December 23, 2008

Heroes: tonight is the night!

Heroes season 3 is premiering today!! Yea!! I was waiting, waiting and
the wait is finally over. Bye bye reading episode details online!
If you aren't hooked onto this series yet, now is the time to start!
Be warned though: the series is highly addictive.

Sent from my iPhone

December 21, 2008

Store: Either Or

Pune is one of the cities that I love. I love the fact that I can wear boho stuff on the road and no one will stare. I love the restaurants, the coffee shops, the shopping, the bargaining - in short, I love being in Pune. I have already written about my favorite Pune restaurants here. Now, here is one of my favorite stores in Pune. Every Pune visit entails a visit to this store.
Its called Either Or and is located at Sohrab Hall. I love their merchandise. Sample this: So very kitschy!! (If you find the picture hazy: It says chaiwala productions and is a wire mesh chai glass carrier with multi-hued chai glasses. So cute!)(Artist: Bharati Pitre)

Check out their oh-so-bohemian cloth bags with zari and wooden handles, available in a rainbow of colors, and are washable and don't break the bank! There used to be a time, that the only bags I had were from here!! They also stock the most quirkiest of clothes that I have seen. In a wide array of fabrics and colors and cuts, you may have a hard time deciding on which one would be perfect for a lunch out with your girlfriends and which one your boyfriend would really appreciate. They have a line for guys as well - so you can drag your guy along, like I do :) On this visit, I was surprised to find a selection of tussar silk sarees. Ended up buying one too - when the actual purpose of the visit was to pick out something as a Christmas gift! You can also pick up cloth wallets, string bangles, tribal neckpieces and earrings, scrunchies, headbands, stoles and more.
Most of their stuff is from local designers and artisans, but they also stock the awesome products of Happily Unmarried and Playclan. You might not find the quirky clock that you liked on your earlier visit coz it might have been a single piece. Here is the one we got, like eons back.

They also stock home decor merchandise like clocks, frames, dhurries, knickknacks, accessories, posters, stationary, toys etc. You can choose from their huge collection of really quirky designs and text and have them screen printed on your tee. Don't forget to check out their collection of Bollywood movie posters - its a huge collection and the price varies depending on the size, quality and condition of the posters. We got this one on this trip. So what we were looking for and in excellent condition!

The staff is helpful, always ready to find you more stuff if you wish to but are content to leave you alone if you want to just browse. The store decor is mainly the merchandise itself!! I think you can see why I love this place. You can find Either Or on Facebook as well and their email is and the shop is in Sohrab Hall near Pune Railway station. Stop by sometime there to pick up some really fun stuff.

Of reunions and nostalgia

All the nostalgia that prompted me to post my earlier two posts was this: I had a school reunion coming up. Read going through scrapbooks, searching for school pics and remembering that boy on the second bench who never used to speak. It was last Saturday (I know, talk about lazy me), but that nostalgic feeling still persists.

Most of us met up after a really long time - some of us hadn't met after the last day of school! What is it about school friends and college friends? Don't you feel more comfortable with your school friends than the college ones? No, ain't talking about more fun and stuff. Or is it just me? I dunno. I think it is to do with the fact that college is more about trying to find yourself, fitting in, mind games, getting ahead. So you make friends accordingly. School is more about studies, joking around, teacher cribbing, playing sports, and having fun in whichever way you feel like. So you make friends whom you actually share fun with and not just time with. And surprisingly, meeting up after so many years hasn't created barriers. If there were any, they flew out of the window the minute you met up.

Oh, on the face of it most of us have changed - people have put on weight, some have lost some pounds, some seem to have discovered the secret to a full head of hair and some the secret to shoot up for a mere four feet to almost six feet. Some have discovered first hand how the stress of everyday robs some of time to catch up with old friends and some of their hair. But mostly we are still the kids who tried to eat our tiffins in class coz we were really hungry! So you meet up with the guy who was friends with everybody in school and is the reason so many people are turning up at the reunion.And the person you really dreaded meeting and when you finally did, you didn't understand why he/she intimidated you so much in school. It is almost like revisiting the kid me and wondering what her daily thoughts and concerns were. So naive, innocent, and such high ideals and dreams!!

I am lucky to not have to go to the school and college reunions alone - my husband accompanies me. We have known each other since fourth standard and its on days like these (reunions) that we realise, yes, we have known each other since forever :) Funnily, shouldn't that make every day nostalgic??!!

December 11, 2008

Retrospect (in hazy technicolor) - II

Remember running home from play early so you can watch Chitrahaar? I sure do!
Here are some of my faves that I still remember from time to time and some that are linked to a myriad childhood memories. Like Didi comedy show, for example, is linked to my erstwhile chubby sis who used to love watching it. And Oshin too.
My fave:
Byomkesh Bakshi (our desi sherlock holmes minus the pot)

Malgudi Days (sorry the serial videos can't be embedded)

Bharat Ek Khoj

The then laugh riot: Dekh Bhai Dekh and the always nice to watch Nukkad, whose videos btw are nowhere to be found on youtube.

And the serials that we all watched together (now was that cos most of the serials were good or that there was just one TV and one channel?). The ghost and king duo in Vikram Aur Betal - and Betal really used to creep me out with his maniacal laugh, I kid you not. Then there were the big two - Ramayan and Mahabharat. Remember Renuka Shahane and Siddharth Kak with Surabhi? I used to love their contest where they would mix all the letters and then pick a couple - I used to pray that that postcard would be mine!! Remember how the Post Office had issued separate post cards coz the unprecedented demand this show created?? I also used to love watching Street Hawk and my cousin used to love Fauji. In fact, she used to love it so much that she used to call SRK 'Fauji' even after he started starring in movies :)
Oh, and coz there was no other choice we kids had to sit and watch Chanakya. I mean, there was no appeal for us kids there, you know, no shiny costumes, no humungous palaces, no OTT drama, just politics and ego-play... [can i go back in time to the kid i was then?]

Ohh.. there were so many other shows over the years that I cannot seem to find online episodes of: Chandrakanta, Gaayab Aya, Hum Log (which I used to watch only coz I understood what the adults were discussing/talking about), Yeh Jo Hai Zingdagi, Jungle Book, Sunday afternoon Award winning movies, the perpetual rainbow screen saver of Doordarshan, and quiz shows by Siddharth Basu.

When cable TV burst into the scene, Doordarshan became the last on the list to watch while we started to taste STAR and music channels. Considering the crap doled out in the form of Hindi serials (I don't watch any), gimme Doordarshan and its poor reception anytime.

December 9, 2008

Retrospect (in hazy technicolor) - I

I received a forward titled 'Flashback to the good old days'. It was about the Doordarshan and the serials that we grew up with. It made me really want to find out if these serials and ads could still be viewed. Well I was in for a surprise!! Didn't require heavy googling at all! Btw, if I haven't mentioned it already, I love the internet and I soooo love youtube. I found episodes of serials too! That will be next post. For today, the songs and ads that, for me, brought back a rush of memories. Here you go:

Mile sur mera tumhara:

Hamara bajaj:

Ek anek:

Bharat ek khoj: (Title music)

Jungle book: Jungle jungle baat chali hai


Rasna: I love you rasna

Surf: Remember Lalitaji?

Vicks: Gale mein khichkhich

Lijjat papad

Doodha hai wonderful: I used to hate this ad coz lectures followed!!

Amul butter

Goldspot ad

Natraj pencils

And finally:

Feels like you are 8 again and back in the idyllic times, na?

Update: Found another ad that I really wanted to see again:

Oh, and I found a really good blog who is crazy enough about this channel to write exclusively about it. Check it out here.

Taxing times...

So 25-year old Taxis in Mumbai have been phased out. Well, if these taxis are phased out too, I am going to miss a good laugh every time I spot some like these. [You don't think these are funny? They crack me up!]

Btw, how about banning trucks (whatever their age) in Mumbai during peak office hours? Delhi has done that. At least this way, we won't have to encounter slow-moving traffic every time a truck conks out on the middle of a flyover. No, seriously, I encounter at least one truck which has given up on a flyover every day when I commute to office. [I have to use 6 flyovers to reach office]. Which brings me to another question: why not just ban all trucks from flyovers???

