Tuesday, November 29, 2005

"It will amuse some, and horrify others, that in the pantheon -- what we judge to be the 10 greatest advertising campaigns ever -- are included: two air polluters (VW and Avis), nutritionless sugar water (Coca-Cola), one reviled carcinogen (Marlboro), two companies infamous for the use of virtual slave labor (DeBeers, Nike), one purveyor of savory cardiovascular time bombs (McDonald's), two booze peddlers (Absolut and Miller Lite) and one cosmetic product preying on the vanity of women (Clairol)" - Bob Garfield, Advertising Age

Monday, November 28, 2005

HaHa. Excerpt from USNews CaRreview of the H3:

To make up for functional imperfections, the H3 can romp just about anywhere a motor vehicle is capable of traveling. It can ford 2 feet of water, plow through deep sand, and manage other obstacles that would puncture the manhood of many SUVs. I got an on-road taste of this burliness one day when I pulled away from my house, only to be flagged down a few blocks later by somebody in a passing van. I got out to look around, only to realize a garbage can had blown under the H3's snout at the curb, and I had been plowing it down the road. Can't do that in a wagon! Still, these days, there need to be a lot more reasons to buy big.

USNEWS.COM More car info is parked at www.usnews.com/auto -Richard J. Newman

Sunday, November 27, 2005

So, I bought Nasreen Munni Kabir's documentary on the life of India's demi-god, Shah Rukh Khan, entitled the Inside and Outside World of SRK. Two DVDs. One - Inside, One - Outside. Nice touch. Although Outside focuses largely on the Temptations 2004 tour and SRK's on-stage and backstage antics, and audience reactions over the entire tour - Inside focuses on the star's lifestyle back in Mumbai, his past, his desires ... all in all, the documentary inspires a surprising set of emotions by the time you're done with it. Its not an expose. its not a wowflick. It makes you feel that Shah Rukh is only real and human, you can literally smell the limelight that he is exposed to everyday. But it makes you feel sad for him, in a way. Especially during the silent shots of him staring into space, waiting for a shot or a stagecall - or sleeping in a closet, backstage in Atlanta. It makes you feel that the price of stardom is too high to pay. Thank god for normalcy! :-)

Monday, November 21, 2005

"You're born, you take shit, you go out into the world, take more shit, climb to the top of the mountain, you take less shit - until you're up to a certain rarefied atmosphere, where you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the Layer Cake, son!" - Temple, Layer Cake (2005) - Highly, highly recommended viewing!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

"War isn't about dying for your country. Its about making the other poor bastard die for his country" - General George S. Patton.
Suite at the Grand Hyatt had killer views (36th Floor) of South SFO and the wicked California street. Do check it out.

Daddy's (for the uninitiated - my maternal grandad - and by far, my favorite person in the whole wide world!!) reaction upon seeing pictures of my new apartment

Daddy: how come there are no pictures of the bedroom? Is it just because its not clean ... or was there something else??? hope not! ;-)
Vish: oh you mean the american girl? no no .. she left
Vish: just kidding
Daddy: no they always do and we are not bothered... it is the desis that we are worried... they dont!!

HEHEHEH ... Daddy's Trademark Quips!!!

Friday, November 11, 2005

So my flight back from SFO whizzed by, courtesy of Jhumpa's The Namesake. My two cents? Low on verbosity and high on effective detail - keyword:effective. Quite unlike her *ahem* contemporary Arundhati Roy, whose unnecessary textual diarrhea helped cured my insomnia. With a knack for visually-inspiring prose, Lahiri defines the desi immigrant experience with alacrity and comfortable perception. It seems like she is telling a story that she has wanted to tell for many years. Freeing years of dormant thoughts enthused by her upbringing in America, and using "The Namesake" as a vent gallery for them. Her adequate exposure to both India (particular Bengal) and the US substantially help the book's definitive balance, and do justice to two completely disparate worlds. I'm halfway down, and am looking forward to finishing this one. Highly recommended!

Friday, November 04, 2005

"Life is like an escalator. Some people are in a hurry and rush their way up, even though its moving. Some step aside and enjoy the ride". That was the deep thought of the day, courtesy of the never-ending escalator on 51st and Lexington.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Had to highlight this. Pari's response to the Salaam-Namaste posting. Very thought provoking.

