini only. And the secret behind his suave black suit dressing style.

After watching nearly 3 weeks of Jemu Bond every weeknights on TV, I can list out what this Bond did differently.

The movie was not glossy, stylished and polished like Brosnan ones (Brosnan is my fav). And he definitely did not romance as much as Connery. There is more blood, more sun & more dust here. And there was no MonnyPenny (how can they?) and Q either (really too much!).

But there was a lot more of other things. The Scared guy chase was spectacular, absolutely incredile. Bond uses his brain alright, but the Scared guy was practically Superman. Ultimate I say. And then we get treated to more quite gambling sessions, with witty dialogues and cold blooded murders in the one hour intermissions.

When the love part begins, we were confused, is this the ending ? It was nearly 3 hours by then. That would have been really really different. But it soon changes, and we get what was left out throughout. We get a very slick, "Bond. James bond".

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Vivah

3 out of 4 of us found it ok. It was actually was. It's Sooraj Barjatya's capability that he can make an absorbing movie out of a non-topic.

VivahFrom the promos I felt it's going to be a bore. The first 15 minutes did feel that way. But with the boy-girl meeting & 'Do anjane ajnabi' song, it turned out well.

We hoped for some drama, which came in the form of an unaffectionate Aunt. But that was nothing by other movie standards.

And just when we resigned to absense of drama, and prepared ourself for a grand wedding, things go horribly wrong. And this part was really weepy. The pain Monish Bhel stingingly describes, goes right through. That is why they say in real life, there should be no sulky member during a wedding. Really something can go wrong.

But this tragic part was to reinforce the fact that marriage is a 2-way street. Contribution is to be made by both parties.

I went to this movie hoping to get a glimpse of 'Maine Pyar Kiya' and 'Hum Aapke Hain Kaun'. Some patterns did occur here. Prem gifted a dress for the late night birthday party in MPK. Here it's a diamond necklace. That way 'Mujhe Haqh Hain...', was the boldest part in the movie.

What was different from SB's other movies, is that music was not very note-worthy. I still have a casette & CD of MPK & HAHK and listen to then all the time. Can't say the same about Vivah songs.

And there was a reduction in unneccassary granduar, which was almost a SB invention. Here, we are treated to a small-town big house located in a narrow gully. And no separate comedy element.

Good thing SB made a smaller movie, when compared to his past 3. This gave him a chance to break his formula and try something new, even though its within his self-made confines. Now I can definitely expect a great movie from him.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Chores

Rakhi Sawant is our house favourite contestant in "Bigg Boss". She is simply super ! It was a relevation to see her uninhibitedly wash clothes, mop floor & prepare upma. All her mercurical dialogs are entertaining. She should definitely win.

And why I connected with her, was when in yesterday's episode, she screams this, while rinsing clothes -
"Moushi, tujhe to dus hazar pagar dena chahiye. Apun ki toh watt laga di !"

So very much agree with her. When my Laxmibai was away for a month, and I mopped floor, washed dishes & clothes, I would call my hubby everytime and sob, "We pay her so less, so so less. I have to buy a washing machine - just for her."

Seriously washing clothes is one hell of an exercise. Especially the rinsing part. The soap sods just never seem to end !

That reminds me of the anecdote I read in Reader Digest
Rama took immense pride in personally maintaining a great house.
Rama: I wash all curtains with my hands. I want them to last long.
Shama: Oh I let the ashing machine do it. I want to live long.

Bless the lady who pushed the guy to invent washing-machine.

Monday, November 6, 2006

World's Best Crab Curry




By my Mom, of course. The curry is coconut based, grinded fine with chilly, turmeric, tamarind, cummin, coriander, pepper etc etc. Standard Costal recipe. But Ah the delicious, soft, almost salty meat to be sucked out of the bulky long shell. Or to be scooped out. Or gently coaked out cm by cm by teeth.

There are some bad side-effects as well. Any pointed edge might hurt the tongue; gotto be careful there. And then those heat burnings in the mouth, after few hours. But the worst is - so less output for so much mehnat (hardwork). Nevertheless, I am waiting our next session.

