Sunday, October 31, 2004
Last Cigarette: Sometime in Dec 2003
Last Alcoholic Drink: The day before India bt Pakistan in WC'04 - Hmmm... dat would be Feb 28, 2004 ?? Thanks TRAttu for the treat !
Last Car Ride: Sejin dropping me bak after Mark skool in his Zen...Looong time bak...
Last Good Cry: hasn't happened in the last month or so...
Last Library Book: TIME Asia
Last Book Bought: Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Last Book Read: Dan Brown's Angels & Demons
Last Movie Seen In Theatres: The Bourne Supremacy.. shucks, its been long.. thanks for reminding !!
Last Movie Rented: Wicker Park
Last Cuss Word Uttered: I dont swear, u *&*^%1 :-p
Last Beverage Drank: Kaapi...Bru Kaapi
Last Food Consumed: Good thakali rasam with Beans poriyal and vadam :-)
Last Crush: Deepti something...Haven't managed to get her full name yet...
Last Phone Call: to Air Sahara
Last TV Show Watched: Football Focus
Last Time Showered: 09:30 today
Last Shoes Worn: Nike
Last CD Played: Love Story Instrumental..NO NO...I am not lending it...
Last Item Bought: Coconut for mom (My god it costs Rs 9..there used to be a time when i bought it at Worayur market for Rs 5)
Last Annoyance: when i started to write this one..
Last Soda Drank: don't remember
Last Thing Written: The Miracle
Last Key Used: Navtal 6 levers.. Very strong key that one...
Last Words Spoken: lou u da
Last Ice Cream Eaten: Butter Scotch
Last Webpage Visited: www.jungo.com
Salman Khan is Prem, the poor man's Daler Mehndi. He sings at friends' wedding ceremonies, falls in love at the drop of a shirt (yes, not a hat) and is perenially pondering over his failures be it love or his fledgling pop star career.
Raveena Tandon is Nisha, the girl-next-door. She's in love with love - be it love for her family (read: terminally ill brother), love for money or love for her I-am-the-next-Michael Jackson beau. Her biggest dilemna in life is to decide which love she loves most.
In a casting coup of sorts, Kashmira Shah is Prem's didi/mom/agony aunt. And My Dear Brother-in-law is played by that godwaful pain-you-know-where Mohnish Behl.
Pooja Batra is Mona, a wannabe starlet who is also Prem's neighbor. Jackie Shroff is Tiger, Prem's bosom buddy and drinking partner, totally smitten by Mona.
Inder Kumar is Money-Bags Rahul, the dashing NRI with an uncanny knack of popping up wherever there is an eligible gal.
Rani Mukherjee is Priya, the perpetually confused other woman.
Prem loves Nisha. Nisha loves Prem. Nisha needs money. Twist number one. Nisha marries Rahul. Prem is heartbroken. Ten more reels. Prem starts drinking. Priya enters scene. Priya comforts Prem. They get close. Prem loves Priya. Priya gets engaged. Twist number two. Fiance is Rahul. Ufff not again. Time for drinks. Five more reels. Some rona dhona. Some stupid songs. Prem gets Priya.
It seems after filming was done, there was a huge row in the sets as to what the film's title should be. Each actor/actress felt the entire movie revolved around their central character and so suggestions flew in from everywhere.. Sample these
Main Pyaar Mein Jeetna Chahta Hoon...
Meri Shaadi NRI Se Ho Jaaye...
Jahaan Pyaar Wahaan Main..
Kahiin Pop Star Na Banooon Tho ?
All the world's a Stage !!
The producer not wanting to antagonise anyone including his own numerology consultant finally zeroed in on
Kahiin Pyaar Na Ho Jaaye..
Lightning never strikes the same place twice. Sallu got bloody lucky with that stupid Har Dil Jo Pyaar Karega in 2000 but he pushed his luck a little too much by releasing KPNHJ the same year. Needless to say the movie flopped.
But why all this now, you may ask. Saturday afternoon, I was on yet another of my "Mein aur meri Tanhaai" moods when one of my dear friends called and insisted that I watch Sony. He said there were "lessons I could learn". Now after enduring 17 reels of torture, I cannot comprehend what in the name of Jesus H Christ was I supposed to take-away.
Friday, October 29, 2004
Neha Dhupia says she doesn't mind conversing with people as long as its anything but US politics or trigonometry...Wow, finally found someone besides me who hates that subject as much... So shud i date her? Nuh.. I love US politics..In fact my dream job is to cover one Presidential elections from primaries till election day as a journo..Dammit..But when am i ever gonna find my soulmate...Slight correction...Hottttt soulmate :-)
Got a lovely forward yesterday from Tusku...How To Stay Young..Some of the tips were very practical..Some of them downright mushy..So curiosity took me to the net to find out the original source..Of course the climax was different there but i still prefer Tusku's... He ends it saying
"AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:
Humpty Dumpty was PUSHED."
No wonder we get along fabulously. High Five da !!