December 5, 2008

Chai time

Wow.. 50th post! Yea!! Well, you would be happy too if you were the lazy, snoozy-all-the-time, compulsive-procrastinator that I am. For me, 50 posts in half as many months is nothing short of a miracle! So, am going to dedicate this post to the thing that is actually helping me write this - chai. Tea is one of my (long list of) vices and it is something I reach for in happy, sad, moody, sleepy and depressing times. Was watching Vir Sanghvi on Discovery Travel and Living channel last night, and he was on his own tea pilgrimage. He called the CTC (usual chai) that we Indians consume with such gusto - industry-strength tea. Chai is chai for me in any form - industry strength with milk boiled for minutes on end or the tea leaves steeped only in water with honey variety, I love it. There used to be a time, when in Bangalore, I was addicted to it.

This particular pic reminded me of tea and bun maska at the Irani cafe Good Luck in Pune. Don't you just love biscuits with tea?

Anyway, here are some bloggers who love chai so much that they blog about it exclusively!!
Chai pilgrimage THE site for chai lovers.
Archana posts photos of her cups of chai regularly. She is the fabulous blogger who finds time to update the four blogs she writes (including the great design blog Rang Decor).
Tea Blog is a one-of a kind project that I really love. Check it out.
Insani Tea - reviews galore.
Art and Tea - the name says it all.
Tea Pages is a blog that has a little bit of everything: tea, tea reviews and personal musings!
Another Tea Blog - don't be fooled by the name, the pics and the content are really good.
Love for Teas - again, the name says it all.
Tea escapade is another great blog about tea you could go to for reading about the different kinds of tea and how the author likes them!

Oooh and don't forget to check this out: Chai Time chais on sale at your Good Earth stores. Tapri chai, Railway platform chai, Dhaba chai all vie for attention among various types of single origin, masala and organic chai. Wow...

December 4, 2008

You-know-who, where are you?

Who, you say? No, I can't say his name. Ok, then, just this once. Mr Raj T. No, don't ask me to spell out his name in entirety. His powers are boundless. He can read me and he will get his followers to raise hell and try and get blogger banned in India for allowing me to write such stuff about him [shudder shudder].

Where is he? Why doesn't he say anything about these new terror attacks? Against those who spread hate and violence? What are his followers doing, holed up somewhere?

Folks think he is gagged. Codswallop, in my opinion. He is waiting, biding his time... Then he will rise again and take up his nefarious activities, with his followers - who follow him not because they agree with his ideology or because they love him but because he gives them one thing they have not: power.

Such a waste. After all, when he came to the fork on his way to success, fame and power, He-who-must-not-be-named had everything going for him. Everything: a famous and looked-up-to family, political connections, leadership qualities, vision, grit and determination. He could have chosen to tread the slower, righteous and in-the-long-run beneficial-to-all-including-him, path. Alas that he chose the shorter, faster, violent and hooliganistic path to achieve everything that he wanted and more...

He has a chance again, to make good after these new spate of terror attacks. He has been silent for long. Hope he is sitting on his throne planning not about how to use these recent developments to his cause's benefit but how to save his beloved Mumbai.

December 2, 2008

So you think you can Bollywood??

I love watching this show. AXN is currently airing what I think is the third season.
People who think they can dance audition for a chance to be one of the 20 guys and gals who then dance to vie for the final spot. They dance in couples and draw a different dance form each week (like waltz or jazz ) . Various experts in the dance form then choreograph and help them dance this dance form.
This video is of the fourth season and the contestants have to perform, guess what, Bollywood! Yup, for them its a dance form and trust me its worth a watch.
Think extremely agile Sridevi and Jeetendra on stage. Fun!!

Terror ends. Madness continues..

The bloodbath here has left India sick and reeling.
The media and their irresponsible attitude has been left bare.
And now the politicians come out of their cubby-holes (akin to rodents aren't they all?) and start their vote-mongering holier-than-thou tamasha. Insulting fathers of martyrs and fallen soldiers, declaring monetary benefit packages to families of police personnel whom they had accused of shady dealings not a week before, placing blame on senior official who have actually no clue about what is going on and shying away from answering the main question: who are responsible for this complete collapse of gathering, assimilating, strategizing, and executing of 'intelligence'? No, we are not talking of the doddering politicians who sit on their beloved 'chair' and leave the control of this huge democratic country in the hands of nameless 'experts' who seem to have no accountability. If we, India, had the information/indications that some sort of threat was present, why didn't someone (and btw, who is/are this/these people in power, this someone who can take decisions?) do something?
I apologize for these last few posts which are barely coherent. But, I ask you, how do you deal with this helplessness?
Here are some who have done a better job of dealing with the goings on:
Amit Verma - This city...
Mad Momma-Jaagte Raho
Kiran - Save Us
Salil Tripathi - Bombay Burning
Sadanand Dhume - India's Anti-terror blunders
Chyetanya Kunte - Shoddy Journalism
Enough. Will blog of something else later.

November 28, 2008


The hostage terror continues more than 24 hours after it started. There are armed terrorists loose in the city: no one knows where.
Now that the first shock and disbelief of this kind of fidayeen attack is wearing off, the questions are starting to form. Why? Why are these terrorists doing this? What are they hoping to achieve/prove? Why is it taking so long to end this nightmare? How could some of our top police and security personnel be slain in battle, when they have bullet-proof vests? How can anyone imagine our security force or police fighting these terrorists, armed to the teeth with automatic weapons, with pistols and rifles? Why are the top politicos and our Prime Minister in town visiting hospitals, when there are still terrorists at large and rescue operations are on?
One more burning question: Why are the news channels broadcasting the images live, even after being told that the terrorists might be watching the TV for updates?? Why do the general public have to know everything live, when there is an military operation on? Will a delay in reporting - even a few minutes delay - hurt the general public- yes, you and me - watching the TV? Why jeopardize an operation by beaming in images of commandos being air-dropped?? Why discuss the possibility of the terrorists watching this telecast when you know that it might be a possibility? Is there no common sense left or is it all about (tv-network-name)-reporting-live-from-scene-putting-our-life-on-line. No, we, your targeted audience don't want to know the live happenings, we want the security forces to finish this nightmare for those people who are trapped and their families who are trapped in this nightmare. We don't mind if you say after the operation, these are the images of the successful operation that we didn't beam to you live as it would have jeopardized the operation but now that is over, we can show you what happened. For all those who didn't have or show the discretion, the scruples and the common sense to understand this: you have lost what would have made you legends in Indian television reporting history: maturity and integrity.

November 27, 2008

Terror strikes Mumbai again

Terror strikes Mumbai again

Indiscriminate firing on unsuspecting civilians, bomb blasts in
crowded areas, and hostage situations in landmark hotels. Horrifying
images of injured, dead, burning buildings, terrorists shooting on the
street are being beamed in into every Mumbai home. All educational
institutions and most of the offices will be shut today. The trading
market will also be closed today.
If the objective if these brutal attacks was panic, fear and chaos,
well, that has been achieved. Even for the resilient Mumbaikar, this
planned, merciless attack is hard to swallow. If the motive is yet
another reminder to the American and British people that they are not
safe anywhere, I think the point is made.
Jaipur, New Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Guwahati, and now Mumbai. The

Sent from my iPhone

November 21, 2008

Pic pick: Dunno if the police will be polite...

.... If and when they catch this guy. Wonder what this guy is after though, their parking space??

November 19, 2008

Movie review: Dostana

Enough has been said about Dostana and its whats-gay-about-it theme. So, won't go into the details about the plot and all. Suffice to say that the movie oscillates between OTT hilarity and extreme mushiness. Typical KJo stuff. But what pray is Bobby Deol doing in a movie that is mainly about good looks and awesome locales?? You have Johnnie boy - a cl(ass) apart, the sexy Priyanka Chopra and the passable (thanks to his acting) Abhishek Bachhan. How, how, how can one cast Bobby as the suave and cool guy when he looks neither on screen (whatever he might be off screen).
I had a grouse that I have harboured against Karan Johar since KKHH. So, if any of you know KJo or know how to contact him, please convey the following-
please, please. enough already with the Friends-sitcom-inspired scenes, acting, dialogues and plot-lines. you might like/love Friends as much as I do, but seriously, you can't actually use that much of their stuff in almost all your movies. how does it work? do the actors have to study some of the seasons or something? can you please leave something that is sacred, well, sacred. no more AB jr trying chandler-inspired mannerisms, or priyanka chopra mouthing stuff about 'plans' rachelesque. no no, can't (not won't) enumerate the other instances. just please stop or curb or at least acknowledge your inspirations by, say showing the actors watching Friends instead of KKHH.