After 12 years of vegetarianism, when I decided to cross-over, it was only to seafood. I tried chicken. My Mom's chicken curry is another delicious aromatic dish everyone swears by. But I didn't get much from the taste. Nah. It's only Fishdom for me.

Crab also reminds me of the Scallops I had in 'Vicky's Palace' in Montreal. Both in color & taste. Yumm. I don't think we get them here. Sigh. So I will stick Crabs for now.

Update: Here is the Recipe, my Mom finally managed to explain to me. Here is whatever little I understood. I hope it turns out just like hers. All the best.
1 kg Crabs
Half coconut
10 whole dry Red chillies
3 tsp whole Coriander seeds (Dhaniya)
1 tsp Cummin (Jeera)
1/4 Mustard seeds (Rai/Sarson)
1 pinch Fenugreek seed (Methi)
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder (Haldi)
1 lemon-sized ball of Tamarind
4 cloves of Garlic

Heat a little oil on a Tava, and roast the above stuff (except Crabs) lightly. Maybe 5 minutes.
Then grind it all to fine paste. Not very liquidy.
Slice 1/2 Onion and sprinkle on this paste.
salt to taste.
Boil this paste in a deep bowl. Maybe 15 minutes.
Add Crabs one by one.
Continue to boil till crab color changes to red. Maybe 10 minutes

Now it's ready to serve 6 people ! Enjoy !

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Jaan-E-Mann

Watched Jaan-E-Mann and 5 out of 5 of us loved it.


Initially from promos it felt like a sad serious triangle movie. But actualy it is a lot of comedy, with a equal measure of emotions and a dash of tragedy. And good songs. Perfect well balanced mix.

Definitely different movie. Format is nothing we had seen before out here in Hindi movies. Of showing same incident from all 3 point of views. That was for revealing new layer in the story. Of flashback in a more physical way. That was entertaining. Special Effects here, were purely to entertain, not to dazzle alone. Director has done lot of background work. Detailing & continuity are perfect. The telescope, laptop & projector remain throughout the movie, without giving us a lecture on technology. It's amazing how a movie with only good characters can grip you throughout. No villians, except one, ok not the usual baddie.

Songs were all great. My favourite is Ajnabi shehar hain.... Love the way Sonu pulls every ...ainnnnnnn just to test how breathless we can remain :) And Humko maloom hain... was very masaledaar, but so tasty that I can try it out again. Jane ke jaane na is playful and picturised well, bringing everything & what not, in one room. Sau dard hain.... was really sad. Picturization wise, its a worthy beta of Tanhayi from 'Dil Chahta Hain'.

Jaan-E-Mann

Salman begins with his usual dead-pan faced. But soon he gets to show some subtlety - in Ajnabi shehar hain.... What he feels for Piya, appears so flitting, it's easy to miss out that on TV. And later he gets to bawl his eyes out - something missing from his movies in the last 5-10 years. So that was good.

Ashkay's laugh was really catchy. Lot of people were infected - laughing like him on their way out of the theatre.

And such a lovely cute baby, such expressive eyes & smile :) They captured her in different moods and used them at the right dialoge in the movie.

Preity Zinta acts well as usual. We are always on her side. And she looks pretty throughout. I think she is the one bringing usable skirts back in fashion in India. But she should stop wearing those hideous wavy wings. They make her face look puffy. It happened in KANK & in Scooty & Tea ads. And same here in the first part. Thankfully she swicthes to straight hair and looks youthful & energetic. Though in real-life, I think wavy is beautiful and ironed hair is hay-like, I would prefer PZ not to go for it.

Farah Khan & Shirish Kunder have established their style of filmmaking with Main Hoon Na and Jaan-E-Mann. And I hope they will take it forward and make of lot of good & digestible entertaining movies. Hindi film-making mantra in 2005-6 has been good script & innovation in cast, characters & detailing. Its definitely working. Cause it's been raining good movies these 2-3 years.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Men & Cricket

Our TV has conked out and in repair shop. So yesternight we followed the India vs West Indies match on Radio.