I love working with peers who have a sense of humor. One of my colleagues Anuj had asked for some information and i had to forward one of my boss' mails to answer his query. On receiving the mail, Anuj tells me "Sibee highly regards you". I was perpelexed and asked him to explain himself. It seems Siby's mail had his usual autosignature "Regards, Siby" and above this he had typed out the message and added a Regards by mistake...The mail finally ended up looking
...and so i found out about the "high regards" my boss has for me :-)
In a major leap forward for mass customization, Christian DiBenedetto, the head of Adidas's intelligent products team, will oversee the first massproduced "smart shoe," simply called "1." It automatically adjusts to an individual's weight, speed, style, and running surface using a magnetic sensor in the heel that measures the cushioning. A microprocessor in the arch compares current feel to a predetermined comfort range. A tiny motor in the shoe regulates heel comfort. For now, serious runners are probably the only consumers dedicated (or crazy) enough to fork over 250 simoleons for computerized, customized sneaks. But if the price of the technology dips so that the shoe could sell in the magic $99 to $150 range, DiBenedetto and Adidas could be off and running.
These shoe giants have been talking about this for ages..Forget it! How about solving my problem. My left foot is a size 10 1/2 and my right foot is a 10. Any special shoes for me ?
Finally to F.R.I.E.N.D.S - I simply love this sitcom. I am sure there was no one sadder than me when they decided to call it quits. Of course towards the end, people say it was gettin' a little stale but i for one, dont quite agree.. I thought i had seen all of Season 9's episodes atleast 5 times each but yesterday night proved me wrong. There is this second episode in the Barbados part which i seem to have missed - when Ross actualLy delivers the key-note address and Rachel n Joey get that li'l thing between them started.. Absolutely awesome episode.. Had everything going for it..Rollicking one liners from Chandler, Joey's typical DUHness, Monica's competitive streak, Rachel and Ross' perpetual confusion regarding their relationships...Check out the extremely arresting ping pong match :-)
Lemme end with one quick quiz question:
The name of which movie, when translated means.... lying low for sometime and then suddenly surprising the enemy with a show of strength.
If you know the answer please post it in the comments section.
Have a great weekend !!!
Acknowledging the order, I requested her to be seated till we served her. She walked to her customary triple seater sofa at the corner, the only empty space in the cafe picking up a magazine along the way. Now this was getting stranger by the minute. The youth magazines had never interested her the whole of last week. And today she seemed to be extremely restless, alternately darting glances at the door and the cute cuckoo clock near the entrance. I was now sure she was expecting someone to join her.
A small group of customers had just made their way in and there was no place to seat them except at the corner sofa. I quickly stole a glance towards her and to my surprise found her staring anxiously at me. I seemed to sense in her eyes a looking pleading privacy. I understood and motioned to the group to please wait. She managed a shy smile whilst her eyes offered a silent thanks. There was a Request-a-Song show going on in the radio and the RJ was flirting with some caller on the line. The new group who had apparently come down to celebrate a Birthday were now laughing loudly at some joke the RJ had cracked. Desperately preoccupied with thoughts on how to accomodate them, I seemed to have missed his entrance.
He had slipped in noiselessly and was now calmly surveying the surroundings. Wary of the noisy group and the lack of seats, he had turned to leave when he noticed the sofa in the corner. With a mischiveous smile, he moved towards me at the counter and ordered the usual. Ahem. Just as he was about to pay, I directed him towards the sofa and offered to bring his drink there alongwith the bill. As he walked towards the sofa, i noticed her feigning sudden interest in the magazine and realised that a cat and mouse game was afoot. I had to turn my attention to some other people but from the corner of my eyes I could observe that he had started humming alongwith the song being played on the radio acting oblivious to her existence. A few minutes passed. Seeing that this was going nowhere, i ventured to drop in at the sofa with his Tropical Iceberg and politely asked her if she was through with the magazine. She knew exactly where this was going and held it out to me. And then without any notice, she grabbed her purse and followed me towards the counter. This was all going horribly wrong and I had no clue how to turn things around...And then it happened..
Smiling enigmatically, she threw all the notes across the counter and told me she was picking up the tab for him too. The bill came to forty eight rupees. She passed on a small chit with a message scrawled inside and requested me to pass it on to him. I was bewildered. I had a million questions in my mind. I was curious. I could hold back no longer. Choosing my words
carefully, I asked her why she had not had her usual Tropical Iceberg. Winking slyly she confessed that the ATM had broken down and fled from the scene. I was still confused but noticing that he had also decided to leave, rushed over and passed on the small chit. He opened it with increasing excitement and then broke into a big smile. Realising the role i had played in
this incomprehensible game, he showed me the contents of the chit.
Happy Birthday - Hope you enjoyed your drink. And yes, please do listen to the radio at 2:30.
The cuckoo clock struck once.
The RJ droned on "Hey now for the first email request of the day...and u bet, this is one crazy dedication...This one goes out to the Guy-in-the-cafe from the Gal-in-the-Cafe...from the movie LAKSHYA - Agar main kahoon....."
I was speechless.
But he had a huge grin on his face. He said "I hate cold coffee and more so, Tropical Iceberg...But she's worth it."
Monday, October 25, 2004
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Okie, this is not my tribute to that classic starring Sohail Khan.. This is more a relflection of my new-found love for my workplace...And btw, its got nothing to do with our great Q2, a hopefully eye-popping QPLC, the recent salary hike or even the 2 good days of training..Its got everything to do with the people around here...Hear me out please...