Enough said.

November 8, 2008

Movie review: Quantum of solace

Yup, Bond sells like nothing else. Money making machine it is. A full week before being released in USA, Indians are thronging to movie theatres to catch the latest offering of the Bond franchise. Weekend shows are sold out and some multiplexes are screening 10 shows a day - most of them sold out again!!
So, the movie. Well it sure is a humdinger - though I still don't think Daniel Craig makes as good a Bond as Sean Connery or Pierce Brosnan. He seems too cold and rigid. That said, the movie is good. The action scenes are really good and not monotonous. The plot though is something I have a problem with. How can a Bond movie be a revenge story carried forward from the earlier installment? The revenge angle is what I found a bit difficult to swallow.

The stunts: great, the fights: awesome (yup, again like Casino Royale the hand-to-hand combats are awesomely done and the bullet showers as well) and the locales: are beautiful and numerous (the most number of locales pictured in any Bond movie). The opening sequence of the car chase in Italy (Bond making mincemeat of the Alfa Romeo that is chasing his, what else, Aston Martin, and in the process trashing his own) is extremely well executed. There is even a fight/chase sequence with Tosca as a backdrop/alternate representation. These two fights were my favorite.

About the Bond gals, you see very very less of them. I don't see why Gemma Arterton was included in the movie. She has about 7 minutes of screen time with hardly any script to talk about. Oh and Bond doesn't get much action in this movie. Or if he does, it has been chopped off by our ever-so-solicitous censor board.

Like any other James Bond movie, this movie is not going to be watched for the plot or the storyline, so I am not going to go into it at all. Suffice to say that it picks up about an hour after the end of Casino Royale. This movie is all about the fights, the guns, the girls, the cars and the gizmos (which other than a Sony phone and touch computers akin to the ones we saw in Minority Report are nothing earthshakingly new - which I understand is what the director and producers wanted to do). I guess raw action is what they wanted to sell and they have delivered. Somehow, the suave and charming killing machine that we know as Bond is becoming increasingly similar to a Bourne (Bourne series) and Ethan Hunt (Mission Impossible series).

All said and done, its a visual treat and there is never a dull moment to the movie. Thankfully, Bond finally seems to get closure at the end of the movie so we can expect him to return to work exclusively for Her Majesty rather than for his avenging sensibilities.

November 6, 2008

List: Sites to dawdle on

Here are some sites you might like to dawdle on in office fighting off the zzzs. Some are good enough to while away time on even when you have work!! ;)

If you have a pic of yourself, you could got to:

If you want an avatar, try any of these:These are some of the avatars I tried. Most of these are fun.

If you want to download some e-books you could go to these:

  • Esnips
  • 4shared
  • Scribd
  • Demonoid [If someone has a login to this site, please let me know.. every time i try to download from a torrent, the server is full and am unable to register since like eons!!]

This makes me think.. Maybe a separate blog for lists? What say?

November 5, 2008

Diwali sweets should mean chocolates!!

Hope you guys had a great Diwali. Spent this Diwali in Bangalore and performed the one ritual that I love. I make it a point to do it every time I go to Bangalore and used to do it every month I lived in Bangalore. It all stems from my chocoholism that has got me as a willing victim since I was in school. You really can't help but become one when your mum is a teacher and brings home chocolates of whichever bratty's kid's birthday it was. Back then, I used to identify the kid with not his exam essay (which mom used to force me to read) but which chocolate he/she tried to impress me (yup, not mum, me) with ;)
Two decades later and about as many visits to the dentists, I am still chasing and living a chocoholics dream, in spite of the burgeoning waistline.
Being in such a chocolaty mood, here are the best chocolate stuff you can gorge on in the cities that I have lived in. Not too long a list, as I wanted to pen down the best that I have had...

The Chocolate Bomb (also called the Lava bomb): Little Italy, Mumbai/Pune/Bangalore: This is exactly what they say it: a bomb. A jab with the fork is all it takes to set it off. The hot molten chocolate inside is yummy. There was this place in Lokhandwala called Cocco's that had the whole menu comprising of, yep, cocoa and nothing else. The Choco bomb there was superlative. Why did it shut down, why??

Dark Temptation: Barista Outlets: This is a temptation for me every time I go there for coffee. Comprising of a decadent chocolate pastry, chocolate sauce, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. Some outlets serve the pastry too hot and gooey while some serve it stone cold. The outlets at Oshiwara, MG road Bangalore and the erstwhile outlet at Koregaon Park Pune are the places that get it right always.

Double Trouble: Mad Over Donuts, Oberoi Mall, Mumbai: Yup, its a donut. Though once you bite into one, you can see how its more like a flimsy cover holding all the chocolate! Be warned, its pretty messy to eat this one. This donut comes without a hole as the top is layered with milk chocolate and the donut is stuffed with molten dark chocolate. One of the yummiest and strangest of all places to satiate you choco-cravings.

Death By Chocolate: The Corner House, All Bangalore Outlets: Yes, I know its a ice-cream place. But do you know that this dessert is something that I cannot finish the large size of? Yes, its a huge deal!!! Anyway, this baby has chocolate ice-cream, chocolate brownie, chocolate sauce, vanilla ice-cream and whipped cream with nuts. It comes in junior and large sizes and trust you me, its a meal in itself irrespective of the potion size.

Chocolate Avalanche: Mocha Outlets: Ingredients of this most decadent dessert are chocolate ice cream with chocolate mousse, chocolate sauce, chocolate brownie AND pieces of chocolate! Yes, that is a whole lot of chocolate and it ain't for the faint-stomached or for someone who is watching the waistline (yes, i am, but not while eating this kinda stuff!!)

Will keep adding to this list whenever I find a culinary choco feast that matches any of these. Till then, happy gorging...

Oh, and wouldn't it be great if people actually started buying into the whole gifting chocolates for Diwali instead of the over-sweet (yes, there is such a thing) milky sweets. Make a note all ye who have the fortune of meeting me the next Diwali.

October 4, 2008

Heard of bad signboards. But this one takes the cake. So true...

September 24, 2008

Play: The Wedding Album

I watched a play last weekend. My first play (that I remember of)!! I was, in a word, wowed.
We got an invite for this special screening (for ICICI Bank customers) of a play called, The Wedding Album. Written by Girish Karnad and directed by Lillete Dubey, said the invite. And front row seats.. Curiouser and curiouser. Hubby really wanted to go, so along we went.
And am I glad we did! The play starred well-known faces - Neena Kulkarni, tkarsh Muzumdar, Suchitra Pillai, Rajeev Paul, Amar Talwar, Deepika Deshpande and more.. And they were all good. Especially, Neena Kulkarni. She is a veteran, I know.. but I blown away by her performance.
The fact that impressed me the most was that how these actors did not even twitch one muscle when the whole audience was roaring with laughter. Nor did they betray an up-coming punchline by a flicker and delivered them quite straight-faced. I was fascinated the most, however, by how the actors did not even bat an eye or turn in the direction of an insensitive, obnoxious patron when his mobile started hollering in the middle of the play. Yup, even after repeated requests at the start of the play to switch the mobiles off, this jerk still had his on loud!!!
Am definitely going to watch more theatre. Problem is, I live in the suburbs (or should I say the 'burbs) and the plays are mostly in the city (read South Bombay) or at the nearest, Bandra. Since Rock On! I really want to live in South Bombay (if I have to stay in Mumbai, mustn't I stay in a convenient place?). Yeah, tell me about wishful thinking ;)

August 30, 2008

Movie review: Rock on rocks!!