Raj: Neighbours sunenge toh hasenge

Last 10 overs were very interesting, very tight. '13 runs for 13 balls'. But wickets were going off pretty quick. Then Lara came ... it was all quite here. Commentators paint quite a picture - hyped up Lara's entry & "how everyone shakes with fear". But then he left soon too. Then in was '5 runs in 5 balls'. Victory seemed very pausible. But something went wrong and there was a sixer. Total gloom out here.
Raj: But its ok. TV hota to aur pain hota.

What with all the visual images & post analysis.
Raj: Yeh log kya khelenge Australia ke saath.

Tini: They will squash our team like mosquitoes [completely depicting the whole thing with his right palm flying through like a air-bomb landing on his left palm]

Raj: Those bulky Aussies will enter the field and hold a "Good Night" each. All India team dead.

:))

Monday, October 23, 2006

Happy Diwali !

Hope you had a Great one !

We spent the Diwali weekend with my parents. And that meant lot of sweets & namkeens. I reprised my traditonal role of assitant, while Mom churned out the good stuff. So while I crushed elaichi, cut karanji and shaped chaklis, Mom rolled out besan laddoo's off the hot ghee-dripping dough.

Evening was spent unravelling the rolled fairy lights and decorating it on grills. Diya's & candles dont stay long in balcony. Its too windy. Lit diya's only at the doorstep.

And the grand finale were the fire-crackers. Hydrogen/atom bombs were at their loudest best. New bullet bombs were no more than a fizzle. And Laxmi bombs were reliable as usual. Mom had to sit out specially to pat Blackie, Brownie, Tammy (dogs) and Bablu & Babli (sheep), who were shocked hear bombs for the first time. Twinklers, flower-pots & chakra's are almost a tradition now. And yet a joy year after year.

Friday, October 6, 2006

Fresh Bangalore

This week has been truely amazing. Bangalore looked like the same city, but in a parallel universe. Less crowds everywhere.

With a long weekend, and Wednesday off, half or rather more then half of the population was away.

Visually everything looked amazing. Less people everywhere. Definitely peaceful & quite mid-days.

I even got to cruise at 5th gear on BTM layout road. Those who haven't been there on weeknights, when it takes 40-50 minutes to cross the 4km stretch, they will never understand my joy. And disbelief.

This long holiday has really freshened my mind.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Roses Pozes



Showcasing some homegrown talent.
Photos by: My Hubby
Roses by: My Mom


Thursday, September 7, 2006

Fanaa

Inspite of all the negative hype created by pretentious reviewers all over, Fanaa was a good movie. It had every thing you need in a movie. Comedy, tragedy, good locales, lovely songs and great cast. All in the right measures and none overdone. What else is there, come on.

2.5 out of 3 of us liked it. The 3rd person was tired of the 2nd half, as it was her 2nd & forceful viewing.

I loved it even though I am seeing it pretty late after the release. In theatre, may I add. Thankfully I did not know the ending. Though ofcourse it was as expected. For that matter, the whole plot when described will sound very mundane or expected. But the situations were very well-written. Unfolding of each new part was suspenseful. Dialogues were fresh, witty with a well-balanced mix of new pjs, wrenching emotions and more. Things were pretty tight, so it did not drag at all. Every scene had something to offer to the story as well as the character.

For that matter, compared to all the candy-floss movies now-a-days, this one was definitely darker. And the second half is enough to convince of that fact.
Fanaa
First half had Delhi, sunshine, witty repartes, pjs & profound shayari, jaspal bhatti & the balwant 'cartoon network' character, while second half had no such thing. Actaully, that job in the second half is done by the kid. He got all the non-sugary cute dialoges for a part of talkative, intrusive kid asking uncomfortable questions all the time. Knowledge sharing to dispose off the milk was innovative.

YashRaj films prop unit have achieved newer levels in India. Great detailing to good effect - 10:30 departure time for 10 O Clock. Electrical cable prominently featured in the Dekho na. No air-brushing.

