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Monday, May 29, 2006

Strings!!!!

Yes, the band… I absolutely love them…and yesterday, I went for their concert!!

It was called Lords of the Loud (unbelievably silly name) and was to feature Strings and Euphoria. So psyched was I that I reached the venue earlier than the time the gates were to open (5 pm). Hardly any crowd was present, contrary to my expectations. As time passed (and passed, and passed), it grew a bit but still not as I thought it would. Waiting… waiting…my friends got really impatient, but not me… No.. I was going to see Strings perform!!! At 7pm- we finally started getting in the stadium!! A volunteer stood at the gates and said to me- “Uhh.. Actually… We are promoting AIDS awareness… So….”, and as his voice trailed off, he sheepishly handed me two packs of condoms (one of the sponsors was Kama Sutra)!! Hahahaha! Having safely disposed of these once inside, we got good places, only to find that we first had to witness a silly fashion show put on by one of the sponsors- Haute Chilli…Yaaawn…

Then, Strings were announced! And a while later, they were on stage!!! Oh, they were fantastic! They started off with Chaye Chaye and went on to do Na Jaane Kyon, Anjaane and Sarki hai yeh pahaar (which was almost completely Bilal’s song and was magnificent! Such a beautiful, dreamy song; love it!)They also did Duur and ended (much to our disappointment) with Yeh Hai Meri Kahaani. That was such a stunning conclusion! As it is, it’s a spectacular song,but they raised the bar! The lyrics, the melody, the music…. I was mesmerized! The guitar solo in this one reached its crescendo and left everyone begging for more, but alas… then they were gone… But the two and a half hour wait was more than worth it for their one hour performance!Brilliant…

And then another silly fashion show…And then Euphoria began. More talking than singing actually… I lost interest midway through their third song and left..But what a night!!!

Highlights of the evening:
  • Waiting in the queue outside the stadium was hilarious, with a particular bunch of guys cracking silly, raucous jokes that had the whole crowd in splits!
  • During one song, the entire stadium went pitch black except for the stage. Faisal told us to take out our cell phones, switch them on and wave them about… It looked gorgeous on the screen.. Like loads of bright stars in the dark sky….
  • Their energy!! They sure know how to work a crowd!!

  • Bilal looked as hot as ever, unruly hair and all.. To borrow an expression- What a rockstar!

Excitement is still there as you can see, but slooowly ebbing… Whew.. Over and out!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Fanaa


A deep heartfelt movie which deals with love, terrorism and sacrifice.

The story begins with a blind Kashmiri girl, Zooni (Kajol), leaving the security of her parents’ home for a trip to Delhi for a dance recital with her friends.

There she meets and falls in love with the zestful and incorrigible tour guide, Rehaan (Aamir Khan). After an emotional and whirlwind romance and a few apprehensions, they are to get married. While Zooni undergoes an operation to restore her sight, she gets the news that Rehaan has perished in a bomb blast at the Rashtrapati Bhavan where she had sent him for an errand. She is devastated and returns to Kashmir.

Meanwhile, we get to know that not only is Rehaan alive, but is an integral part of a terrorist group intent on obtaining a Kashmir free from either Indian or Pakistani influence. His love for Zooni haunts him but he sacrifices his feelings to carry out his mission. As a poignant twist of fate, when injured on an assignment, he lands up at Zooni’s house a whole seven years after his supposed death to discover his ever strong feelings for her, as well as a son he never knew he had. After a brief façade, the truth is revealed, the couple reunited and a seemingly happy end draws close. But the terrorist aspect looms over them, leading to a shocking and unfortunate conclusion which discloses the torn mind of a heartbroken wife.

Aamir is as flawless as ever, beautifully portraying the balance between the love for a woman and his mission. His transformation from a jovial tour guide to a pitiless militant seems almost effortless, with both facets seeming extremely realistic. Kajol, after her sabbatical from the film industry, has brilliantly portrayed the character of an innocent blind girl, who finds true love only to lose it rapidly and unexpectedly regain it after a lot of mental turmoil. She looks gorgeous and her performance is faultless. In addition, Rishi Kapoor has done well as the protective father.

The only faults I found were a few trivial things, which on considering seem a little illogical. For example, a naïve blind girl completely trusting a stranger she has just met and spending an entire day alone with him. Or the blatant flirting that Rehaan does, even as he is introduced as the tour guide. Definitely glib and fun to watch, just not very realistic. Not to mention the miraculous and instantaneous recovery of the eyesight of a girl, who has been blind since birth.