Watch it!! I loved it. Best watched on the large screen. If you
haven't fallen in love with the songs yet, you will now. The live
performances shown are mind-blowing. Will post review soon. Without

Sent from my iPhone

August 26, 2008

Bundled up: updates, thoughts, reviews

Been some time since I posted. Got a bit too involved with the layout thing. Its fun when you get down to it, you know. Anyway, so am going to like list down whatever I had wanted to post here since a week, briefly.
  • Updates: Zee Cafe has started to air Sex and the city right from the first season. Yea!! I know, I know, its much easier to watch all the seasons on DVD now that it is available with almost every other DVD rental place. But I dunno, I prefer it this way. Catch it every Monday at 9. They all look so young in the first season!! :) Btw, how cool is the music of Rock On?? I love it and listen to it like everyday. Admire Farhan and think Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy are gorgeous to create such music. Waiting for the movie. Eagerly. The song Pichle saat dino mein is picturized amazingly. Go watch...
  • Thoughts: Every city has its own distinct culture and hence, driving patterns. In Bangalore, you will mostly adhere to the white line rule at the signals while you will also sometimes drive on the sidewalk. In Pune, you will drive like you are fighting for survival. In Mumbai, as there is a premium of space, you will drive a few inches away from the next vehicle without flinching. Found something new today: There is a huge puddle of water in the middle of a highway. What do you do? In Bangalore, you will treat it as part of a road and not alter your speed. In Pune, you will accelerate so that you can try to displace as much water as you can and see if you can drench the pretty girl walking on the sidewalk. In Mumbai, however, you will slowdown as soon as you see the puddle. God knows what is under the water - an open drain, a humongous pothole, a burst drain pipe - you will slow down. Even if it is a highway. And you are at 70kmph. Even if you know this will spawn a traffic jam (oh sorry, in Mumbai we have either slow moving traffic or gridlocks, no jams). Even if you know that there is nothing wrong with the part of the road submerged under water coz you drive by here everyday. Even if the car behind you protests with persistent honking. Even if that said car contains me.
  • Reviews: Watched Bachna ae haseeno more than a week ago. The reason that I didn't even feel like posting a review was coz the movie was so damned dull. The story-line was like some 90's reject script, without the fizz or great music. The lyrics range from a really good Khuda jaane to the equally bad 'Small town girl'. The chemistry between the couples is at the best tepid. The locations are good and the acting is mediocre - coz the script doesn't demand much. The only good thing in this movie is Deepika Padukone. She shines in a very small role. The people at Yash Raj should really start thinking why their movies are not doing great at the box-office. Their tried and tested Switzerland formula is no longer a crowd-puller. If only the powers-to-be had invested as much time in the script than relying too much on the gimmicks (like trying to recreate Rishi Kapoor - Paintal magic via their sons and the original Rishi Kapoor song now shot for his son - btw, the choreography of this song sucked. Poor Ranbir, he is a pretty good dancer). Oh, and they don't get their facts right as well.. you know the stuff that make the movie believable? Get this: Microsoft has a development office in Mumbai, and they send you to Syndey as well. A girl who is studying to be a doctor in Australia has time to attend college, study, and take on two part time jobs. God knows, when she sleeps. Well, whaddya know, I did review this movie ;)

Ok, thats it for now. Out.

August 24, 2008

What do you think?

Hey you guys.. Worked on this theme quite a bit. Blogger themes are pretty hard to find.. I mean good ones, if you want to get something else than just color-y backgrounds. Wordpress themes, amazing themes all over the web!! This was like a whole week's worth of effort. Yup.. I am getting pretty old.

So, anyway, what do you think of this new look?? Please let me know if it appears screwed up in your browser or if some link etc doesn't work. Suggestions, opinions welcome.

August 21, 2008

No subject.....

I forgot [:-O] my mobile at home yesterday!! Got through the day somehow. Don't you think we are relying too much on gadgets and software? Well then, with a show of hands, how many of us can't do without spellcheck these days for 100% accuracy? Why then did we spend so much time on English language at school? But then, I guess, someone has to write and verify the rules in MS Word. Thank God, its not me.
[Note to self: memorize 5 friends' ph numbers. And maintain a friggin' telephone diary. But what if I lost that as well???]

Sent from my iPhone

August 14, 2008

Tag: Wishlist

Kiran inspired me to do a Wishlist tag of my own. And, boy, did I have fun with it. It took me 3 whole days to research and find the pics of the exact dresses etc I wanted. Mind you, this is a shopping wishlist.. Sigh.. One can be crossed out - the iphone. But the others..... What is on your wishlist?

To elaborate... I am going through a I-love-mary-janes phase, hence that particular Manolo and Christian Louboutin. The Naeem Khan, come on, admit it, you love it too. A tad impractical for the daily wear, I know. Wouldn't a shorter version look amazing? The color and material and detail are so Indian-ish. The CK sheath is my version of the perfect LBD that comes very handy when you are on the all-day and all-night excursions. The Bottega Veneta Classic is, well, a classic. And so simple and uncomplicated and sophisticated that.. sigh.... I love Mango. Period. Their tops, jeans and formal wear as well as so, well, somewhat boho and kitsch.. And very very wearable. The iPhone, I have, yea!! Thanks again to my hubby who nudged into buying something on my wishlist ;)

August 12, 2008

A story...

Jana gana mana
Adhinayak jaya hay

The little girl jolted. She had, yet again, sleepwalked through the
bus ride to school, through the assembly bell, through the stupid mass
PT exercises, till the national anthem. This always woke her up. It
sounded more beautiful whenever this happened-which was often. It
always gave her goosebumps. It brought to mind the stories of the
martyrs that she read in her history books. (She was a serious girl.)
She thought that if they could give their lives so that our country
would benefit, she could also sacrifice some things every day that
would help her country. (Told you she was a serious kid.)

Years passed by. The girl grew up. Now, the only time she hears and
sings the national anthem is when she watches a movie in the
multiplex. It still gives her goosebumps. She still thinks of the
martyrs, the freedom fighters. And then she thinks of what is ails her
country. And how she has done precious little to alleviate the social
wrongs she witnesses everyday. And she wonders, shamefacedly, if
there is a way where she could bring glory to her country like Abhinay
Bindra. She remembers the idealism and optimism that was her
childhood. And wonders if maturity and growing-up robbed her of it.
And how it no longer feels like an epiphany to realise this. And she
sighs, shrugs and turns her attention to the movie. And the guilt

Sent from my iPhone

August 4, 2008

My best drive ever. Which is yours?

Pune-Mumbai via Expressway. 100kmph on an almost deserted expressway, surrounded by greenery, green rolling hills and an occasional drizzle. Listening to favorite songs. Hands down my best drive/ride ever. Which is yours?

Sent from my iPhone

August 2, 2008

What do you think?

Why do we try to pull down people who we perceive are successful? What
logic in our sub-concious prompts us to try and either denigrate their
success or to try to get a piece of their profit as if they owe us
that? So you have a Bush telling the world that India and China are
causing the food shortage. And how India is stealing jobs. Closer to
home, you have the MSEB proclaiming that the software industry is
sucking so much energy that Maharashtra is facing an energy crisis and
directing the software industry to cut their power consumption by 20%
Ever faced a guy making sarcastic remarks about your new phone that
the loser secretly covets? Thinking about it, I realise that I am
guilty of doing it at some point or the other - subconciously or
otherwise. And I don't know how I can not regret it when I think about
it know. I don't. Comeuppance. Putting someone down. Revenge. Or
showing someone their place. Call it what you will, we have all done
it at some point in our life. What have you done. And how would you
justfy it?

