Saturday, December 30, 2006
Images of the new Dubai Marina - towering residential and commercial skyscrapers surrounding a yacht enclave, miles into Sheikh Zayed Road - and part of the new breed of Dubai constructions. What used to be the deserted road to Jebel Ali and Abu Dhabi, is now what will be referred to as "Downtown Dubai". Over 250 new skyscrapers are being developed here.
In other news, one will be back on the 4th, instead of the 31st.Yes, yes I know, most of you said that I wouldn't be able to leave Dubai before New Years. You were right. Catch you all soon!! :-) Those celebrating NYE in NYC, live it up!
Friday, December 29, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
A few discoveries about Delhi, thought I'd share:
(1) Parallel cars on the road will try to get as ridiculously close to you as possible, just because they can. Kinda like a game. Wish the girls were like that.
(2) Talking of games, the medieval ages had jousting where knights would ride their horses towards each other. In Delhi, cars do the same, by sneaking on to the opposite side of a no-barrier road in an effort to overtake. The opposite traffic car doesn't change path, appears non-plussed that there is a car directly in its path, coming the other way. Actually, it speeds up. Both cars speed up. And merge back into their respective lanes at the last minute. And go on driving as if nothing ever happened.
(3) Traffic signals are like the Rajya Sabha - no impact whatsoever on the moving population.
(4) Gurgaon - a force to reckon with. The growth in this city is amazing. The malls, the skyscrapers and the MNCs that have made it their home.
(5) In Nai Dilli, Fog is a way of life. Its also helps the proliferation of extra-marital affairs. "Raj, who is that girl with you, where is she running, I can't see her face! Dammit!"
(6) Creditworthy: All auto rickshaws and buses in Delhi are CNG-equipped. As eco-friendly as it gets.
Back to Dubai in a few hours.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Greetings from Frankfurt. Yes, I had to do it, cuz Airport-blogging is fun (and free for T-Mobile Hotspot users - paid plug, that one)
The deutschness is almost sinking in and smelly like sauerkraut. Not to worry, am not chewing carpets just yet, although my pseudo-denial for the Holocaust is heightening. Perhaps it will substantiate while flying over erstwhile-Persia as well!
Anyway, off to sample some bitter, (its 11 AM, people). Laterz
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Its things like this that make it all worth it in the end
The Citigroup Award for Star Newcomer and Breakthrough Performance for 2006. Supported by a generous cash prize, and Bellagio chips. The way they kept it a secret for all this while is wonderfully adorable - as is the fact that the award was the last one announced, as I was the one that put everything together for this conference. Having our Area Director acknowledge my initiatives was a plus.
I can sleep now, after 72 straight hours of work.
In other news, for all my Hyderabadi lovers out there, check out Angrez!
Monday, December 04, 2006
Ok. Beyond the fact that I'm actually in Vegas for work, I think that the fact that I choose to take the time to update my blog, and utilize the room internet access for WORK, is a pure sign of my eternal geekdom. Time to join the squad. Orange car, here I cometh.
In other news, is complex verbosity the pre-requisite to being a news journalist? I feel that the text of news articles is getting more and more unnecessarily contorted. Quite like the news stories themselves i guess.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
"Take Me As I Am" Performed by Wyclef Jean
"Bye Bye Baby (Baby Goodbye)" Performed by Bay City Rollers
"Sweetest Goodbye" Performed by Maroon 5
"River"(Mitchell)Performed by Joni Mitchell
"Here With Me" Performed by Dido
"Rose"(Horner)From the Original Motion Picture Score "Titanic (1997)
"Like I Love You" Performed by Justin Timberlake
"Turn Me On"(Loudermilk) Performed by Norah Jones
"Songbird"(McVie)Performed by Eva Cassidy
"Smooth" Performed by Santana featuring Rob Thomas
"Wherever You Will Go" Performed by The Calling
"White Christmas"(Berlin)Performed by Otis Redding
"God Only Knows" Performed by The Beach Boys
"The Trouble With Love Is" Performed by Kelly Clarkson
What a soundtrack!!
OST - Love Actually! Great to hear especially around Christmas!
10 years of 'Friends' in 90 seconds. Worthwhile watch for hardcore fans of the sitcom.
Last night's dream left me with a potent, fully-loaded question. If we were all to die, in a cataclysmic Armageddon-esque meteor-type thing, and we had to have four people (2 men and 2 women) to begin to create a gene pool again, assuming that they cross-breed like Stanley Kubrick's pet bunnies - which 4 visionaries would we choose. Its hypothetical, so dead or alive , don't matter. I'm still contemplating that one.