An emotional movie, Fanaa has a good plot, skillful cinematography and breathtaking locations. Definitely worth a watch.

My rating- 8/10

(Yes, I am on what could be called a movie spree.. 4 movies in 4 days.. I think I'll lay off for a bit..)

Ice Age 2

A hilarious sequel in which we see our beloved mammoth, sloth and saber-toothed tiger, not to mention the squirrel-like ‘nutty’ Scrat. This time, all the creatures are threatened with a grave problem- global warming. So the journey for escape from the impending flood begins, with the company of two mischievous possums; Manny the mammoth finds love with another mammoth who thinks she’s a possum too (?), the nutty creature goes to new lengths to procure his prize, and oh so many more riotous bits! Whether this one is better than the first is debatable, but it's just 90 minutes of unadorned fun and mirth!

My rating- 8.5/10

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Da Vinci Code: Movie


Based on the book by Dan Brown, this movie turns out to be quite disappointing... Director Ron Howard certainly has tried to replicate the book, but has failed to capture the intrigue and emotion that surfaces when the book is read.

The movie begins with the brutal murder of the curator of the Louvre, and his desperate attempt to pass on an ancient secret, preserved for centuries by a secret society. This leads to an elaborate chain of events, involving a renowned professor of symbology (Tom Hanks) and a French cryptographer (Audrey Tautou), culminating in a massive cryptic hunt for the ultimate apocryphal cache- The Holy Grail.

Performance-wise the movie is almost flawless except for the ever bankable Tom Hanks, who is surprisingly wooden in playing his role. What really bothered me was the omission of so many elements in the book, as well as addition of new items that, if examined, don't make too much sense. Howard would have done better if he had just stuck to the original script of the book.

Overall an average movie... Worth seeing once to satisfy one's curiosity and finding fault after:)

My rating- 7/10

(Somewhat scathing review since I loved the book so very much and the movie turned out to be more disappointing than I thought it would be. A movie is never as good as the book it's based on.. But, oh well....)

30th May, 2006- Another group of friends dragged me to see this AGAIN!! Now i like it even less and my rating is now 6.5/10

Gangster


Saw this a few days ago.. Not exactly in the mood to write a review, but I will say that this is really good... Good movie with a commendable plot, nice twist at the end, fantastic music. Not exactly top-notch performances (newcomer Kangana leaves a lot to be desired) but overall quite good.. Music is incredible, especially the rocking 'Ya Ali' and 'Bheegi Bheegi' which is a beautiful, strong song.. Definitely worth a watch..

My rating- 8/10

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Dream on...

I have amazingly strange dreams.. always.. since the beginning.. Here’s one I had quite a while ago and it’s so hilarious and bizarre that I’m posting it here..

I’m in my living room, and in my room is a black panther. Now don’t worry, nothing’s wrong.. It’s normal that it’s there.. I guess it’s part of the family.. Then suddenly we’re at this huge outdoor party, being held at ‘The Classroom’ (a la Rang de Basanti). I’m having a nice time with my friends, but the panther is here for another reason.. It needs a loan of a large amount of money. It approaches an influential person- Maneka Gandhi. They enter a room and leave after a long time, apparently having discussed numbers. Then we’re home and it’s a few days later. Same position as before; I’m in the living room and the panther in my room. I get a call from Maneka Gandhi who is absolutely livid. She rants about how she would not give the panther the loan because some shady deals have been uncovered and says that she would report our panther to the authorities. Now I’m supposed to convey this news to the panther, which I don’t want to do since I’m terrified of it and its temper. I approach it tentatively and it asks me for any news on the loan. Now I’m scared stiff here, so I say that the loan has been approved and there’s no problem since there were numerous witnesses to the discussion held with MG. Then it gets furious so I try to close the door and I succeed, only to have it come out from the crack beneath the door… Then I think my dad came in and placated it...

Huhhh?? Hahahaha!! Yes it’s weird, yes it’s implausible.. but these are the types of dreams I get! Admittedly, this was one of the more unusual ones… But it sure is colourful!!

Huh.. Perfect..