Sent from my iPhone

July 22, 2008

Movie review: The Dark Knight

Is there a darker, more troubled comic-book superhero than Batman? I, for one, have always felt that Batman is the most complex, lonely, troubled and dark superhero of all. Aside from the unnecessary Robin, the only other person he has is Alfred. Superman has his Lois Lane and Spiderman is now married to MJ. Batman has a long list of both enemies and ex-lovers. Anyway. Bottom line, I love Batman. He is, and always will be my fav superhero and by far the most fascinating.
Most of the Batman movies, in keeping with the comic, have tried to portray the movies as dark (at least in lighting) as they could. You wouldn’t see too many day shots in a Batman movie. But with their plastic suits and target audience as kids, none of the Batman movies could become more than comic book characters come alive. Which is where Chris Nolan’s Batman movies differ. They have intelligent, involved storylines and strong emphasis on character. And strong performances as well.
Heath Ledger as the Joker is outstanding. Move aside all ye Jim Carreys and Jack Nicholsons. This Joker is here to stay as the most creepy, sinister and evil of all. Christian Bale portrays Batman as I think Batman should be – not making eyes at females or wearing his heart on his sleeve but a suave, seemingly-cold, playboy with extravagances that go hand in hand with being someone more interested in adding to his trust fund. But most of all, he plays it with a rigid control that sometimes explodes revealing the underlying, ever-present brutal violence and rage.
The storyline is involved and doesn’t depend upon making caricatures of the characters. The why-they-became-what-they-were Joker or Penguin angle in most of the Batman movies had been hashed and then hashed again ad nauseum. Nothing of that sort here. No Joker laughing maniacally, evilly. The evil arises from his sheer ruthlessness. The special effects are awesome and so are some of the stunts. This time, Gotham is not depicted to be in a land far far away, rather, it looks like present day New York. Also, this time around Batman has a posse of good guys on his side who actually help him and kick asses on their own and no, none of them are superheroes.
The first half of the movie is spectacular, gripping and fast paced. The second lags in pace (but only coz you can compare it to the slicker first half.). The plot-line has a series of sub-plots and none pulls the movie back. The cast, is great in their roles. Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordan, Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent (will see more of him in the next installment of the movie), Micheal Caine reprising his role of Alfred, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, Heath Ledger as the most chillingly murderous Joker ever, Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes and above all Christian Bale as the most dishiest of Batmans (Batmen?? Nah that doesn’t sound right.) ever.
But the thing I like most, is the movie is devoid of marketing gimmicks or publicity gimmicks. Its USP would be its story, characters and stunts. If anything negative, I would say the director takes himself too seriously, but then if the results are so good, hey!! Though I wish they would consider chopping a bit of the 150+ minute running time. Might just be my favorite Batman movie ever. Unless the next one turns to be even better….

July 18, 2008

A belated Earth Day post

Warning – long, preachy kinda post. Actually, it’s a list of all that you, as an individual can do to lessen your carbon footprint and in the process save some money too. If one of your resolutions this year was adopting ways that would be more environmental-friendly (and if its not, well, it should be) then here are some pointers on how to go about it. Some of these I had started ages back and some are newly discovered ones. Hope this helps and hey if you know of any more – let me know….

1. Repeat after me: I will not buy a bulb ever again. A humble bulb, you say??? Duh, haven't been reading up on your resolution, have you? Ok, remedy: Google. Duh! Or goto BanTheBulb and sign their petition. And please don't end it at that, replace every bulb in your house, yes, including the one in your bathroom with a CFL. Yes, I know it costs more than a bulb does. But your electricity bill drops, so, it’s a great tradeoff.

2. Don't buy more paper than you can grow. This one is assuming that you do your bit, at least once a year, by planting at least 2-4 trees. You don’t? Well, I guess you know what I have to say to that. Get off your fat bottom and do it!! Oh, and there is environmental-friendly paper out there. There is a factory in Delhi that makes paper from elephant dung. No, I kid you not. Check it out, its called the elephant poo paper. Hey, don't snigger!! At least, someone is trying to make up for the crap you dole out in kilos every day.

3. In a city like Mumbai or Delhi, traveling by your own car is a luxury that you get addicted to before you can say 'Duh'. The public transport in both these cities, long distance at least, is good. No, I am not saying try to get into a over-crowded local train. That extreme is for morons like me ;). You guys can start out small by sharing a rickshaw (even if it is an LPG one), car pooling, making sure that you absolutely can't take the time to travel by train before choosing a airplane and small things like that. Yes, I know, it requires a little patience to wait for the eternally late guy to clamber into the car pool, but hey, you can do that much!! Compare that to the stress of driving yourself to work every day: exactly, the aggravating guy is peanuts!!

4. In Mumbai, there is a ban on handing out veggies and other supermarket stuff in plastic bags of a certain type. The other grade ones are expensive and not cost effective for the vegetable vendors and so they refuse to hand out plastics. They would rather you don't buy veggies from them than run the risk of incurring a huge fine. Yea!!! Please, oh please, invest in cloth bags. If you try, you will find nice looking ones too!!

5. Another way of reducing paper usage/wastage: gift wrapping paper. I feel very strongly about this – ever since my wedding. The amount of plastic and paper wrapping we had to discard was horrifying. Remedy: buy bright cheap cloth from your friendly wholesale guy the next time you go into town and use these for wrapping. They are reusable, washable and (here is the kicker) makes your gift stand out among the paper and plastic ones. Plus, when you hand the gift, it makes a great impression and you can tell them to pass the wrapping on.

6. Restrict yourself to a bucket of water for your bath or a five minute shower every weekday. This not only saves lots of water and time, it also makes your weekend baths a relaxing, luxurious affair.

7. Summer: open your windows to let in the sun and the wind. You won't require the fan or AC. Open your windows in the winter as well. A closed house is a cold house. Monsoons: Open your windows. The dull, damp feeling will vanish as soon as the wind brings in the smell of the wet earth. Grab that cup of tea and relax.

8. Don't leave the tv/dvd player/computer/set-top box in sleep mode. You are not using it, right? Switch off the mains as well. Yes, this does make a difference.

9. There is nothing different in a can of cola that the glass bottle doesn't have. Cool factor, you say?? Not only are you adding sugar to your bloodstream, you are adding to the non-biodegradable waste. And all for looking cool?? Sorry, the logic escapes me.

10. Use products that have the least packaging. Could you really tell the difference, between small bites of say, a Perk or a Kit-Kat?? I can't. So, every time, I feel like having either, I go for a Perk. It has only one layer of wrapping. Need I say more?

11. It is not going to be long (it’s already started actually) before buying stuff from companies that are famous for its environment-friendly procedures is actually fashionable and the norm. No, it’s not impractical. It’s along the same lines as not buying a product that has been tested on animals. Simple.

12. Another way to reduce your paper consumption. Talk to your bank, credit card and mobile service providers and tell them that you would prefer an e-bill to an actual hard copy. Almost every bank and mobile service provider has the facility of an e-bill and they will gladly process your request. It’s easier for them too, see.

13. Coffee break at office?? Try not to use the dreaded styrofoam cup or the disposable plastic one either. Your desk will look better if you keep a nice stone/china mug on it. Use it for you coffee and rinse it with plain water afterwards. The office boy will wash it for you if you want. Or else, talk to your office canteen/mess guy and talk him into washing your mug with the rest of his stuff.

14. If you live in a metro, the you can Recycle, recycle, recycle.

15. Live in an eternally sunny city? Rejoice: a solar water heater will reduce your power bill by half. Yes, the electric water heater is a power sucker!!

16. End of the post near. Whenever you leave your desk, after you press Ctrl+Alt+Del, do switch off the monitor. You will be amazed at how much power is saved if you do this everyday during your lunch and coffee breaks. At the end of the day, after shutting down your computer, turn off the main switch or your monitor will be on standby. (Hadn't realised this, had you?)

That’s it for now. Will add to this list, whenever I think of any more. Till then, do you know of more ways to save electricity, petrol or water?

July 9, 2008

Remember when... was fun writing code, experimenting with various logic and seeking out new technologies? was fun 'helping' your ma make pickles/papads/pharal? used to sit in patch of warm sunlight, near a window looking out on a rainy day with the grass all green, with a steaming cup of chai and a delicious book in your hands?

..playing games on the pc was for fun. More fun if you finish it faster than your friend who is playing at his place? What if I finish this level earlier than him? Lets try. Fast fast fast. Finish this game fast. Wait, there could be a cheat for this!! Voila, found it!!

..riding on the bike just for the heck of it was the ultimate freedom high you could get? And the scene from atop the mountain, looking at the cow who seems like an ant now and musing how inconsequential it all seemed. would wonder why the adults steamed ad infinitum about some incompetent guy/gal at work when they are trying to watch something on TV they ACTUALLY want to [and you have sacrificed your FRIENDS episode for]? skipped home on a day when you had to stay back in school coz it was pouring and how the dew was soft and the wind cool on your face.