Aamir was a pleasure to watch - you can't expect a different statement from a Aamir fan. But all impression vanish after the sequence of cold-blooded vicious murders for that trigger. His villany is unforgivable. The moment he reaches that lone house in all that snow, I was wishing it would be like Stephen King's 'Misery', from here on. Misery it was for him allright, but only in emotional way for him.

And Kajol, so nice to see her after a longtime. Her role was also a good one. It would have been a sober role, but for Kajol's characteristic spunk and boldness. Making fun of others inability to deal with her blindness. And as Mom constantly teaching her kid.

Apart from Kajol & Aamir, who are really the soul of this movie, and who really carry this movie, I liked the character played by Tabu. Each scene for her was well cutout. Whether it was her unobstructive pregnency in th e first scene, to show the start of timeline. Her handling home from office by phone, or her feminine strength, giving her the edge to see things her competative collegue could not. I am refering to the custard vs ice-cream scene.

The use of
Lag ja gale, ki phir yeh haseen raat ho na ho
shayad phir is janam mein mulakat ko na ho
...
humko mili hain aaj yeh gadiyan naseeb se

in the first half was really innovative.
It was difficult to imagine if the song was made for this movie or the moment was wound around this song.

Music was well balanced. 3 out of the five are ones I would definitely go for repeated hearing.
'Desh hain rangeela' was picturised well. And 'Chanda chamke' was a welcome break. Thankfully they were short ones. Delicious ones were
'Dekho Na' - really well pictured rain song after a long time. or was it Aamir after a longtime ? Beautiful electrical.
'Chand Sifarish' - for all the sunshine and delhi
'Mere haath mein' - for all the beautiful colors in the dark half.

Speaking of music, background score was also fantastic. Especially in the part where they both draw their guns out. Its a long pause, with both of them standing far apart, but in the same frame. Only the music guides us to look at them one by one. Good one.



Overall a satisfying movie.

Monday, September 4, 2006

NICE Road

What a NICE road indeed !



This one stretches from Kanakapura Road (near Talaghattapura Police station) to Mysore Road (Kengeri).



Distance-wise it is 9.6 km and takes 5-10 minutes max.

This is a surprising, coz to reach the same place via Kanakapura Rd, Ring Rd and Mysore Rd takes like 1.5 hours in daytime. (10 minutes ! That is too much shock, when its the first time).



I even got to cross 100 kmph. And that is unbelievable in Bangalore.






Now only thing to wait for is for the entire stretch to be completed. So this road will join Magadi Rd - Mysore Rd - Kanakapura Rd - Banneghatta Rd and finally Hosur Rd !

Monday, August 21, 2006

Rang De Basanti

RDBFinally caught with Rang De Basanti, though on TV. I was always miserable I missed seeing it in theatre. Now even more so. It's great movie, good fun.

I am as mermerised as Aamir is after he finds out Alice knows Hindi. Too good.
The movie sets it's spunky but pleasent tone right from Alice's reply to her boss :) I was laughing throughout the ad-break that followed.

For once they don't lecture us about history (ok just a tiny bit), but they use the past story to move the present forward. Cinematically all those interlaps were neat ! Morphing Dyer to Defence Minister was scary to say the least. Only thing dissatisfying was the quick actions they take - revenge and their retribution. Fine they realise what they did wrong - when Siddarth goes on-air. But it all went too fast. I guess that's what they were trying to say - drastic actions are no good.

Am all over in love with RDB songs again. Each and every one of them.

Liked the way, the begining of the end was with Ay saala... and finally the actual end with Robaro roshni.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

KANK

When the movie actually ended, I just had to yell "Thank God, its over". Phew, what a relief ! My hubby has put his foot down, "That finishes our film quota for the year". Well any Hindi movie with so much resources is definitely watchable once. So is this. Not a bore definitely.

5 and a half of us had great time laughing throughout the 2nd half, when SRK & Rani were miserable and constantly weeping. The little one after wriggling around innocently muttered, "Yeh film utni achi nahin hain". What an under statement!

Best parts would have to be: stunning visuals of different weather, locations, train station, sets, good looking cast with even better clothes and makeup. The montage pattern in the begining, and towards the end, that was a good touch.