Yesterday was WipRaatri... Sales of Dhandiya sticks had started as early as 9 in the morning and by noon there was a great sense of excitement in the campus.. Everyone was looking forward to 4 pm when the tamasha would start..The whole campus had a festive look to it...The bus parking lot had been cleared and a colourful shamiana had been erected... Whereever one went, there were pretty women clad in resplendent gagra cholis and colorful sarees...a sight for sores eyes...Come 4 pm and the events like group and individual dance commenced. I had been involved in a customer visit during the first half of the day and loads of pending work kept me occupied till 6 pm. By the time i felt like partying, it had started drizzling.. Last year our MBA batch had been present in decent strength and we'd had a ball..Since then Harmeet has flown the coop, Nalini has moved to M3, Pratyush is nowhere to be seen, Anand is busy and so i was left with no crowd to join...And at around half past 6, the heavens opened up and it started pouring like crazy.. And thats when i saw the indomitable spirit of Wiproites come to fore..Refusing to be cowed down by the incessant donwpour, the crowd only got more vociferous imploring the DJ to play louder music.. Suffice to say the real party began only then..Soon the speakers were blaring Bhangra, Western rap, Manmadha Rasa and Indipop...The women just let their hair loose, shed their inhibitions and danced like there would be no tomorrow....People who had packed their bags and planned to leave for the day found themselves invariably drawn towards the dance floor and there were almost 500 people totally drenched but still having the time of their lives.. Wowwww....Of course, i watched all this from the sidelines under the safe confines of an umbrella.. But yes, it wud have been so much fun if only Smita K had been here.. Come back from Hyd, pal... T4, 3rd floor A-wing missed u lotsssssssssss... :-((
Hmmmm...Dancing...Third time this week that i've felt like "Hey, mebbe its not a bad thing after all" - Lemme qualify that a little.. Of course, i still think its a dangerous past-time what with people invariably treading on other's feet in a crowded disc but there is a certain joy that comes with letting loose... Mebbe i should enrol in some classes..Nothing fancy like the jive/salsa/samba/rumba but more of the classy ballroom dancing type..Waltz and fox-trot and maybe once i come to grips even cha-cha :-)))))
Last part of this post..Am yet to find out how to upload more than one photo in a post and since there are almost 20 in my "Day 4 at the Chinnaswamy Stadium" album, am just providing the link here... Enjoy the action - both off and on the field.
PS: I was not the one behind the camera.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Credits: Marc Klein and of course, RA :-)
"Johnathan Trager, prominent television producer for ESPN, died last night from complications of losing his soul mate and his fiance. He was 35 years old.Soft-spoken and obsessive, Trager never looked the part of a hopeless romantic. But, in the final days of his life, he revealed an unknown side of his psyche. This hidden quasi-Jungian persona surfaced during the Agatha Christie-like pursuit of his long reputed soul mate, a woman whom he only spent a few precious hours with. Sadly, the protracted search ended late Saturday night in complete and utter failure. Yet even in certain defeat, the courageous Trager clung to the belief that life is not merely a series of meaningless accidents or coincidences. Uh-uh. But rather, its a tapestry of events that culminate in an exquisite, sublime plan. Asked about the loss of his dear friend, Dean Kansky, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and executive editor of the New York Times, described Johnathan as a changed man in the last days of his life. "Things were clearer for him," Kansky noted. Ultimately Johnathan concluded that if we are to live life in harmony with the universe, we must all possess a powerful faith in what the ancients used to call "fatum", what we currently refer to as destiny.":-)))))))))
O.M.I.G.A.W.D - Don't tell me i gotta explain it too.. Okie, you'll probably enjoy it best if you've seen Chelsom's Serendipity..If you haven't, then it aint worth trying to explain to ya folks..
Neway, wot is more relevant and worthy of a long rambling debate is
a. the answer to "Can Once In A Lifetime Happen Twice ?"
b. Freud vs Jung ?
So how was it ? 8 sessions of 2 hours each .. On a variety of topics ranging from the mundane Market Research, cliched Customer Relationship Management, exciting Branding to creative Marketing Communication...A mixed bag, i must say..A few of the speakers were really good, some were strictly average and a few downright pathetic.. The last category had me looking back with nostalgia to the days when i used to walk out of lectures mid-way..sigh.. If only i could have done that these last two days but then i am now a responsible corporate citizen....
Fine.. what were the take-aways from the 2 day exercise that were worthy of mention...The best session was undoubtedly that IIM-B Professor Ramesh Venkateshwaran's session on "COMPETITVE EDGE: Creating a sustainable advantage" - Unlike the run-of-the-mill session speakers, Ramesh demonstrated his class by starting off with examples from sports...I don't remember the exact numbers but just sample this..
| || |
First serves in
Break Points Converted
Total Match duration: 3 hrs 1 min
Who won ?? Data would lead one to believe that it was Player B but fact was that Player A won. The total points won (154 vs 150) reflects how close the match was.
(with pride) It didn't take me long to guess the match and his inference.. But what a way of hitting home the point.. Needless to say i was awestruck... Just reinforces my belief that the best Profs in the business lecture only at A, B and C.. So if you are not studying there, u are missing a lot.