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Timesick

I’m timesick.. Just as homesick means missing home, I miss a previous time, last year to be precise.. This same time last year.. I want it back.. May sound strange considering how hectic and troubled it was back then (or not, considering the turmoil I’m in right now…).. At that time, I was running around with loads of classes, studies, the works… now I’m as free as a bird with my exams behind me.. Makes me realize that one simple thing can make that tumultuous time seem enviable.. and when its gone, you realize how much it meant to you, and though you want it back, you have to learn to live without it… It hurts when you remember those times and realize you can't have it the same way and albeit painful, I'd rather miss it now than to have never had it, because it has altered me as a person in so many ways that I can't even contemplate how I would be without it, or want to have remained the same! When the recession started, I was crushed.. but I’m learning to deal with it and eh.. all for the best, right? Yeah right....


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Look...

Look at your palm… All the lines criss-crossing.. so many… They’re all there for a reason, each one of them.. Each line has its purpose,.. to help to close the palm, form a fist, wiggle the finger, et al… No particular reason for saying all this except that I just noticed this recently.. that these are not just a random network present but actually have a purpose.. Which leads me to say that there are so many small things in life which we fail to notice and/or take for granted.. The beauty and utility lies in the details and we don’t always perceive them, do we?

Disclaimer- I am not interested, neither do I believe, in palmistry or the like, so that’s not what this is about (as some people who I mentioned this to inferred)!! :)

Friday, May 12, 2006

The baffling and the beautiful

Soap operas are amazing…Hats off to the script writers who come up with the meaningless, monotonous drivel that is the existing story! Some warped brains those must be who develop such mind-boggling family relations! I have had the fortune (?) of seeing only one such dismal soap- The Bold and the Beautiful. Before the condemnation begins, I defend myself by saying that all what you are about to read was watched by me during a very, very boring and lackluster portion of my life, with nothing better to do. These are a few of the highlights of what I think happened till now in this series:

Blonde bimbo Brooke, falls in ‘love’ with a rich brat- Ridge. Marries him I think, not sure. Then suddenly turns around and marries his dad!!! Has 2 kids with the dad, and then divorces him. Then strikes up an affair with Ridge’s brother- Thorne. Then leaves him. Then sleeps with her daughter’s husband, Deacon. Has a child with him. Then leaves him. Then sleeps with Ridge’s newly found half-brother Dominic. Then leaves him. Then (finally) marries Ridge, whose wife whom he has acquired during this circus, recently died. (I think they got married a couple more times in between but I can’t be too sure.)

Now here are my inferences- First Brooke married Ridge, then her father-in-law. Her 2 kids at that time were technically also her brother and sister-in-law. Then when she was with Thorne, she was sleeping with her stepson. Then with Deacon, she was with her son-in-law. Then it was Dominic, who was her………. I can’t even begin to fathom what relation that is now! Also, her daughter with Deacon was also theoretically her granddaughter! Uhhh…

Another nice twist is this- Bridget, who is Brooke’s daughter, first thought Ridge was her father. Then she found out he was her half-brother. Then much later, she somehow discovered that they weren’t blood relatives at all. Then- I suppose it can be guessed- she falls in love with him!!! Then gets together with his half-brother.. Well this just proves that she is, after all, her mother’s daughter. I don’t exactly know what happens after this and, frankly, I couldn’t care less.

What an amazingly dysfunctional family!! Seriously, the only thing missing now is incest!! Like I said- kudos to the writers who thought up all this stuff… The Bold and the Beautiful has been on for so many years… so I guess it works huh? Whatever… utter nonsense.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Brain-"storm"

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend in a very disturbed state of mind and I realized these facts about that specific mind and those of all of us in general…


  • Our minds are as complex as hell.
  • The more we try to block out something in our mind, the more it works against you.
  • Share. If we don't, one day it will all explode massively.
  • You can be helped by the people you trust.
  • Though you think you want to get over whatever personal dilemma you're in, sometimes you really don't because you take pleasure in the pain those thoughts bring you.
  • You can be helped only if you truly want to be helped.
  • Laughing off your problems may seem to work but seldom does.
  • You know you can't run away from your problems, but want to try anyway.

Seems like a random bunch of of sayings I already knew, and I'm sure you did too, but that one conversation sure put it into perspective.

Hey man, may the force be with you! :)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Of Peanuts, sheep and political scandals!

It started with a Peanuts puchline... Chatting online with my friend Marc, it went on to mind boggling nonsense, just the way I like it! Here's a sample..