In other news, watch Khosla ka Ghosla. The movie is a riot! Boman Irani proves his substance yet again. I know this movie didn't get its due at the box office, but its one of the most ideal DVD-movies I've caught in a while. Especially for those who are familiar with Delhi-ites and their ludicrous Delhi-ness.
Off to sin city. Will be back (and broke) shortly.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
My titles are beginning to sound suspiciously like the titles of those Archie's one-pager animations. Gag Bag, Fun Run. Jeez.
Been off the radar for a while, cuz of travel and some reviews that have pervaded my life in entirety. Now that I have some time to breathe, decided to plot my return to blogdom.
What's interesting to note, are the sales tactics of vendors who distribute free copies of newspapers like New York Metro by the subway. Especially during the morning commute. The traditional lot just holler out "free paper, free Metro" and distribute it, but obviously have a lower hitrate because commuters are in such a rush to get out there. Most of these distributors are homeless New Yorkers, who have been given this task through the outreach program, and usually earn a commission off the number of papers they get out there, beyond their target.
But I couldn't help but notice the sales acumen of one of these guys. At 42nd street-Times Square, which is the busiest subway terminal in the city, there are a batch of glass doors. Obviously these doors are usually opened by commuters, and then, half-assedly, held open for the next commuter, who rushes towards the door as if you're giving him your kidney, followed by a profuse thank-you (well, unless he's a kallu woman, who'll probably walk through the door without acknowledging you. skank!). This manner of etiquette does get tiresome, as does the process of opening a glass door every morning.
What the smart sales guy does? He holds the door open, stands on the other side with a big smile on his face. Naturally, by the basic law of human etiquette, you are thankful to him for holding the door open. What does he ask for in return? Take a paper, he says. And his hit-rate is alarmingly high! But of course. Not only does he employ that tactic, but he also comes up with clever ways to convey the paper's headlines. A few days back he was caught singing, "Enron-ron-ron, En-ron-ron".
Little things that make a big difference. The guy is clearly delivering numbers that are 120% better than his closest competitor, and all 'cuz of a simple methodology.
"Genius means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way" - William James
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
No seriously! No movie has ever been more twisted than A Clockwork Orange. You can't help but wonder if Stanley Kubrick was even partially in his senses when conjuring up this monstrosity. And even though this is a 70s flick, it holds adequate shock value in today's day and age.
Countdown to Dubai has begun! 12 days. Will be in Vegas before that (Dec 3-5) - anyone up for some serious blackjack?
Monday, November 27, 2006
You have madness. You have insanity. You have sheer lunacy. And then you have the last 48 hours. Whether it be group-whistling the Munnabhai theme at the movies or playing an obnoxiously loud version of "tapori antakshari" to the annoyance of surrounding mallus, or modifying the lyrics to several classic songs by adding some questionable 'phallacies' to it - yes, we did, and when you get on Google at 5 AM to find more songs to 'phallicitate', you know you have a serious problem. P and I totally got our quizzing groove back on, and irked the girls' egoes with Taboo and Battle of the Sexies. Drank and listened to some serious 'blast from the past' prom music, which made us realize how old we are, then drank some more, as an ode to depression.
Side note: Dhoom 2 was like rocking! Ash looked smoking, but someone in Brazil should've shoved a permanent banana in her mouth to keep her from like talking. Funny guy!
All in all, a real fun weekend. Couldn't help but be amazed by the serenity (and mysticity) of the land of 10,000 lakes. As I told T, everyone's voices were so enhanced to my New Yorkled ears, that I felt that we were all in a sound-proof room with bass-enhancing Bose sound - and this was outdoors. Also - there was enough turkey (and tharki) to go around - and romantic songs will never be the same again. "Do dil...".
P and T - thanks for the wonderful hospitality, and the Mona Lisa clock (inset) - that was tres touching (Don't go there, P!)! It was great to catch up with you guys. Was really sweet how you guys waited till the very end, after security check, to say g'bye - (things you don't see anymore).
N - Was great meeting and singing with you as well - the world is really small (as is.... hyuk hyuk ... jeez corrupted for life). Must detox brain before work. Must detox brain before work.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Too Wong Foo! Tis the season of giving 'thanks for everything'. And there are two memorable quotes I shall leave you with for this loong weekend:
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them" - John F Kennedy.