Another interesting session was the one conducted by Shripad Nadkarni, Marketing head of Coke.. Name rings a bell ? Yes, he's the guy Sushmita Sen sued for sexual harassment and settled out of court :-P
The best part of the 2 days program was the session by Niranjan Natarajan, Exec Creative Director from JWT. He touched upon various aspects of marketing communication and shared experiences of a few interesting launches. What worked for me in this session was his deployment of analogies from movies to explain related concepts in marketing communication. Okie, to be honest, he was relating mostly to M Night and specifically, The Village and i simply loved this..Oh boy, he does know what he is talking about.. He actually ended his presentation with one of my all time favorite quotes by Night...
"My biggest fear in life is to be average"
I did note down some other nice one-liners from the 2 days but looks like i have misplaced the notepad..Will post them if/when i get 'em bak...Bye for now.
PS: Since mobiles had to be switched off, I could not take calls - might have even forgotten to return a few.. My apologies ;-) Will make it up - How ? Have saved "Shall We Dance" in my lappie - mebbe we cud see it again :-p
Sunday, October 17, 2004
Okie, since I have clarified my stance on the above issue, lemme go ahead and prove that I haven't changed for worse. (or for better depending on whos reading this) Since the last week had been very rough at work, I had not planned much for the weekend just preferring to chill out and relax. Maybe the absence of phone calls the whole morning or something to that tune gave my mom a clue but I found myself persuaded to accompany her to Big Bazaar yesterday evening on one of her rare shopping sprees. As a rule I hate crowded malls (unless I am with one myself) so forced my mom to leave at so that we could return back before the weekend crowd filtered in. Surprise of all surprises, when we reached BB there were already hundreds of people doing their shopping. My mom was there to pick up some "simple cotton sarees" (BB and clothes? Why won't she listen to me??) so
1. The middle aged house-wives (age: 40-55): These are the people who are BB's bread and butter. They want to pay the least money and expect the world's best goods for that price. You can find most of them at the kitchen goods section on the ground floor, the bedroom stuff section in Level 1 and the women’s clothes section in Level 3. There was one lady who asked 5 total strangers around her for their opinion before deciding NOT to buy a cotton sari priced at Rs 199 because it might not last more than 2 years of washing despite looking great. I definitely mean no insult here but they are living proof of the value-for-money Indian consumer.
2. DINK couples (age: 26-32): These are people who are too busy to shop for different things at different places. They come here just because they can get everything under one roof and do not stand and compare products. They just pick up whatever fancies them without bothering to check the prices (Maybe since they are aware that BB itself means cheap). Strangely enough I found both the man and the woman making their own purchasing decisions. There was one couple where each of them went their way with their trolleys and finally ended up buying a Samsung refrigerator, bottles of Pepsi and Kissan Squash, greeting cards, a formal shoe pair for Rs 199 (oh yaaaa) and AXE deos. These are high net-value customers with huge purchasing power capacity. No wonder they were accosted by these ICICI credit card guys once in 10 minutes so much so that the guy gave them a verbal lashing :-)
3. Married with children but still young couples(age: 30-36): These are the ones that are most easily identifiable. The husband takes care of the kids - he is either carrying them or pushing them along in a pram. The wife seems to be calling all the shots in making the purchasing decision, turning to the husband only when it comes down to swiping the credit card. There was one particular couple with a very cute kid (I found the kid so adorable and was following them around so much that towards the end the guy suspected I was a stalker or a child-snatcher) where the guy wasn't even allowed to choose what kinda kerchiefs he wanted. Talk about women's empowerment :-)
4. The big nucleus family: This is one crowd that all the others in the mall should look out for. They are usually 15-25 in number - around 4-6 eager beaver women, their 4-6 tired husbands and their 6-15 children who are plain pests. They move around in groups, talking loudly and generally crowding everyone else. The more the heads that go into a decision the less likely that you are likely to come to a conclusion. For them, coming to BB is like a picnic. They are out to have a nice time and buying "might" happen if they happen to find something that wins the approval of all the women...Which hasn't happened since
Friday, October 15, 2004
Fancy watching a "crossover" movie dubbed in Hindi... Where people need no excuses to break into a song-and-dance routine every 7 minutes (n isnt even of the HAHK types)...a movie where the lead actors do not know the ABC of acting...where the dialogues are so contrived that you feel like tearing your hair apart...where every character is a caricature of the highest order cliche...a pretending-to-be-a-storyline that is absolute balderdash..Its been quite some time since i trashed a movie so badly but if u ain't from Punjab, this one is gonna drive u nuts...more so when everyone around you has some connection with Punjab and seem to be actually enjoying the agony...Enough is enough.. I shall not remind myself of that Chinese Torture..
Stay away from BRIDE AND PREJUDICE / BALLE BALLE - AMRITSAR TO WHEREVER.
PS: If you want a more sensitive and sensible adaptation of Austen, then try KANDUKONDAIN KANDUKONDAIN inspired by Sense and Sensibility.
Been reading Rudy Giuliani's LEADERSHIP now for almost a week. Though i hate most things remotely American, Rudy happens to be one of the few politicians i grudgingly admire. Its really amazing how he managed to turn around New York and this book gives a lot of pointers as to how he actually went about achieving those changes. Though the setting is clearly New York and theres loads of material on how he ran his political campaign to become Mayor, a significant portion of the book is also dedicated to how he handled 9/11 which offers some splendid insights into what makes a good leader. Well worth flipping through the 400 odd pages.