Race-towards-roses was wickedly suspenseful. Black beast was definitely funny. And so was marriage counseling part. That reminded of Desparate Housewives. But unlike in DH, where every couple sticks together, no matter what (I mean, unimaginably seriously, no matter WHAT), here it is pretty obvious SRK & Rani ad no plans to make it work. Its evident from the simple way it begins, with "Its only football". Ya right.

I made some calculations. SRK was married for 5 years when he first meets Rani. And for 9, when he next meets her next. And later his explanation is that he thought about her from the begining. That gives a clear picture of his character. And rani, she is someone looking for an explosive way to enter a relationship, obviously having led a boringly happy life. Well, she finally got it.

Rani in KANK

For 2nd half, we only had to laugh at so called misery of SRK & Rani, which none of us could relate to. Every family has a moody, party pooper, black sheep. And such kind are best left to themself. They can evoke empathy.

Using these samples to make a statement about marriage, that is pathetic. Actually only unmarried ppl can afford to make such naive statements. The actual married ones are busy living and working on their marriages, among other things. That is how this institution is the best working system across cultures, countries, religions, over so many centuries, in so many flavours.

This movie is not about some bs soulmates; its simply about 2 pathetic creatures, whose respective spouses are well off without their company.

Acting wise Preity Zinta was good, Abhishek was good, Amitabh was the best.
Priety Zinta had a dignified role and hideous wig.
AbkB lovely, with some shades of the highly temparamental character he played in Yuva. Only this time he didn't have a equal foil in Rani. But here he had his Dad. Good thing really.
And ohh the super cold chemistry between AB & SRK. Oooo too delicious.
Likewise, a unique Kirron Kher to pair with AB.
And the minute cameos by John Abraham & Kajol were such a welcome relief.

About the sets, what was that bad ligting in Rock & Roll Soniye? Perfectly good and the only song with meaningful lyrics, but spoilt as we could hardly see their faces. Where's the party tonight ? was good dancy. The green-shirted side dancer was giving good competition to the stars. And the rest 3 were lovely to watch the good-looking SRK, gorgeous Rani and beautiful background. I found Tumhi dekho na best of the 3, esp the line "... ke din mein hui jaise chandni..."

Though this movie is publicised as 'mature analysis of marriage' (blah blah blah), it simply is not. Recommendable as entertainment, but never as learning material. Definitely no place for KANK in my marriage videos list.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Happy Independence Day !



One of the things, from my last year's list have come true. And rest seem to be on the way.

For this year, I can only add more:
  • Better security intelligence framework to take pre-emptive actions,
  • No more floods or farmer suicide,
  • More road creation - all over India,
  • along with stricter RTO - for driving license and pollution certificates,
  • Continue the success rate and good quality in Indian cinema & music industry,
  • And more strength to RTI ! It's really bringing in positive results everywhere.
  • Wednesday, August 9, 2006

    Golmaal

    If this year did not have so many good movies, I would have declared this one The Best Movie of the year. Well atleast this is definitely the Best Comedy Movie of the year. Not to be missed. It falls in the same category as Garam Masala.

    3 out of 3 of us loved it. And the whole theatre audience was with us. Laughing throughout.

    It began with a tapping Golmaal song. Sleazy video definitely, but it ends. And then starts the non-stop clean Laughfest. The whole theatre was in splits. I was breathless by the end.

    Then, there was another chanting Golmaal song, very infectious again. The flashback-time-travel song, Kyon aage piche, was totally unnecessary but extremely refreshing & well made.

    GolmaalThe film hardly had a story. Ok, it did have a four-line story; but we were more concerned about the one-liners. All of them woven around innumerable pranks, along with car chase, heroine chase and finally treasure hunt.

    All characters played their part well. The bully Ajay, thali-ka-baigan Arshad, dumb but smart alec Tusshar and his voice, the much bullied Sharmaan. These 4 along with the lovable and very endearing blind old couple - Paresh & Shusmita. And not to forget the Sanjay Dutt bhakt Garage owner, Mukesh Tiwari

    Brilliant moments would have to be the one with Jaws track in background and the 'Black-Black khel rahen hain' scene :))

    Definitely watch it.