"Way to Shop" - Macy's
Live it up, ya hear?
Monday, November 20, 2006
Two tracks from the soundtrack of Indira (Tamil). Check em out on Raaga:
Thoda Thoda Malardhadhenna
Nila Kaikarathu (the Hariharan version)
Although I prefer the original versions, try listening to the Hindi versions (movie's called Priyanka
Can't wait for the Guru score. The grapevine says it is the deal!
Hey everyone! Put up a few pictures of the apartment (just the living and dining area) for your viewing pleasure. Simplistic red and black, with some effective, minimalistic accents courtesy of Chiasso, Blomus, MOMA and Contrast - the godfathers of accent design.
You can view the entire flickr set here.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Friday, November 17, 2006
Was invited to a really nice Amex Business event at the Nokia Theater on Times Square yesterday - one of the many networking/marketing forums that New York has, but one of the few that actually leave an impact without hardselling anything.
The event basically featured the Liz Lange, the lady who made maternity clothing hot and happening, sizzle-chef Mario Batali (of Babbo and Lupa fame - which are by far some of New York's most snazzy joints) and the founders of the Blue Man Group. Seamlessly organized and taped for television, the event was really cool, right down to the Millionaire/KBC-style voting pads for audience opinions on marketing trends.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Pennsylvania seems to be a lil more happening :-) with the rise of the new Mohegan Sun!
I'm gone, but not forgotten! Will be back on a wing and a prayer real soon!
Saturday, November 11, 2006
"The Incas had a high knowledge of astronomy, medicine, math, among others
But the Spanish invaders had gunpowder
How would America be today if things had been different?"
- The Motorcycle Diaries, 2004.
Touching. I had a totally different projected view of the life of Che Guevara, until I caught this baby. Its more of a docu-drama, but I've always loved journey flicks.
Suddenly discovered a latent passion for foreign film, and have violently re-aligned the Netflix Queue.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Picked up the CD of the Bas Ek Pal soundtrack, and it really grew on me over the past week. Although it takes a while to settle in, but then you realize that its an a really brilliant score!
If you can ignore Atif's off-keying in Tere Bin, the melody is amazing! The song that really stands out is Dheemey Dheemey. The guitar work by Dominique Cerejo in almost all of the songs is awesome. Check it out on Raaga, and if you love it, buy it.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
As I take my daily caffeine dose, I have a few pondering thoughts :
(1) I hate it when someone uses the term "expired" for humans. They aren't MILK CARTONS, people.
(2) Barring remakes, and movies with the same title as older movies, so many Hindi movies in the recent past have been titled using lines from old movie songs, and in many case, not just the title, but a catchy hook line within the song. Think about it, here are a few I could remember (with some help from HindiLyrix and Wiki to locate the movie names)
Aashiq Banaaya Aapne (from Karz)
Pyaar mein kabhi kabhi (from Chalte Chalte)
Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya (from Shakti)
Pyaar kiya to darna kya (Mughal-E-Azam)
Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (from Uthe Sab Ke Kadam - Baaton Baaton Mein)
Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (from Chalte Chalte)
Ek Haseena Thi (kind of, from Karz)
Har Dil Jo Pyaar Karega (from Sangam)
Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke (from Nau Do Gyarah)
Hum to mohabbat karega (from Dilli ka Thug)
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (from Chor Machaye Shor)
Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani (from Shri 420)
Friday, November 03, 2006
This is becoming more and more true everyday. Ever have that song in your head, where you had the tune or the beat, and could tap it out, but couldn't get the words. Now there's a website that lets you tap the beat that you have in your head, on your spacebar, and then generates songs that it identifies to follow that pattern.
This is absolutely ridiculous!!!
Although the security confiscated all digi-cams and camera phones, I managed to sneak mine in to catch an extremely hazy pic of Kal Penn and Mira Nair talking towards the front of the screen, prior to the movie. Am I star-crazed paparazzi enough for you?
But what left one mesmerized was the film itself. The Namesake was a touching and brilliant amalgamation of a few generations of talents - Mira Nair, Jhumpa Lahiri, Tabu and Irfan Khan supported by the understructure of the flute/guitar/drum'n'bass background compositions of Nitin Sawhney. And of course, the elusive Siberian who began this whole thing - Nikolai Gogol.