Haven't heard most of the new albums but whoeever i meet has been strongly recommending MUSAFIR. The album comes with a total of 13 songs with a few numbers having multiple versions like lounge, techno and sufi. Critics have been comparing it very favorably with Kaante and i guess that is good enough for me. In case, any of u have heard the songs pls feel free to drop in n comment.
Bennedosa seems to have returned to set shop again in Koramangla 1st block. Yippeeee...
Quote of the week:
It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them.
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Aunindo, Venki, Rags, Ankur, Suman and I - The Band of Brothers... 6 of us with IT experience and specialising in Marketing....TCS, Infy, IBM... Name it and we had people from all these companies..While most of us had got in with dreams of making it big in the FMCG sector, a month into B-school, hard cold facts had brought us down to earth..Nobody had ever heard of the biggies like a Levers or an ASPA hiring software engineers...Of course, this did not deter us from filling in that lousy P&G online application nor the soul-searching TAS form but i, for one, wasn't kidding myself that I'd make the shortlist. (unbeatable combo that - fresher / pretty woman ) While Rags and Suman hoped against hope that the miracle would happen, I remember how I was ready to even get into a Henkel or Perfetti and prove my worth. Besides this, I was also trying on my own to get my preferred White-Goods companies come to campus, in vain..
When the actual jamboree started and the firsts shortlists filtered in, what was shocking was that even a smaller FMCG company like Madura Coats refused to touch us with a barge pole. A few more kelas happened. What was really scaring us was the fact that we had an excellent Information Management batch, 45 really good candidates with whom we would have to fight it out in case we decided to get back to IT. It was during those first two days of results and the ensuing madness that we, The Band of Brothers, stuck together. While Ankur had his own support system :-) and Aunindo found solace in daaru, the rest of us were always together discussing strategy/plans and helping each other out with the forms. It was during one of these particularly distressing evenings that we decided to chill out by going out for a movie. Since it was more to let out steam than to have fun, we decided to just drop in at Navrang which was a stone's throw from our campus. Navrang, without exaggerating for effect, is as dilapidated as a hall can get (Its like Plaza in B'lore * 10 times) and screens soft porn in the morning and current flops for the rest of the shows. I remember it was a Thursday since the poster said LAST DAY and so we settled down to watch AWARA PAGAL DEEWANA 6 to 9 pm. The movie will go down in my records as one of the stupidest ever made but what makes it unforgettable was that when we came back to the hostel, we had our first big break. Out of the 6 of us, 5 had been shortlisted in Tarang Technologies. At that point of time, it did not matter that Tarang was hardly a known entity in the software field. What only mattered was that we had opened our account. (Though there was no stipend in sight) Delighted and also relieved, we realised Navrang had been the key to our success. We were no believers in superstition but unwilling to take any chances Venki, Rags and I (Deewana, Pagal and Awara) went again to Navrang on Friday evening. Thankfully the movie had changed and we ended up seeing YEH HAI JALWA, that Salman / Amisha starrer. And guess what happened when we came back..We found ourselves in the Levers and Nestle shortlist..Again the truth is that almost 90% of the Marketing batch had been shortlisted for the former but we were ecstatic and felt all the good luck had to do with Navrang. Mercifully we did not do a hat-trick since there were classes scheduled on Saturday morning ;-) but by then our confidence was sky-high.
As expected most of the IT companies save HCL ended up shortlisting Information Management candidates while some others like Wipro refused to consider Marketing guys with IT background since they wanted 'fresh perspective'. Slaughtered from both sides we could have so easily quit.. But we didn't...Unfazed by Wipro's harsh treatment we still applied hoping they would throw us a lifeline. A few of us made it to the shortlist and also converted it. Towards the end, things became easier and the so called unfortunate tail-enders (who were in reality playing a wise wait-n-watch game) ended up getting excellent deals like Britannia and IBM. As they say "God only serves those who stand and wait". Looking back now, though those were difficult days what helped us most was our attitude. We always believed we would make it and never took setbacks to heart. Of course, what definitely worked for me was the fact that i was always in touch with my non MBA pals which brought a semblance of normalcy to my harried life. I also appreciated the presence of people who were truthful even in the toughest moments, who did not offer false hope or say things they did not mean. Its so easy to fall for traps like "Don't worry man..Col Pal aint a great job at all" after you have not made it there. And this is one lesson i put to great use during finals. When a few of my closest friends were down, I could sense that they knew they would make it but what hurt them more was the long wait. During those days, all i did was stay with them throughout - dine and chat with them, listen, egg them on, help them prepare and of course, pray like crazy...Yeah.... I said Pray.. coz if there's one thing that i learnt from this whole carnival, then it is the fact that there is absolutely no logic or reasoning behind the selection process. Of course one needs to put in effort but ultimately ur fate is decided by destiny. And I've seen that more often than not, peeple who didn't crib about what they got but still labored on were the ones who finished on top.
If shortlists itself was such a battle then the interviews and then PPIs and of course, finals taught me so much more... and these lessons, i strongly believe, were worth much much more than those insanely long hours put in S&D and Pricing. Damn these classes !