    Wednesday, August 2, 2006

    Omkara

    Omkara is a good watch. 5 out of 7 of us liked it.

    OmkaraInspite of knowing what it is about and how it might end (Othello), the movie has a lot more to offer. Power dynamics, which can apply anywhere in the world. Dangers of naivety and being openly vulnerable. And when bad luck piche padtha hain, toh koi nahin bacha sakta. That happens to Ajay Devgan because of his misjudgement. And to Vivek for no reason at all.

    The setting is supposed to be the Wild West of Uttar Pradesh. It definitely looked like one. The grand old lady and all wedding ritual songs were from UP. But the dialogues definitely sounded like Haryanvi. That was the only jarring note. For a violent setting, there was immense amount of menace around. And lot of seething anger. But never rage, only cold blooded stuff.

    There was a lot of Humor though. For the 'way to mans heart' part, the whole theatre was in splits. Kareena even gave a pause for the audience to settle down - pretty much like it happens on a sitcom. And mobiles phones and "SM". And Rajjo, the comic-villian partner for Iago.

    Music was great. Like gemstones on that cummerband. Title track 'Omkara' played to an apt scene to establish the power of Omkara/Othello. 'Beedi' was onscreen crowd-rousing. 'Namak Ishq ka' was beautiful redention, very foot-tapping. Background music was efficient – came up as and when required. And so didn’t give the mandatory headache after the show.

    Exceptional perfomances by Saif Ali Khan, Konkona Sensharma and Ajay Devgan.

    Ajay Devgan was menancing in a underlying way. And offside, this movie is also a chance to see him shirtless.

    Thank God for Konkona Sensharma. What would we have done without her brand of humor in this movie.

    Saif Ali Khan/Iago was ultimate ofcourse. All hype about him was well-deserved. Not even a bit of his refined self was in the movie. He was menancing in a very overt way. Much more from 'Ek haseena thi'. And then, the subtlety with which he bites his disappointment - that was a classic display of both his & director’s skill. Subtlety is the key in all power struggles. Inspite of all the guns & violence & freedom for lawlessness around, he cannot announce his conflict openly. Now if he were to receive National Award for this movie, that would be undisputed.

    Kareena/Desdemona looked beautiful against the stark surroundings. Detailing was also perfect. She had polished long nails in left-hand and right hand ones with short nail and nail-polish bits. She carried her part well – that of a perky naïve beauty through-out, ending with clueless disillusionment at her most awaited occasion.

    Vivek Oberoi, well that role could have been played by a voice-over or nobody at all, and no one would have missed anything.

    All other characters were well-etched. The only odd one out would have to be Bipasha. She could barely mouth those heavy gaalis. Nahin hota hain, toh nahin bolna chahiye. Simple bolna chahiye. But she was definitely needed. For the two riveting numbers - 'Beedi' and 'Namak Ishq ka'.

    Friday, July 28, 2006

    Friday Night Playlist

  • Bijuriya (Remix) - Shaadi se pehle
  • Au au Ashiqui mein teri (Remix) - 36 Chinatown
  • Zara Jhoom Jhoom (Remix) - Tom Dick & Harry
  • Afsana Banake Bhool Na Jaana - Dil Diya Hai
  • Ek nazar mein bhi - Taxi 9 2 11
  • Zehale muskin - Gulami
  • Khalbali - Range De Basanti
  • Dil Na Diya - Krrish
  • Kajra re - Bunty aur Babli
  • Aisa jadoo dala re - Khakee
  • Naam hain tera tera (Remix) - Aap ka Suroor

    .
  • Wednesday, July 12, 2006

    Blasts

    This is too horrible for words.

    Morning, 5 blasts in Srinagar.

    Evening, 8 blasts in Mumbai.

    I was commuting at the very same time. Only in a different city.
    Reached home to get this news and spend all evening watching the images.

    Of mangled train compartments, rush in hospitals,
    rain soaked onlookers,
    of first eye-witnesses choking when they recounted what they saw,
    people trying to reach home and bystanders helping with drinking water.
    The phone lines were down till midnight. Maybe it was a good thing. Gave all sometime to absorb the severity of it all.