Namesake captures the Indian immigrant experience, almost effortlessly. This movie amalgamates all the individual thoughts and emotions thrown across in singularity by several comedians and journalists over the last 10-15 years, as this diaspora has expanded out of anonymity. But in true Mirabai-style balance, the movie uplifts as much as it depresses - perhaps depresses is a strong word in this case, I would say, makes one clearly realize what's missing. Unlike other movies that scream out their messaging, Namesake plays on simplicity.
A MUST watch!
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Beatles' fans unite! 'Cuz my new pad's on Abbey Road. Well, close enough. Its Abbi Road. Same difference.
New Postal Address: 801 Abbi Road, Carteret, NJ 07008
Pictures coming this weekend, as most of my new stuff is up.
Stop Press: Heading to the Namesake premiere, this evening. Keynote addresses by Kal Penn, Salman Rushdie (who seems to have all the time in the world these days) and the legendary, Mira Nair. Will keep you all posted!
Monday, October 30, 2006
Under the bowl which we call the sky,
We live, We breathe, We sin, We die,
Of our formidable existence, we believe and we commend,
That life is the beginning, and death is the end.
The iconoclasts, and hermits, suffer the same fate,
A new storm brews, while the last does abate,
The world does revolve, and the sky continues to roll,
Time doesn't halt, but inevitably takes its toll
On our senses, our psyche, the past does haunt,
We neither get what we need, nor receive what we want,
The fire out there may burn out someday,
In eternal abeyance to take our past away,
For its burning and searing and singeing my soul,
Not a moment or a span, but it all as a whole,
Its a phase, they say, it'll subside with time,
But with it, it will take everything that was ever mine
A deluge of emotions, a flood of experiences
Memories vacillating to Satan's conveniences,
You may extinguish an arsonist's sin
But no one can put out the inferno within.
We'll die when the end approaches, they say,
But they lie to you, my friend, for we die everyday.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
- Rumi, Guest House
In other news, check out the new Bravia ads!
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Caught Dennis Miller on the Kings of Comedy tour in Vegas on tellyvision late last night. The man is one of the most graceful comedians out there.
"I'm not really a big fan of hybrid technology - you know, because you have the car running partly on fuel, and partly on electricity - I feel like I'm getting screwed by OPEC and ENRON at the same time".
But you know what, as an afterthought, I stick with my philosophy that the "cool" factor that Abhishek Bachchan would have brought to this movie, would have been RIDICULOUSLY awesome. If he donned the Don look, he wouldn't even have to say stuff like "I am the King". One slick glance, one icy look - would say it all.
That's where the understated elegance of the Bachchan attitude overrules the passionate prowess of King Khan's pride, eh?
Friday, October 20, 2006
*Warning: Subtle Don Spoilers Ahead*
I always thought Bollywood was lousy at creating an avatar that would last. As in creating an image, an idol - like James Bond or Austin Powers. Although Krishh was disastrous, I thought "Dharamatma" was pretty cool, back in the day.
But creating a character with style and finesse (and a slice of ham-acting), and supporting him with slick imagery, brilliant action sequences and a kick-ass background score, is something that Farhan Akhtar pulled off.
Don was the deal!
In so many ways, this movie had the oomph-factor needed to stand out. I thought the plot was very decently defined, unlike a lot of other hole-y flicks in the recent past. Locations blended into the story, and weren't just there for the sake of it. Action sequences (with the help of dem Hollywood technicians) looked rather classy. At the same time, Don kept the soul very safe.
The background score was far more superior than the songs. Main Hoon Don was nicely done, and one of the few sequences where Shah Rukh looked rather stunning. Yeh Mera Dil and Kareena Kapoor were a pair of disasters made for each other. Khaike needed a little more help, but you can't help comparing it to the original. The Ganpati Morya song and Aaj Kii Raat both rocked!
Priyanka was pristinely ultraviolet! This babe is a package - phenomenal figure, sexy allure and good histrionics - and she clearly worked her tush off with regards the action sequences in this movie, and it shows. Nice to see Boman Irani as a serious villain (not the usual comedic one, a la Munnabhai), and he carried it off well.
All in all - Don is pure Bollywood masala at its best, but with the added advantage of having a good plotline, with intricate twists thrown in that may be slightly obvious but are well executed, a sleek and clean look, paralleling many technically-superior Hollywood action flicks. Worth a watch, or two even.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Visitors to the homepages of Indiatimes and Rediff (and many more sites in the near future) can check out a sample of Penn Masala's new video, "Pachaas Paisa", which was basically a skit I wrote for PM. Check it out (you may have to refresh a few times - don't miss the credits :-))
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Get the hint, Kathy!