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
isn't all that bad
times when you've lost
yet you aren't sad.
The sight of a river
rushing down the hills
lit under the moonlit sky
your heart with joy it fills.
Its end is to melt into the ocean
lose itself in it
yet find itself at last.
The drop of dew on the rose
knows it's fate
when it kisses the flower
before it fades
soaked up inside the petal
a part of it now
dissipating into the rose
yet finding itself somehow.
Monday, October 11, 2004
There was a time
When Rule he did
Crowds packed in
Payin bags of quid
All those years
Have come and gone
Yet what remains
Is one job not done
All horribly wet
Stare down the net
Up she went Skyward Ho
As prayers lit in every face
Down she came kissing the chalk
A moment's hush twas an ace
The Umpire's call
Two sets apiece
People at work usually crib that they are seldom able to reach me on Friday afternoons. Thats because i willfully play truant so that no one can spoil my weekend by loading me with some new work. But after 15 months, junta have started seeing through my game and it happened yet again last Friday. Left with no alternative but to finish the job at hand, little did i realise that it was 7 pm before I was through with work - by which time it was too late to leave for the few happening places. Rented 21 Grams since i had heard so much about it and settled down for some late night viewing...And my my, did the movie rock !! First things first....This is the second movie of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu the man behind that critically acclaimed Amores Perros. Having heard so much about this Mexican master, I had contained myself from reading reviews of 21 Grams so that i could feel and experience it myself.. And gotta admit, it was simply exhilarating.
Reviewing the movie without letting out plot details would be close to impossible but still i shall try. 21 Grams revolves around the lives of 3 people: Paul, a Professor who is dying of a heart ailment and stuck in a marriage devoid of happiness - Christine, a happy mother of two daughters devoted to her loving husband and Jack, a reformed ex-con whose one rash act changes the lives of all the three people irreversibly. 21 Grams would have been a great movie considering the meticulous attention to detail in the script, the superb performances and the high caliber effort of the technical crew - but what elevates this movie to a classic is the form of presentation.
For people who felt Yuva (inspired by Inarritu's Amores Perros) was novel in its narrative style, 21 Grams will have you dizzy. The non-linear chronology of events as they unfold on screen had me going mad for the first 12-15 minutes (to my credit, there were ppl who felt they did not know wot was happening for the whole of the first hour) Its almost like a jigsaw puzzle where images of the distant past, past and present (and a little bit of the future too) of the 3 different stories are shown in flash cuts (amazing editing work here) - while some of them drop into the mosaic and make sense, some do not atleast at that present moment.. But as the story unfolds you begin to realise that there is a method in the madness and things aren't as random as we assumed them to be - the pieces start falling in place and the tableau gets clearer while at the same time the single most intriguing clue is held back. While 21 Grams is as grim and dark as they come, there is a certain empathy that we feel for the characters that leads one to believe maybe there is hope somewhere down the line.
Of the starcast, Benicio Del Torro (Traffic) is riveting as the reformed con, Naomi Watts (Mulholland Drive) is simply fantastic as the unfortnate Christine but the performance of the movie is from Sean Penn (Dead Man Walking) as the guilt-ridden Paul. Music is very sombre and fits the mood, editing is razor sharp and Inarritu's direction is mildly put, masterful. 21 Grams is clearly worth the usual 5 star rating which takes it to the next higher plane - where it stands a 9.950 on the Nadia (as in Commaneci) scale...And doesn't that say a lot !!
Saturday was THE BIG DAY.. My first visit to a test match venue. 6 hours of non-stop entertainment. I also caught up with the action on the field but trust me its a totally different thing watching a match live in a stadium. Got my face painted fully in the tricolor, waved flags, danced and sang and generally had a ball. If at all there was one complaint then maybe it would be that i would have enjoyed watching the match much more with probably AKAS or RA. Neway more of it in a photoblog once the snaps are ready...Saturday at the Chinnaswamy stadium had me so drained that i could not make it for dinner at Satish's. Looks like most of the SP junta met up and had a ball.. Avi and co then went on a drinking binge but thank heavens i wasn't there :-) I stayed back home and relaxed doing... u know wot.. yes, watching a movie.. Dhoom..Okie lots has already been written about this movie but jes to add my two cents worth, i thought it was totally paisa vasool..The stunts were cool, the bikes cooler and Esha Deol actually hotttttttt (shucks, never thot i wud come down ever to say these lines)..N btw, John Abraham wasn't hot.. He was jes wooden..Ufffffffff, u women have bad taste.
Sunday morning. Woke up at 8. Grabbed some breaka before leaving for Suchitra Film Society for a screening of Amores Perros. Had read the script online before and done enough research on the movie to appreciate and understand every single nuance in every damn scene. Considering this was Inarritu's first movie, i found it simply mind-blowing. Detailed review of Amores Perros is available here. However for people who might be interested in checking this one out, a small warning. Amores Perros is darker, bleaker and more depressing than 21 Grams and images of the dogs and the blood are still afresh in my memory. Definitely not recommended for the faint at heart.
Having seen enough movies, spent the evening by hanging out doing Diwali shopping for a few of my under-grads pals at the Forum. And yes, rounded off the weekend by completing my online Scrabble game with Shankar - Whew!! Close one that - Squeaked through by jes 3 points after leading by 50 odd.