    On the side: No matter how much we berate the news channels, they have shown maturity in their reporting. All but Sardesai's channel. Now he is definitely out of my TV forever.

    Monday, July 10, 2006

    Final is over

    I stayed up till 2:30. And for what ?
    It was such a boring match.
    Hardly any goals. 2 goals in 90 minutes. One was Zidane penalty which looked simple, but he dinked it. And other Materazzi's one, which was the only good one.
    Then extra time. Nothing again.

    2 hours gone, and then penalty shootout.
    I mean, what is the thrill about a penalty shootout ?
    If that's what they wanted, they could have done it in the first hour itself.
    And then, so many contacts, injuries & tiny breaks. Plus, every minute the ball rushed out. No footwork lasted enough to thrill.

    For me the highlight was Zidane's red-card. Man ! how can he do that ! It was unbelievable. Really, height of pressure.

    As far as I know, all finals are such lacklustre matches. Two of the best, not letting each other excel. Expected.

    Friday, April 21, 2006

    Under-estimator

    Oh my poor blog. No updates for so long.
    But I am so relieved - they didn’t destroy it, as a punishment for inactivity.

    But I checked - most of my fellow bloggers haven't updated in a quite a long time. Maybe it's that time of the year, when everyone is flooded with work.

    So well my excuse is that
    with everything happening at work,
    and absolutely nothing in personal life,
    what can I blog about ?
    No movies, no books. Ok, definitely a lot on TV.

    I love that "Kaun Rakhe Rang" ad, sung by Kailash Kher. His rendition stands out. Really beautiful vocals. And even more so the visuals. All color, from all across India. Exotic maybe, but definitely beautiful.
    I had to watch it 10 times to figure out the product.
    Hmm, and visually uncannily similar to LIC ad.

    Good music is really ... I don’t know what.
    2 other songs that have made home in my head are:
  • Bijuriya(Remix) - Shaadi se Pehle
  • Naam Hai Tera Remix - Himesh Reshammiya
    Really catchy, dancy songs. They have used good sounds.
    (As you might have noticed, I am a Remix fan. More about that later.)
    More than TV, they sound better on Radio.

    Radio, oh finally we have new channel. 93.3 FM. So far so good.
    Less RJ blabber, less ads, less promos and More Songs - something really important. Good quality voice too. They play Hindi songs all night long.

    Did I say I didn’t have anything to blog about ?
    I am a real under-estimator.
    And also in hurry.
    (Thanks Kusuma, for pushing me to update)

    Ciao for some time now.
  • Wednesday, March 15, 2006

    Happy Holi

    It's that time of year !
    Time for gulal, and water ballons,
    To be doused by buckets of colorful water,
    and forcibly plastered with gulal and other colors.
    There is no escape, coz
    It's Holi !

    Wish you all a very Happy & Colorful Holi !!!!

    happy holi

    Monday, March 6, 2006

    TTC Subway

    * TTC Subway
    TTC Ride the Rocket I have to say, I was most impressed by the subway system of Toronto. Entire public transit system actually - TTC.
    Bangalore commuting hassles being what it is, it is no wonder that the one thing I valued was the convenience of this transit system. I made the most use of the Weekly Pass

    Want to cross a few blocks ? Hop in the nearest subway.
    Live in the suburbs ? No problem. Park your car and use the subway for downtown shopping. No hassle of parking at each halt.
    Trains every 2-3 minutes. Even till very late in the night.
    On so many occasions, after reaching my destination, I would find that I have forgotton my wallet at home. But no prob. Went home and back in no time.

    With Street Car, you can get a complete but unguided tour of the city. What I did was, used the subway to go to last stop. Got in a street car, for an art gallery. But this turned out to be the wrong car. It started going back to downtown. I didn't mind that; gallery for some other day. It winded through the suburbs and downtown streets, which till now had been underground subway stops.