And I remember how I used to hate going to dance class on weekends. It was like having tons of homework on weekends or during holidays!!

Why do I remember this? Coz, today:

..if I have to write one more line of code / have to evaluate the feasibility of one more new technology, I would kill myself.

..even the thought of making pickles/pharal seems so tiring and ridiculously-eating-into-your-time that its difficult to comprehend why people do it 'now-a-days'

..I want to chuck work, and sit at home to play games. Praying after every level I finish, that they have enough levels left for me to escape into. [Is it just me, or are games nowadays shorter than they used to be?]

..the idea of riding a bike brings forth an image of sitting in front of a 15-year old diesel truck with zilch maintenance and a bigger carbon imprint than 10 families can make in 10 generations. Freedom?

..I hate the guy who jams the copier, the guy who sits next to A, the female who thinks that the whole corridor should listen to her talk to her boyfriend, the moron in my team who takes enough leave to declare him as a guest to our office....

..staggering home on a day when you had to sit back in office due to the incessant rain that you did not want to wade through and instead chose to stay back and complete the pending work.

Today, to me, dance seems to be the best way to channel aggression and release stress.

Don’t you miss those hazy, lazy days when the world was much simpler and life carefree? But some things remain same forever. Reading books, steaming cups of chai, the occasional cricket win, the consistently bland, unbelievable Bollywood movies. Thank God for these :)

July 6, 2008

It raining sales....

Yup, its that time of the season again... End of season. Which only means one thing to a shopaholic, bargain-hunter like me - it time to splurge!! Yea! Loosen those purse-strings, step into your most comfortable walking shoes coz once you enter a mall, you are going to need them!! Come next weekend and almost every shop is going to be sporting a Upto-xyz%-Sale board. And am a sucker for those. Earlier this friday, I open the paper and shriek, and hubby knows he is in for some heavy-duty coolie-giri. (Hey, don't feel sad for him, he gets his share of stuff too you know!!) What did I see in the paper? On a single page, vying for you attention are the Mango, Charles and Keith, Aldo sales. I am sorry, I didn't notice the others. I was already mentally calculating and at the same time dressing up. You see, the rationalization - at least for me- goes like this. You save for about three months and then splurge it all during the sale. The glow of the splurge will last you for the next three months, I guarantee you. And if it doesn't, well the marketing people come up with great ways in which you can spend without a guilt-attack at midnight. Or you could visit Colaba Causeway. But, once in a while, actually, once in a really long while you get a great deal. Like yesterday's Van Heusen's One Day Affair. This was one great offer and surprisingly, they didn't advertise in the papers. I got my invite online through various e-newsletters (yes, I actually subscribe and read them and that is why I was at the sale and you weren't ;)). Basically, whatever amount you spend on menswear, you get womenswear for that amount free. Steal!! And to add to it, I love Van Heusen stuff. So suffice to say, I am through my sale shopping this season, even before the sales started!! And that is a record if anything. I promise, that the next time I get one of these deals, will post it immediately.
Btw, the pic is of a clutch I picked up at Colaba Causeway last weekend. The craftsmanship is simply superb, the finishing is good enough to stand a cursory examination and hell, the interior is lined with satin. At 150 bucks, you can't ask for a better bargain. But, sadly, I didn't get what I actually was looking for - a Bottega Veneta knock-off. Couldn't find one. If you know which shops there I can get one in, please please let me know. Meanwhile, I have decided to post on all the great shopping places that I chance upon. And just so you know, I love the malls, the small around-the-corner-stores and the one-off quirky merchandise available online. So along with movie reviews, restaurant experiences you can now look forward to this bargain-hunter's steals. Hope you enjoy!!

Movie review: Jaane tu... ya jaane na

If you are in the mood for nostalgia, candyfloss, good laugh, clean entertainment and bollywood-esque movie climaxes, then this is the movie to watch. The movie engages you from the get go. The cast of fresh new faces and the veterans are marvelous and make the movie simply put, a must-watch. The movie has a fresh feel that the promotions had, the characters have, the locations - all Mumbai - are great but what you really latch onto is the narrative, which is superbly done.
The movie spools as a story-telling/reminiscing session in a group of friends and that in itself could have been terribly handled, but is superbly done. The characters are all one-dimensional - some incidents and character motivations completely illogical - but you don't realise this while you are enjoying this movie. The humour is ever-present, clean and peppered throughout the movie. I think we can all expect great movies from Abbas Tyrewala, he not only manages to elicit great performances from the veterans, but also gets effortless, unforced and sometimes completely frank performances from the newcomers. Both Genelia and Imran seemed like they just walked in front of the camera and played themselves - they both seemed that comfortable in front of the camera and with the lines. Performance-wise I think the best would have to be hands-down Ratna Pathak Shah who not only has a great character to play but does so with great aplomb. The roles of Naseeruddin Shah, Jayant Kriplani, Anuradha Patel, Paresh Rawal are not major ones but they are superbly cast and they do justice to their respective characters superbly. Cameos by Rajat Kapoor and Kitu Gidwani, Sohail Khan and Arbaaz Khan are nicely done and in the latter case, bring comic relief like no other. I am pleasantly surprised, looking back now, that not one actor seemed out of place or had overacted. The casting by Purbi is nothing short of brilliant. The music score is definitely young and hummable. The dialogue, scenes, stories, side-stories, movie settings, clothes are all superb.
The usual, cliched, over-the-top, jhisa-pita bollywood-ishtyle climax seems incongruous later, but in the movie seems completely keeping with the movie story. Interestingly, not even one scene is shot in any college classroom - indeed only one song gives you a glimpse of the college that the young actors attend. So this movie just catches the kids between classes, after classes, after college and between jobs.
But what really hooks you is the young, colleg-y feel of this movie that makes you reminisce fondly about your gang in college, your friends, your addas, your stories. It speaks to you because you are reminded of your own weird group of friends, the get-outta-here happenings and carefree time and picnics. You identify with the college kids so subconsciously that you start smiling at their jokes, personalities and feeling for their, well, feelings.
Enough outta me already, go watch.

June 25, 2008

It is pouring...

And am stuck in traffic. Going to be late to office.
And just might be drenched walking from our open car park to my
office. Am I stressed? Nope. It is a gorgeous scene with only sheets
of rain to look at. And mann ki lagan playing on my iPhone. If
I had a cuppa, then I would be in paradise. I will crib about the
rains some other day. Today I am going to savour it.

Sent from my iPhone

June 23, 2008

Of the city, sex, gangsters, hulks and con-men

Okie, so I have been terribly busy, sorry lazy, these last few weeks. Blame it on the weather. Mumbai, since I moved here with my hubby, has been behaving so beautifully that its too good to be true. No deluges that fill my compound (yet), no sweltering heat, and the winter was beautiful and cold. So much so, that my husband has started to genuinely wonder why I used to complain about Bombay. Well, just you wait, dude, once the Gods are done being nice to this city, you won't know what hit you.

So, anyway, Mumbai or not, the last couple of weeks, saw us watching 5 movies at the multiplex. Yup, five. Not even going to count the DVD ones. Nope, haven’t reached the stage where we can’t stand each other yet. Our dish-tv connection has gone kaput. Wakes up sometimes - when there is absolutely nothing to watch on TV - and does a bunk when I really want to watch Hell's Kitchen, or hubby his F1. If a piddly bit of rain can do this, am wondering what will happen once it starts pouring in earnest. And we used to think cable tv was irritating!! So, multiplex it was. And the new PVR nearby just in time for our dish-tv blackout.