Friday, October 08, 2004
175 days and still going strong (Can't take the Movies out of Me) Wishing you many, many more silver jubilees of marital bliss.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
Someone once said ’’Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be’’ . In today’s supersonic age, hardly do we ever get to sit back and think about our past - Memory lane has become a one-way tunnel. But once in a while something happens which turns our world upside down, forces us to retrospect and have a relook at how we are doing in life. And today, i am in one of "those moods". There is so much that has to be said so much so that a start has to be made...Today i shall do it..
I still remember...
....how as a kid, I used to despise movies and spend most of the time hiding behind chairs more so during the fight scenes.
....the time my standard 4 class teacher Ms. June Ann Lawless left for good to Australia and I wept for days continuously - even wrote lines and lines in every notebook i could lay my hands proclaiming " I love you Miss"
....parts of my early childhood when i used to be that extra-careful kid never walking down the stairs of our house but simply sitting and skidding down each one of them to avoid getting hurt.
....my first drawing competition when after days and days of wonderful practice mastering the Air India Maharaja under the tutelage of my aunt, on D-Day i went and drew bananas and mice :-)
....the day when mid-term tests got over at 4 pm and we used to play cricket with our pads and Question papers rolled as balls till it was 7 - by which time our rickshaw wala would give up on us and leave..and how we chased him for 5 kms (no exaggeration) and boarded it just before it reached our homes whilst anxious Paatti waited at the doorsteps...
....how as a class monitor i used to accept bribes from "talkative students" for not reporting them to the teachers (Kishore, I swear am ashamed of this but i jes wish u wud stop reminding me about it when we meet even today)
....how towards std 4 or 5, the horrible drawing exams became the most unendurable tortures - the closest I have ever come to failing in any test in my student life
....the summer cricket camps when i had to wake up at 6 am, take a bath, change into whites, chug along my kits and rush off to Bishop Heber where we went through drills and routines worse than Stalag-17
....L&D periods when i used to ask those supposedly innocuous questions to Miss Uma Maheshwari regarding the foul language in The Merchant of Venice.
....my first crush...sigh...and how i used to try foolish stunts like hitting a six off every ball whenever she passed us on her way to Carnatic music classes.
....the pride with which I used to tell my friends' parents that i never went to any tution (till my std: 12 atleast..Thanks Ma n Pa for believing in me and my abilities)
....that one mad week, almost a month after buying my first bicycle, when i had a series of accidents considering i had never once hurt myself while learning it.
....the various whacky names Shakir and I used to give our quiz team - Sample this.. GGFL - Good Guys Finish Last (so that we had an excuse in case we didn't win...but then nobody even bothered to ask us to expand and explain..Dumb ol' Trichy)
....each and every single ambition I've had in my early childhood...right from becoming a bus conductor to a tennis star like Becker to the guy wielding the lathi at a cinema theatre..
So much more but all that for another rainy evening....
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
a part is torn
a part is missing.
It stands forlorn
to make it happy.
I hold it gently
the fragile thing
close to my heart
taking care to see
it doesn't fall apart.
With it besides me
explain the strange
and why sad
it must be.
Way to go Sarika !!
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year- olds I know still don't.
Get plenty of calcium.
Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody's else's.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Dont' be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.
Accept certain inalienable truths. Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.
Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will Look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen.
Monday, October 04, 2004
Please see below transcripts of the entire HARDtalk show. Long Live Amma (I prostrate before her) - We will be back..Podunga ma vote, rettai elaiya paathu...Tiruchi 2, here i come !!
And lest i forget,
Credits: HARDtalk India and Mithun from Ohio.
KT: Hello and welcome to HARDtalk India. My guest today is the Chief Minister of India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu. Just over three years ago her party won an astonishing 80% victory in the state elections, just over three months ago her party failed to win a single seat in the National elections. How does she explain this astonishing reversal of fortune? Is the Chief Minister misunderstood or has the Chief Minister made mistakes. That in a sense is the core question that I shall put today to the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J. Jayalalitha. Chief Minister, how do you explain that humiliating outcome in May, not a single seat for your party?
JJ: I don’t think it was a humiliating outcome at all. The results show that we have retained our vote bank. We got more than a crore of votes on our own which I think was a very good performance.
KT: But you got no seats.
JJ: Yes, but that is because we go by a simple majority system here.
KT: So the voting pattern of the country and the voting system went against you?
JJ: I would say that we retained our vote bank. There was no erosion in our vote bank. We did very well but there was a formidable alliance ranged against us.
KT: Let’s talk a little about the image the press has built up about you which many people believe has gone against you this time around. Over the last three years the press has variously described you as undemocratic, as irresponsible. They’ve even talked about you as irrational, vengeful and maybe even irresponsible. Are you misunderstood or have you made mistakes you can admit to?
JJ: I’m not irresponsible at all. That is totally removed from the truth. Yes I am misunderstood. As for all these tags that is because the media have been against me, not just for the past three years but ever since I came to politics. Perhaps it is because the whole world is a stage and everyone is acting all the time and I tend to be straight to the point. Hypocrisy is not my forte at all. That way I must say I’m a bit unconventional for a politician. The rule of the game seems to require considerable play-acting. I have acted in films before the cameras but I’m incapable of acting in real life.