    Subway stops are unique, characterized by their advertisements and artwork. Advertisement in neat frames. Different color tiles for each stop. And then artwork - murals depicting the character of that stop - College, Queen, King ... Instructions everywhere - escalator safety, exits, washrooms. More than technology, it's the design and planning of this system that is noteworthy.

    Subway Musicians really add character to this place. And they play so well. Mostly guitarist, with vocals. (Just now came to know that they play a license fee to TTC !) They also sell their CD's here. But mostly they play for money from commuters. My constant question was "how much would they earn this way ?" Nevertheless they play unobstructively at their usual hours in their usual place. This is a romantic contrast to our train singers, who have strong poverty-driven aggression.

    And then there were commuters. I have to say "Commuter" is a universal class of people. They exhibit similar behaviour in both parts of the world. Group of people, packed in a box together. Each in her own world - planning, thinking, day-dreaming, reading book or taking a nap. Holding their bags in tight clasp. Once in a while something grabs everyone's collective attention. A mad-cap attention-grabbing one in open shirt with a body-builder physique, whistles for everyone's attention and then does pushup, right in the middle of the car. Oh yes, I saw this. Then there are people in bathrobes, or with 3-4 dogs. One time a fellow sitting behind, talked non-stop about everything on this globe - Hamas win in Palestine, his pet dog, why people in India hate dogs (I have no clue), then organic food, yada yada. All this to a sympathic lady, who patiently heard him out with a "sure" & "ok", till she got off at her stop. That was some 30 minutes !

    This was my first hand experience in slowing time and squeezing in more in short time. It's delicious ! Toronto felt like a small world city, though it's immensely bigger than Bangalore. I wish Bangalore had Metro built long back. Imagine Malleshwaram to JPNagar in less than 1/2 an hour. Yumm ! But now, I am not sure about living through the under-construction hassles, for the convenience for that may come after 4-5 years. Anyway, it might happen any time soon. Ah ! the scarifices one has to make ...

    Thursday, March 2, 2006

    Niagara Falls

    Here is the grand Niagara Falls ! From Canadian side.

    NiagaraFalls4


    It was huge and definitely beautiful. But it took us nearly an hour to settle down and have a good look. Man ! the mist doesn't let you stay still. Coupled with a cloudy sky, it completely drenched us. Raincoat ponchos from the sovenier shop, where we took refuge, came to our rescue.

    Speaking of souvenir shops, I seriously looked out for WonderFalls :) After all those months of weekly sightings on TV, I finally saw the real thing. I mean, the Falls. Now I wonder, if I liked that show because of falls, or is it the other way round ...

    NiagaraFalls2

    Begining of the Fall

    NiagaraFalls1

    Rainbow bridge between Canada and USA

    NiagaraFalls3

    US Falls

    NiagaraFalls5

    US Falls and Niagara Falls

    NiagaraFalls6

    Maid of the Mist boats

    NiagaraFalls7

    Tuesday, February 28, 2006

    Kingston

    While Montreal & Quebec were all snow covered, the very same day Kingston was completey snow-free, sunny and beautiful. The sunny bit can very deceptive. Temperature would still be in the negative range.

    Kingston was erstwhile capital of Canada. In 1844, only after 3 years, capital was moved to Ottawa. Reason being Kingston's proximity to another country.

    This is the Kingston Townhall, which was Parliament House in those prime years.


    What I liked best were these pretty and cute houses !









    Thursday, February 23, 2006

    Montreal & Quebec

    Tour guide told us an exotic story of how after this place was found, the discoverer wanted to name it "Mont-Royal" after a French prince. He shipped a letter saying so. But by the time ship reached France, that letter was subjected to generous dose of sea-water, thanks to storms. And Mont-Royal was mis-read as Montreal.

    Pronunciation of both is very pleasent actually. The Royal goes a grandoise Royaaale..., while Montreal has the bicycle bell sound - tri i.e. Montreeyaale. Sounds great.

    Saint Joseph Church, Mont-Royal. Highest point in Montreal.



    Now that we are nearing end of Feb, am not sure how cold it is now, in Montreal and Quebec. But this is how they were, a month ago.

    Frozen St Lawrence River in Quebec



    Nearly 2 feet snow on rooftops