Me: Maybe it's better to have lost your sheep than never to have had any sheep at all.. Hahaha Peanuts!
Marc: At least you can report to the government to have a reimbursement eventually, when that sheep's 6th generation is around!
Me: Ya but all the red tape to prove the ancestry of that 6th generation... naah..
Marc: Oh the 6th generation would be generous enough to donate the money to PM's relief fund without checking how much it was.
Me: But no.. the agony of having their wool shorn off over the centuries would have turned them bitter towards mankind! Might donate to SPCA though...
Marc: SPCA? Sheep .. P C Associations?
Me: Oh even better!! Hahahahahaha SPCS!
Marc: Nah, but then there would be more incidents of kidnapping of Sheep if they make such a move, specially by the babus, and politicians.
Me: But why would they be bothered by their donation to SPCS? They would have Maneka Gandhi's support though.
Marc: No, Maneka Gandhi cannot extend support as long as she's in opposition. And SPCS is not a scheduled OBC organization.
Me: It can become 1 sans much effort.. babus will be too busy handling revolting anti mandal med students to oppose it..
Marc: No no, but the prob is sheep did booo baaah once in the anti Mandal protests, and the babus have noticed it all. So the sheep might as well decide to donate the amount to Babu Welfare fund.
Me: But water cannons won't work on them because their wool soaks it all up so they have a chance, albeit sodden!

What nonsense!! Hahahaha!

And for those who like to read a deeper meaning into everything, even stuff like this, consider this- Most of our politicians nowadays are bakras anyway! :)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Explain that!

Jug Suraiya- Amazingly sarcastic and hilarious! Writes brilliantly! This came in The Times of India today and I just had to post it!

In its list of 100 global notables, Time magazine has included Nandan Nilekani, the CEO of Infosys, describing him as the 'great explainer' or, in other words, 'explainer-in-chief' of Indian IT.

Which leads to the question: If Nandan Nilekani is Indian IT's explainer-in-chief, who is the explainer-in-chief of Nandan Nilekani who 'explained' him to the reading public by devising that definition?

And the answer, of course, is the Time journalist who thought of that tag to describe Nilekani. In fact 'explainers-in-chief' aptly describes all journalists.

The Latin 'tabula rasa' (literally 'scraped tablet') is what a journalist is: a blank slate on which anything can be written. Journalists cover wars, elections, cricket matches, scientific discoveries, natural calamities, stock market scams, epidemics, all the ceaseless jostling throng of events that we call 'news'.

In other words, it's the journalist's job to 'ex-plain' — to make plain, or simple — to the reader what is happening in the whirligig of the world, and why, and how. So does the journalist really know, really understand what he is 'ex-plaining' to his readers?

Certainly not. A journalist could write about a new development in the highly complex discipline of particle physics. Does that mean that he really understands that very complicated subject?

If he did, he would quit journalism and go become a nuclear scientist, a far more rewarding career, both intellectually and financially. Or take a financial journalist who reports on the stock market.

Does he have to be a full-fledged market analyst to do so? A smattering of knowledge certainly helps, but too much would be a liability not an asset to communication.

Instead of a 300-word journalistic report 'ex-plaining' market behaviour what the reader would get is a 5,000-word monograph so full of professional jargon that no one but another market analyst would understand it.

As an overall explainer-in-chief of specialist explainers-in-chief (like Nandan Nilekani) the journalist has to be a generalist (the two words even sound alike) sponge who soaks up all sorts of information which can selectively be squeezed out for easy popular consumption.

So what should one call someone who deals with other people's thoughts, sayings and doings? I don't know about other journalists, but I'd be quite happy to call myself an 'explainer-in-thief'.
-Jug Suraiya.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Opal got kissed...

I’ve not read “Sloppy firsts” or “Second Helpings” and don’t plan on doing so anytime soon. I have no clue whether the novel in question was actually written by Kaavya Viswanathan or handled by those ‘book packagers’ everyone seems to be talking about, but I actually enjoyed reading “How Opal Mehta got kissed, got wild and got a life”! Admittedly, I picked it up mainly because of my curiosity born out of the hype surrounding it, but I was pleasantly surprised!

It’s a fun read.. Laugh-out-loud hilarious in places. Contemporary story, with obvious stereotypes of most characters. Quite a refreshing new twist on the old ‘Indian in the U.S.’ story. Not exactly a book to read umpteen times but a nice time-pass, candy floss one. And very cute! Too bad it’s embroiled in controversy.. Whoever wrote it, it’s well written.

P.S.- For those few guys who actually read, beware as this is hardcore chick lit!! :)