KT: You mean your honesty and straight forwardness goes against you?
JJ: I’m honest. Let me be very honest with you. I prefer to play straight and I prefer speaking the truth. If I appear to be blunt, so be it. Yes, I am misunderstood and the media have a large part to play in this.
For the rest of the show transcripts, read here
Coming to the album itself, as most of you might be aware this is a collection of songs that BA and his team wrote at hotel rooms on some of their famous world tours. The credits are all mentioned in the cover and thats probably just about the most interesting thing the whole album has to offer. Maybe I am being a little harsh here and coming from a die-hard BA fan, it might even sound astonishing - But the fact remains that its been almost 3 years since his last album came out and I, for one, was expecting something different.
As far as songwriting skills are concerned, Room Service is disappointing. Its the same tried-and-tested formulaic lovey dovey material sans stupid phrases these boybands dish out like 'baby" "oh yeah" "give it to me" "dig you"...Well, almost.. there are a few occurences of those words but i guess you can't do without them..Room Service had so much going for it since it gave BA a chance to view the world from different places - the premise of being in Berlin, Dublin, Paris, Madrid, Prague could have spurred BA to write on more serious issues like culture, politics but unfortunately he steers clear of such sensitive issues (unike Bruce Springstein) and takes the safer route.
But if one can get over this slight complaint, then the album has lots to offer to traditional BA fans - mournful slow rock, sentimental love ballads, compelling feel-good tracks and the odd poppish number..all delivered in that typical inimitable rasping gravel tone...
Summing up, while opinion is divided as to where this album would rate amongst BAs previous attempts, I am of the firm view that Room Service is strictly “middle of the road” stuff.
ps: Pardon me if there isn't much of a description to each song. I will probably just stick to mentioning what I personally liked in each song, showcase my favorite lines and leave it to you to experience it and make your own decision.
East Side Story (3:22) - 9/10
Rollicking fast-paced number to kick start the album ..Being an insufferable romantic myself, "buses" bring back a million memories and hence could totally identify with this song :-) Some of the coolest (a little inane too but who cares) lyrics in a BA song I have heard for a looong looong time..
Some things you hold on to - some you just let go
Seems like the ones that you can't have
Are the ones that you want most
I think about her sometimes - I wonder if she was real
And if I ever find her I'm gonna tell her how I feel
It's just another east side story
This Side of Paradise (3:50) - 8/10
Watch out for the guitar strumming at the start...Keith Scott and Mike Curry add that extra zing to this number leaving one humming the tune long after the song is over...
There ain't no crystal ball - there ain't no santa claus
There ain't no fairy tales
There ain't no streets of gold
There ain't no chosen few - ya it's just me and you
And that's all we got ya...that's all we got to hold on to
Ya this side of paradise
Not Romeo Not Juliet (3:34) - 5/10
Crapppy...Baby and Babe..and words to rhyme at the end of lines makes me believe that BA was forced to write this song at gunpoint by the Milan Maffioso..Highly avoidable...
Flyin'(4:04) - 6/10
Loads of mush thrown in for the die-hard romantics..A number which reminds me of "All for One" - that collaborated effort with Rod Stewart - Tiring lyrics and some uninspired singing had me reaching out for the FF button - the piano accompaniment being the sole saving grace.
She's a little too good for me (2:37) - 8.5/10
The guitars are back in form and the vocals rock... this one is more like the BA I knew and loved..Reflecting on relationships. this is a self deprecatory number that is sure to strike a chord with most people :D - My only complaint with this number is its very short length...
Open Road (3:30) - 7/10
First bit of philosophical lyrics and the album is already 6 tracks old.. Neway tis better late than never...Nice rhythm to the song makes it a great hear on a car stereo...
Life is an open road - it's the best story never told
It's an endless sky - it's the deepest sea
Room Service (2:53) - 6.5/10
This number is about life on the fast lane.. Moving in and out of hotels and living out of suitcases..A very average BA song that is thankfully over as soon as one just starts to tire of the metaphors ...
I was only Dreamin'(2:30) - 8/10
One of the softer songs in the album, a very typical BA kinda with high pitched vocals and nice strings arrangements - one of the better attempts in the album unfortunately a little too short for my liking..
Right back where I started from (3:41) - 7/10
Excellent guitar work elevates the song beyond mediocrity but its still a far cry from some of his really rocking' guitar classics...Lyrics lean more towards the looking-back types..
Nowhere Fast (3:48) - 7/10
Another slow rock number - neat sensible lyrics coupled with a singing that seems to come straight-from-the-heart contribute immensely to making this track likeable even at first hear.
Why do you have to be so hard to love (2:58) - 7.5/10
Yet another ballad...and for the sentimentalists this is the number to watch out for..A song that grows on you on repeated hear...
It's so easy to touch you - but so hard to let go
It's so easy to want you - that I can't get enough
Tell me why do ya have to be
Why do ya have to be so hard to love
Saturday, October 02, 2004
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear Jupe, oops Rashi ;)
Happy birthday to you.
NOT be shocked to see the snap !! There are more suprises in store !! High-Five !!
Post script - Dylan Thomas said "Though lovers be lost love shall not; And death shall have no dominion."
- Yours truly
The "G" in God