So, anyway, here are very very short reviews of each of the five - I know it’s been a long time and most of the movies are old news, but hey!! you should be happy that I am posting!! In the order we watched them, then:

Sex and the city - If you loved the TV series, you will like this movie. The usual yummy stuff is all there, the clothes, the to-die-for-shoes, the fashion stuff (check out the Vogue photo-shoot) and the gal-pal stuff. What is missing though - other than the usual lack of eye-candy - is the talk: remember the talks/discussions etc that gave made you either giggle or goggle? Well, conspicuously lacking. Surprising, really. Coz, come on, that is one thing you do expect from SATC right? Actually, it’s more of a romantic movie than the dare-to-bare-all-secrets kinda movie. But what surprised me was that most of the clothes in the movie were very wearable. Most of them – not counting the liberal use of gladiator heels throughout the movie - are classics that will never go out of fashion. Final word: Great movie to chill out with your gal friends, and if you don't have THAT great gal friends, watch it with your guy - just a way to show him what high-maintenance really means. Most certainly worth a watch. And own on DVD :)

Sarkar Raj - Watch it. Walk out. Forget it. Yup, imminently forgettable. Agreed, Sarkar was a tough act to follow. But, seriously, when even thinking of making a sequel, isn't it taken for granted that the second one should be AT LEAST as good as the first? This movie is nothing on the first one. The dialogue is forced and weird. The camera angles, well, sooo Ram-Gopal-Verma-on-steroids that it irritates you to try to watch Amitabh through the legs of a table. Where Sarkar was slick, fast-paced and intense, Sarkar Raj is intermittently plodding, brooding and boring. The movie seems like most part of it was improvised on the sets itself. The sudden inclusion of Aishwarya in almost every scene post interval seems weird and illogical to say the least. Until the climax. That is when you realize that it was all done to set scene for the next movie. The human element in this movie is blatantly ignored, till it suits the director to find it for the latter part of the movie for Amitabh Bachchan. Till the, when the wife dies, with child, not a tear is shed and in a matter of days the guy is thinking of another woman. When the father, though emotionally estranged, is murdered, a widening of the eyes is the only evidence of having acknowledged the news. In the first movie, RGV had proclaimed that the movie was his tribute to The Godfather series. He incorporated a lot of details in this movie as well. But the problem is, in this movie it kind of seems put together or hastily incorporated whereas in the first installment, most of the stuff was part of the story. So you see a car bomb killing the Appolonia-esque wife, the Sarkar senior going into semi retirement (and shown almost helpless and uninterested in his business) after junior takes over the reins, the grieving mother sidelined and not shown at all etc. Too many situations that are illogical, the stark one-dimensional black-white characters, stilted dialogue make this movie a strict one-time watch, if you are a RGV fan. I guess we should just expect aberrations like Sarkar from RGV once in a while and not a string a brilliant movies.

21 - A smart movie. With the required twists and turns and excellant performances. Not worth a theatre watch though. A Sunday afternoon DVD-kinda movie. About a handful of MIT students who try to each win a shit-load of money by trying to count cards in Las Vegas at blackjack. All are genius at math and their professor is the brains behind the whole operation. I loved the premise, story and the execution of the movie. Definitely worth a watch.

The incredible hulk - When does a movie stop being a documentary and start becoming a movie? For me, when I can identify with a character. No, that didn't come out right. Ok, try this out for size - in a movie, the lead protagonist is being victimized and hunted through no fault of his own. Wouldn't the director want to play on the audience's empathy for him to get the audience hooked onto the narrative and indeed, sit through the movie coz they care what is happening, and going to happen, to the said guy? Well, this is the one main thing that is missing in the movie. It doesn't hook you. The actors are all great and all and so are the special effects, but it makes you go 'Get on with it'. On the bright side though, Edward Norton in this avatar is a little new to me and does full justice to the role, Liv Tyler looks good. The hulk, however, is the best. He is better depicted here than in the movie Hulk - the one with Eric Bana - where the hulk looked like some overgrown rubber or plastic toy. The action scenes though are few and far in between. Wished there were more fights and action sequences. The story is interesting and the surprising addition at the end of the movie is what you will talk about more after the movie than the movie itself. Not a movie that is made better by the large screen - you will like it as much on DVD.

De taali - Don't ever watch this movie. The only reason I decided to watch it was coz the only promos I saw of this movie was being aired between FRIENDS re-runs and it said that it is about friendship. Note to self - never ever watch any Bollywood movie which is about friendship. It might just mean a bunch of 25-something brats sniveling in a tree-house that they call their 'club' or worse .... oh forget it.. Don't want to be reminded of that terrible movie. How terrible? Well the only song that is bearable- the title song - starts just after the title. Should have left then...

June 12, 2008

Long time no post...

Its been quite some time since I posted, like my faithful readers (all 4 of them) have pointed out to me. Am afraid I can't plead the usual work excuses, but hey, a girl is entitled to some laziness and procrastination. So, anyway, this is just a short post of updates on what has happened since I posted last.

I got my iPhone!! My deepest, most heartfelt thanks to the people who made this happen by contributing so generously to my iPhone fund - my hubby, my sis and my father. If it weren't for you guys, I don't know when I would be able to save(?) enough (if at all) to get my iPhone. So, does this portend more posts via my iPhone? I definitely love the idea that I can blog now on the move and all... but making it happen?? Will see when the urge takes me and you see a 'sent from my iPhone' at the end of the post. I apologise if the continuous use of the words 'my iPhone' is irritating you, but I am typing the words for the first time and it has a nice ring to it. Crazy? Nah.. Just in love :)

Had a nice holiday in Goa. For this I would like to thank my hubby for making sure I didn't slack off getting tickets, arranging accommodations and packing and, more importantly, would like to thank Lisa and her family for their heartwarming hospitality that made our stay in Goa the best ever. Any of you guys wish to holiday in Goa but like to stay at a great place very close to the beach and with a pool, let me know, and I will get you in touch with Lisa. She has a smashing place almost bang on the beach in Benaulim and.. oh hell, why don't I just upload the pics of our visit there and you see how amazing the place is? (Next time, of course.)

Monsoon has arrived in Mumbai. And how!! Now, for this I don't want to thank anyone coz, though I am very happy that the city has cooled down and all, am sure in a couple of weeks I will be complaining of wading in chest deep water. So, let us not jinx it and say that the monsoons are a heaven-send...

Watched a total of four movies this weekend and the next post will be a review of all of them. Target for next post, tomorrow. Lets see if I can make it...

April 25, 2008

Ode to the odious octopus, encountered enroute to bangalore

This is to the anonymous guy who was our (me and hubby) seat-mate on our way to Bangalore. You would think cranky kids, squalling babies and snoring OTH people are a nuisance. Well, try this one out for size. He drove me nuts and I was so so damn bugged that me, ME, wrote a poem about it. Don't kill me once you read it (a couple of lines or the whole thing), coz I was depressed as hell and not too sane.

The Ode to the odious octopus
The silence of the night, dark and velvety, marred by a sigh,
deep and heartfelt, contemplating the end of the journey, that seems
no nearer than when I started. Hurry I say,
Hurry, coz my mind is ready to burst at its seams
I yearn for the blessed quiet, the restraint
that I am trying hard to find and keep
Before I punch, kick- do bodily harm,
to the fucking compulsive clucking creep.
My seat-mate, the ingrate, my fellow-traveler
of this empty endless sky
clucking and chak-ing away these glorious minutes
when peace and quiet should hold sway
of your mind and soul, living in the moment
forgetting about the imminent busy day
But no, every minute punctured by the inevitable cluck (chak)
I take a deep breath when all I want to do is
hurl him into the dark velvety void, the schmuck.

I know that your loved ones are waiting, unlike mine
worrying about the tardiness, of this beastly airline
Or maybe you are late, for an appointment you want to keep
So cluck not, every passing minute, my sore brain cells weep

Can you not sense the hostile stares, the fraying
tempers, that might turn into violence
if you don't stop mich-miching? Come on, are you not aware
that there is more beauty in silence?
Oh you idiot, stop it now, whatever reason you are doing
this for, for its more harm to you than me
Me, I Zen, and I will space out, but pray
what will you, uncouth stranger, gain out of this lunacy?
Your mind is not free to flit about
where you might find peace, beauty. But you continue
to cluck. In this silence, it is as bad as a shout.
I bear you no ill-will, but I hope that some day,
someone will come along - someone with less manners than I -
and that they will do it: give you your due,
and I pray, I pray that that someone will be I.

