Thursday, January 17, 2013

Aaron Sorkin is God, G-O-D

My first encounter with god was when I was flipping through channels and chanced to settle down for 10 mts with The American President. Rom-com is my favotire movie genre by a mile and when a film headlines with A-listers like Michael Douglas, Annette Bening and Martin Sheen, I had to give it a shot. 10 mts became 30 and soon I was watching it till the end credits. Great, feel-good escapist fare. On googling for Aaron Sorkin, the writer of the film, I landed at his filmography which included A Few Good Men (wow, that climax courtroom scene still gives me goosebumps...who knew Tom Cruise could rock so much) & Charlie Wilson's war (which I enjoyed despite its many faults). A hero was born. Then came the long wait for The Social Network which had Sorkin at his brilliant best and the equally acclaimed Moneyball.

I've had my flirtations with various popular sit-coms like F.R.I.E.D.S, Coupling, The Big Bang theory, How I Met Your Mother, Everybody loves Raymond, Frasier and thoroughly enjoyed other classics like Yes Minister, Band of Brothers etc but nothing has kept me as hooked / enthralled /captivated as much as The West Wing. Politics, Human drama, wit, conspiracy - you name it and it has it all. Most importantly, it is brilliant intellectual fodder and the dialogues are freaking unbelievable. I'd challenge anyone to start watching 5-6 episodes of The West Wing and resist the urge to watch the rest of the 7 seasons (156 in all) over the next 10 days.

Once you discover Sorkin, you just can't have enough of him... and so, I went back and dug up info on his other works and managed to get a DVD of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford. OMIGAWD. Amanda Peet (ooooooooooooooh)

Now, I'm on a mission to find DVDs of Sports Night and the new series The Newsroom.


AR Rahman - Thai Manne Vanakkam concert ratings

  • Thalaivar - ultimate
  • Hariharan - sodappal
  • Mano - competent
  • Benny Dayal - mokkai
  • Naresh Iyer - sumaar
  • Karthik - effective
  • Sid Sriram - thala vedhanai
  • Abhay Jodhpurkar - sooooooooooooper (google him and his story)
  • Dinesh Kanagaratnam - awesome.... *eats humble pie about Magudi*

  • Neeti Mohan - wildly fluctuating
  • Chitra - so-so
  • Chinmayi - okie dokie
  • Shaktisree Gopalan - chooooooo chweeet
  • Harini - parava illa

  • Ranjit Barot - mindf*&^ingblowing (take a bow sir)
  • Naveen on the flute - kalakkal

Gunner times

I swore I wouldn't rant (again) about Arsenal but this is just too much.

17 days into the transfer window and despite shifting Chamakh and Djourou out, Le Professeur has still not strengthened the squad. With Pep moving to Bayern, looking fwd to 2014 when Wenger's contract finally ends is also not an option. Sad times to be an Arsenal fan.

Having said that, might not be a bad idea to be out of Europe for just 1 season. I do understand that it means we might not be able to attract the right talent to the club but nothing could help AFC more than winning a trophy. If we don't finish in the Top 4 this season, which looks increasingly likely, we should send a B team to the Europa Cup and groom the likes of Ignasi Miquel, Frimpong, Coquelin, Ramsey, Joel Campbell and Miyaichi. Target for next season should be winning either the FA Cup or Capital One Cup and building a team with strength in depth to finish 4th and qualify for 2015 Champions League.

Our summer strategy
  • Renew contract/Re-sign: Walcott, Sagna
  • Get rid of: Bendtner, Denilson, Diaby, Santos, Manone, Arshavin/Squillaci (out of contract anyway)
  • Get in: Goalkeeper, Left back, Defensive midfielder, Attacking midfielder, Winger, 2nd striker
Preferences would be
  • GK - Benaglia/Vorm
  • LB - L Baines/Urby Emanuelson
  • DMF - Md Diame/Yanga Mbiwa
  • AMF - C Eriksen/Isco
  • Winger - J M Vargas
  • FWD - Fernando Llorente/R Lewandowski/El Sharaawy

Delhi and the modern India

I have a cousin who used to work as a journalist in Delhi for 3 years and everytime I read horror stories about robbery, rape or murder in the means streets of Delhi, a silent prayer went out for her safety.  That was 2 years ago and she's now moved to Mumbai post marriage but stories like Nirbhaya clearly illustrate why we are still in the Dark Age.

While there is a larger debate raging on the need for death penalty as a deterrent for crimes like rape, what concerns me is the fact that we find it easier to blame the police for lack of speedy action, the judiciary for not deciding fast enough on such cases, the media for sensationalising the stories and our politicians for trying to sweep it all under the carpet. Who out there is asking the hard questions about our own behaviour? What about the callous attitude of various members of the public who saw the 2 victims suffering on the road and did nothing about it. People came, saw, gaped, chatted and moved on. What on earth is wrong with all of us - don't we realise it could happen to any one of us? Why such indifference?

So much to do and so little time

When work consumes 14 hours every day and you can't go by without your darling 8 hrs of sleep, what is left is harldly anything.. A paltry 2 hrs which is way too little to spend quality time with the OH, help around at home, return social phone calls, do your banking, pay the bills, think about a career change etc

...and then, a man's got to do what he's got to do. For me, I've got to play Stick Cricket/Tennis, Mini Golf, Wordpress, Hangman every day on the iPad, catch up with How I met your Mother, Melissa & Joey and random Hindu movies dubbed from Telugu (I just can't do without my daily dose of Ram Charan Tej, NTR Jr etc), read Times of India and Economic Times, browse through Thinkdigit and Engadget, poke around for deals in HUKD and catch up the football transfer gossip at NewsNow.

Whew !!!!! where is the time?

PS: Did I forget to mention my iPad collection of 32 to-read books and 4 must-watch movies :-(


The whispers have been going on for a decade and they've been getting louder and louder. It was probably the world's worst kept secret and all will be revealed tomorrow but I still find it impossible to believe that Lance Armstrong is a cheat. If fairy tales like these are debunked, what's the point in having hope?

I still think the work he did through Livestrong is amazing and kudos for still battling cancer and coming out a winner but he has tainted the sport of cycling and things will never be the same again. The Tour de France which is one the most magical sporting events just lost a lot of sheen over the last few weeks.

Oscar musings

Haven't had time on my hands for a while now - since today seems to be a relatively quiet day, decided to finally get down to some serious blogging.

Its the Oscar season again and the nominations are out. As usual, was checking to see how many of these movies I've watched already and the figures are disappointing. Of the 9 best film nominations, I've seen only Argo, Silver linings playbook (more on it later) and Life of Pi. Of course others like Lincoln, Les Miserables and Django Unchained are waiting in the Q for this weekend and hopefully by mid next week, I will have a fair idea of what to expect come awards night.

On the desi front, its been quite a bleak few months on the Hindi front. Post Talaash which I reckon was a solid effort, Matru has been the only film I've seen at the hall and have to admit, really enjoyed it. Arya Babbar was a scream, Pankaj Kapur was brilliant as usual and all Anushka Sharma needs to do is turn up on screen (drooooooooool). Table no: 21 is lined up for weekend viewing and I might consider Inkaar too depending on the reviews.

On the Tamil front, things are awesome. Alex Pandian will most probably tank big time and Karthi will finally wake up. KLTA looks like becoming a super hit and will spawn off sequels - Yo to Santhanam and I can't wait for Feb 1 and Kadal.  After the delicious Pizza and rib tickling NKPK, looks like Tamil audiences are finally warming up to the right kind of films.