NEW YORK (AP) -- The woman whose apartment was burned in the high-rise crash of New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle's plane was the victim of another frightening, bizarre and high-profile Manhattan accident years earlier, when a lamppost knocked over by a parade float seriously injured her.
Kathleen Caronna and her family were unhurt in Wednesday's crash, which killed Lidle and his flight instructor, Tyler Stanger. But the engine of the Cirrus SR20 landed in her bedroom, which went up in flames minutes before she would arrived home, her relatives told the Daily News in Friday's editions."How do you go through two major things like this?" Caronna's sister-in-law, Lisa Brown, told the paper. "It's spooky. It's very spooky."
Caronna was critically injured during the 1997 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade when the mammoth Cat in the Hat balloon went out of control and knocked part of a lamppost onto her head. The then-33-year-old investment analyst lay in a coma for nearly a month.Caronna had been watching the parade with her husband and infant son at 72nd Street and Central Park West.
The plane crash occurred at 72nd and York Avenue, several blocks east.The phone rang busy Friday at the apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side that she shares with her husband, Ignazio Massimo, and their son, now 9.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Monday, October 16, 2006
For some reason, all weekend, its been the Intro Song to Bionic 6 - a TV show that enshrouded most of my childhood years. Was anyone else subjected to this show?
In other mayhem this weekend, hit up Bucks County Playhouse - a highly recommended theater production joint - to watch their rendition of La Cage Aux Folles.
Also, saw Dor
- 2 hours flat
- brilliant cinematography - Rajasthan and Himachal
- Shreyas Talpade acted his heart out - great followup to Iqbal - a force to reckon with!
- Deglamorized Gul/Ayesha were adequate - Gul was brilliant.
- Phenomenal music track by Salim-Suleiman. Various renditions of "Kesariya Balam" form the backdrop.
- Simple storyline but a stronger screenplay was more warranted, but all in all - a great movie resplete with realism, and simplicity, which is always a rare charm.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Perhaps a more apt title for the murderous mayhem that ensues towards the end of The Departed, where I feel Martin Scorcese just decided to have martinis all day and let some Tisch-flunk-Tarantino-wannabe take over the wheel. I agree with the starkness and retro-silence that is associated with his movies, but I think there was a tad bit of obscurity of vision towards the end of this flick.
In other news, "Happiness isn't happiness without a violin playing goat" - Anna Scott, Notting Hill
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
Jamiroquai and Prince (T.A.F.K.A.P) - Maybe its cuz I heard Virtual Insanity and Musicology, back-to-back, actually.
In other news, FINALLY - the day has come. I'm playin' through the humanfields of Port Authority in New York, and I hear a "Please meet your party..." announcement - first in English, then in Spanish .... then IN HINDI!!!! The day has arrived, my friends. Its one small step for Hindi, and a giant leap for Desiliciousness!
"There are 32 million widows in India according to the 2000 Census, and most of them still live in degenerated socio-economic standards and follow a degraded lifestyle, because of traditions followed for centuries, derived from the ancient scriptures of Manu"
Non-fiction movies usually close with these ominous screens, to add a closing effect to the overall feel of the movie. But in the case of Deepa Mehta's Water, it hits more like a thunderbolt.
Water has got to be one of the most profound movies coming out of global-class Indian cinema, a new breed of film-making. Deepa closes her elemental trilogy in style, with this controversial epic, which is carefully tailored with a heart-wrenching storyline. Although I feel the non-presence of Nandita and Shabana, but that's probably because I was expecting this flick to come out years ago.
John Abraham carries off his performance like a good coat. Lisa Ray can only be summed up as adequate - her role requires her to be quiet and pretty - and she does both very effortlessly. The child star, Sarala, is brilliant. Her accent put me off initially, but it was only later that my American friends told me that she was cast in Sri Lanka, and didn't speak a word of Hindi or English, and spoke her lines from memory. Her performance brings the scope of child stars in Indian cinema to a whole new level - right up there with flicks like Anjali and Black (Yes, we have gladly come miles from the Baby Guddu days).
A R Rahman's music (both songs and background) was well-blended, but unlike his work on Earth, and his thumping background score on Fire, his melodies don't stand out in Water, but I guess they aren't meant to.
With eye-caressing locations, and a sharp-searing message, as Canada's entry to the Oscars, Water deserves a nomination at the very least, if not the award itself. Shamefully, the movie was banned in India.