April 16, 2008

Right to Information

Ok, picture this:
  • Post-appraisal, a colleague at the coffee machine suddenly tells you about his appraisal status/increment/promotion, asks you yours and has you squirming in the midst of what was inane coffee-time talk.
  • Walking around in the i-finally-lost-the-Diwali-5-kilos haze, you bump into a friend/anyone, and drop down to the hard earth when she goes into the ooh-you-havn't-changed-a-bit monologue.
  • Aunt/distant female relative asking conspiratorially, when are you going to give us good news?


I mean, there should be a law: upon asking people their pay packets / raise amounts / appraisal rating, they should be fined almost the equal amount. Same goes for people who ask how much money you have invested and stupid questions like 'what is your worth?'. I mean, hello, aren't you satisfied that TV channels/newspapers/financial websites spend so many man-hours calculating and re-calculating Mukesh Ambani and company's net worth every time the sensex dips or rises? And especially those people who would want to TELL you their weight and how they reduced it. Please, if I wanted to know, I would ask you, or trick you onto a weighing machine or (more likely) kill myself over my uneventful life.

Btw, on meeting someone, why can't you just say how nice they look and stop at that, instead of exclaiming over how much weight has been lost/gained [either leads to weight reduction/gain methods and advice and such other crap]. Don't you hate it when I people ask "Still single?" or "Found someone yet?". Ya right, like the first thing anyone would do is yell about it from the rooftops. Or maybe they ask coz, whatever the answer, they have advice to give.

So, if you want to be in my good books then read on. Also included in my list of strict no-way-you-are-going-to-get-a-straight-answer questions and no-no topics are:

  • Info about your health with details that make me want to ask if the thing you are suffering from is, hopefully, life-threatening
  • Family/spouse tussles and inter-familial info
  • Inane topics like is love marriage better than arranged
  • Family planning [yours or mine]
  • My career plans [unless you are taking my interview]

It is funny how, in India, we bindass comment on things like weight [extremely rude to westerners] and personal financial details whereas we baulk while discussing religion or politics [both of which are topics for open debate in the west]. Years of poking our noses in others' business, you say? Nosey heritage? Well, carry your nosing to a place where I am not around.

April 8, 2008


Know that feeling when you are on the verge of getting those perfect nails and then one of them chips off? Why oh why, only one of them? Two would give me as much grief as one, but double the motivation to trim off the others. But one??? After three days of mourning, still haven't found the heart to clip off the others. You know those people (read rickshaw-walas) who have a really long/overgrown thumbnail? The one that they sometimes paint? Well, I can do the opposite right? Keep one of the nails clipped short and the others long? Sad vain lazy bitch, you say? All this ado about a chipped off nail? How much can it matter to a ex-nail-biter? More than it can to non-ex-nail-biters. How is this all FYI? Umm, now THAT part I don't know.

April 2, 2008

Ooooh!!!!! I want I want....

I love this house!!! Isn't it just lively and pretty? You can find more pics here and here.

It is so pretty and colorful. Makes me think that my home needs more color :) Although..
[Hubby will be the first person to point out that I am tiresomely addicted to flights of fancies that last not more than a couple of days]. But come on, look at this house and tell me who wouldn't like it?
I enjoy visiting both these blogs and really wish I had an eye for beauty like they do. Speaking of other bloggers, am working on a blogroll since a month. Will put up in another couple of days. Its a really long list so thinking of more like a post instead of all the links in my sidebar.

Seriously, though. Wouldn't you just looooove to live here?

March 24, 2008

Ads that make breaks watchable

Saw this one thanks to bumper-to-bumper traffic while trailing behind a BEST bus. Haven't laughed coz of an ad in a long time. The men's deo and underwear ad-makers could take a page out of these people's book/ad: in-your-face ads doesn't necessarily mean ringing cash registers. You can be direct without being cheap!

[The blurred red stamp says Durex condom tester. The small print says 'Probably the best job around'. And a url is provided as well.]

Have noticed some really good ads, both print and tv. The new women's Horlicks ad with konkona sen sharma (boy, do they know their target audience), new Bajaj Pulsar ad, the recent Nike ad (the one with people playing cricket on top of buses etc), the new Virgin Mobile ads, and the Icici Prudential life insurance (found a nice way to sell life insurance, jeete raho unlike the LIC ads of old) and many more. Can't think of more right now, but will eventually and update.
Which is your current favourite one?

March 20, 2008


Crossed a thousand page views yesterday. Yea!!
But tell me good people, ek hajaar views aur itne kam comments? Bahut nainsaafi hai.
Oh and have done away with the icky moderation part of the comments procedure. So, you can see the comments as soon as you post them.

March 7, 2008

Rude-mentary Truths

Raise a toast to Shahrukh and Saif Ali Khan! Or should maybe you should boo or yell at them. Or show your appreciation of their antics by throwing your drink at them. You know, in their style. I don't know. But their brand of brash, snide and intensely rude 'jokes' it seems are here to stay. Their 'act' at the Filmfare awards was... Seriously, I don't have words. Tons of my friends loved it. 'Wtf, Priyanka, it was a laugh riot. Great entertainment.' Of course it was. Who wouldn't like to see their fave stars being knocked down a peg or two and having a snigger at their expense? No sense of humor I have, do you say? I bow before your superior sense of humor.

Have a bundle of unpalatable truths that you want to trumpet to the world? Take a page from these two stars' books and forget the graceful/gracious act [come on, Priyanka, you don't like the Simi-Garewal-esque style of hosting either] and make crude jokes about it. The ruder you get, the better. Or else how would the audience digest the truth if not laugh at people? And while you are at it, please do forget the age of the people whom you are making fun of. The catch: you can only do it if you have the clout. You have to be a Shahrukh Khan of Bollywood to sling mud [hey, it's only a joke, I know!] at your peers and at people who have been in Bollywood for eons. You have to be powerful enough that the people cannot afford to mind your swipes at them, their dressing sense, whom they invite to their weddings or whose weddings they choose to attend. But do remember to keep the please-don't-mind smile pasted and after every 5 min do apologise profusely and profess that its all done in good humor. If only it was done with equally good grace!

I guess the crass behaviour is often, though not only, brought on by being high on power at that point in time. Or else which 4-foot-nothing guy would throw official papers unglanced at 2 beefy guys and a gal all of whom have almost 2 feet advantage over him? A government employee, or a babu, who else. Had gone to get my marriage registered. Again. This time, went to see the big guy in the cabin.
What is the rudimentary truth in this? That power does corrupt and how!

The following is what transpired - over the whole sweltering day. [The following are the babu's dialogs]

These documents won't work. Read the list posted outside and bring only those documents.
You have? Okay. [Still not glancing at the papers though the only reason we are in his cube is so he can stamp them saying the docs are ok]. What have you attached as address proofs?
Is the electricity/telephone bill in your name? No, your father's won't do.[Now which frigging twenty-something in India will have a landline/electricity bill in his/her name?] Have to get the ration card. It doesn't have your name on it? Too bad. How about your election card? No, the only election cards we accept have to be from this state. Then make an affidavit and come back in 2 days and then we will see. No, a passport won't do. Even if you had submitted these very documents back then. Nope, no can do.
How did you get the ration card so soon? Scanned and sent from Mumbai? No. Will need the original as well.
You have the address proofs. No, we can't go ahead. What have you attached as proof of date of birth? No, your birth-certificate won't do. I know its on the list, but the place you were born has to be in my jurisdiction, only then can I accept it.
What about your witnesses? Their address proofs have to be in their name not their father's or spouse's.
[5:00 in the evening. Half an hour to closing time]
We need 5 xeroxes of this application and 3 more photos.
Where the devil are the witnesses? What do you mean, they will be here in 5 min? Why do they need tea right now? Don't you see that this work is of paramount importance? Do you think I am sitting here for fun?
[At this point, my head explodes thanks to the fatalistic irony and maniacal laughter that has been consuming me. The rest is all darkness.]
Epilogue: Have a hand-written piece of flimsy paper saying we married. The first person to invite to your wedding (right after God Almighty) should be one of these babus. So you don't have to vegetate in front of their desks for 4 days before you get your marriage legalised. Have suggested a new essay topic to mum (who is a teacher) - A day at the government office. Or should I make it a week?


Still updating the blog theme. Will get down to the blogrolling and all soon.

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