"I really liked your insight to SN- I agree with you quite readily; there's no point in a director making his cast shower their eyes with glycerin and then beat their fists against their chests to show loss (which seems to still be the current trend in the latest Z-Soaps). With this method, everybody usually gets the same meaning out of the scene and shoves his/her thought to the back of their head denouncing it as a simple “yes, yes indeed--this person is clearly sad” afterthought; thus, being classified as another no-brainer Hindi film. To go beyond this, a director must realize that he's not targeting an audience as a WHOLE but rather the message will be going out to INDIVIDUALS, in each seat of the theater and home--each person with a different mindset and a diverse way of thinking. We've all grown up with different experiences and thus have our own pre-judgments on situations, whether we admit to it or not! Thus perception and response too will be distinct to each individual. Being subtle with a character's emotions on screen, allows us to feel a flow of emotions in our seats and cultivate our own take-home message. By yielding room for diverge philosophy, we’re allowed to go through our own little mini roller coasters before ultimately deciding on how to respond to the situation presented; thereby generating a wider appeal among the audience than by being told what to feel. Ain’t it quite the same way reality deals us a hand from the deck of life? We don’t know why this is like this or why he threw that--we merely see the hand in front of us and are left to respond; calculating what’s in the deck is merely impossible as the number of decks and stakes at risk have increased considerably since the last time we played.

In SN, Siddhart depicted an important element about real life, an element which can be seen in many close relationships. As confusing and cumbersome as they can be, the good ones are based on sheer and subtle understanding! No one has to pronounce that he/she is hurting, when you love someone, you just look at him/her and you just know... You just know… you just know…Worlds are spoken without words. Now, whether that knowledge is used to make the decision to hold your “Ace of Spades” for another battle and surrender to the hand in front by catering to your partner’s needs will determine whether or not you win your Queen of Hearts…

Lucidly and well said.
A New Year. A new place. I'm now in New Jersey. Although my place is a royal mess (or as its put best in Hindi - a kabaadkhaana), the advantage of having a large degree of homespace, versus a matchbox existence in NYC was far too tempting - not to mention a decent deck. No cable or internet as of yet (although I have been lucky enough to feed off the Holiday Inn's wireless leak insofar) - but i'm getting there. :-)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Parkha hai lahu apna, bharta hai zamaane ko,
Toofaanon mein koi bhi, aaya na bachaane ko,
Saahil pe nazar aaye,
Kitne hi Tamaashaii

Rishton mein Daraar Aayee
Bete na rahe bete, Bhai na rahe bhai...

HaPpY DiWaLi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Remember Cinemania? Well, its editor - the movie-literate Jim Emerson is back with a SHEERLY BRILLIANT article on MSN, about the scariest moments in film history. The man's insight and understanding of cinematic skill is awe-inspiring.

Saw Salaam Namaste again. Good stuff. I like the way that Siddharth leave so many scenes unresolved in the movie - thereby breaking a Bollywood movie-making myth of decades - you don't have to resolve a scene for the sake of resolution. You don't have to shove emotion in people's faces, for them to understand what's going. Its called an undercurrent! Things can be subtle, things can be left to perception - its ok, Mr. Ghai. A woman doesn't have to cry buckets, with her "lets-wake-the-dead" wailing, to portray sadness. A guy doesn't have to be visibly overcome by random facial contortions to represent anger and resentment. Anyhow, I digress. Small example of what I mean by "unresolved scenes" - a technique best scene (sic) in Tarantinos and Scorceses - the part where Arshad is all depressed about losing his dog because he's married now, and Saif goes "Tu rone waala hai kya? (are you gonna cry?)". And CUT! Just like that. As Paris Hilton would say in her flagrantly lavish vocabulary, "That's hot!". Gulzar used to do a lot of that - unresolved scenes, I mean, not turn generic verbal sputum into a designer brand just 'cuz daddy's got hyperpositive cash flow - I'm talking about flicks like Angoor or Ijaazat. That scene in SM wouldve probably gone by unnoticed by most because the audience was eager to catch the next piece of eye candy, but it really made me stop 'n' think about the changing tides, that the new breed of directors are bringing in. Although the influence of Hollywood is a major factor, I think it isn't necessary that all our new and upcoming movies, which are deemed revolutionary, are rehashes of Hollyflix (Black from Miracle Man, Chocolate from Usual Suspects). With technological advances and elements of significant advancements rearing their heads (peeking, actually, because we are still subjected to a dominant dose of stereotype), I think its time Bollywood starts developing some more high quality original scripts. We don't need to piggyback on the tried and tested.