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.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Now that I'm on Blogger Beta, I've pretty much forgotten what the earlier one looked/felt like.
Its on a day like today that you realize what paranoia truly is. One incident can lead a city into absolute panic, blocking the home page of CNN, and having all of Fox News dedicated to it with flying helicopters, whereas a similar incident, 5 years ago, would've been a page 3 story in the Metro.
In other news, here's a tip. When you've got too much work and 2 million things on your mind, watch a mindless movie. It works like a charm. I just did. "Just My Luck". The added incentive, of course, was the highly-adorable Lindsay Lohan, who is the paragon of cuteliness (see? watch girlie. talk girlie).
Spending this weekend cleaning out the comp, and backing up the drives. Look out, world. This loyal Dell-onist converts to a Sony lifestyle, on Oct 18th.
The Vaio cometh.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Ocean's Twelve: The scene where Julia Roberts checks into the hotel room as Julia Roberts with her entourage
Julia Roberts: But I'm the only one playing a real person. Its just WRONG!
Naam kya hai?
You know what? forget all the Dons and the Umrao Jaans and the Jaanemans, something tells me that this movie will be India's calling card for '07. After Water, which I will gratefully watch this week, thanks to the benevolence of the Netflix gods, I love the legit look that the Namesake has. The characters seem to have leapt out of Lahiri's book right onto screen, with effortless adaptation. The music (Nitin Sawhney) sounds so apt - anyone have leads into this soundtrack?
Meanwhile, I'm expecting Freakonomics in the mail this week - have heard rave reviews about it. And in the queue for big-screen experience this week, is The Departed, which finally has the eldritch Yahoo Movie Critics and Users at spring-balance congruence on their reviews (A-). Looking forward to catch it, based on the availability and choc-a-bloc schedules of certain hotshot, busybody, Burberry-bedecked account directors (yes, I mean you, D).
Yeah I don't see any work happening this week. Salute!
19 Minutes ago, Google bought YouTube for 1.65 Billion!!!!
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Saturday, October 07, 2006
(1) Good quality landscape daytime image capture
(2) Shake resistance
(3) Brilliant performance in lowlight conditions - cuz that's where the action is.
After mucho research, my digi-senses tell me that the Canon Powershot S2 is the way to go. Now of course, the crucial question. Where does one get this cheap? :-)
Kya karen? phir bhi dil hai hindustani!
Friday, October 06, 2006
Since there's been so much rider talk for the last 2 weeks, with our event management team for our internal bash on the 27th (much hoopla!) - and for the uninitiated, a rider is a technical spec sheet that an artist gives a show organizer, with the bunch of things that he needs - here's an actual rider for an Iggy Pop concert. Hilarious, oi!
In other news, remember the Google puzzle I shot at y'all? Well, this one's a little bit harder.
PS: Its really funny.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Phone. E-mail. Browser. Media (Video and Mp3) Player. Camera. Mistress.
Now you're talking, people. Now .. you're ... talking!
In other news, don't you find people who get overtly excited about gadgets, strange and materialistic? I'm bi-polar. So sue me.
Otherwise - Here's a brilliantly designed shock campaign.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Until fairly recently, I thought that the Equator was an imaginary lion that ran across the center of the earth. This is owed greatly due to the exquisite pronunciation abilities of my Ernakulam-ite schoolteachers, wokay? I used to think that people in Equatorial Guinea and Ethiopia used to constantly live in fear that they will be mauled by a passing, globe-trotting lion during its manic marathon of many miles. Strange things kids be learning, y'all?
In other news, why would anyone in their right mind name their kids Dimple, Twinkle and Simple? SIMPLE??? I can't imagine her ever receiving an award for Most Unique Student. Picture it! "2005's Most Extraordinary Student is Simple". What is she, a 5th grade subtraction sum? Simple. Same goes for Joy and Boy. Parents - get creative! or at least get a higher-grade level dictionary from which you blind-choose these names of yers.
Peace out, world.
At the Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma concert last month, I am amused at the subtlety with which he expressed his inconvenience with the crying and ranting children that he overheard while tuning. He said, "There are some young musicians here, who seem to be interested in making some compositions of their own. Would request their parents to take care of them, as it might interfere with our music". This is in severe contrast to what statements I would have used, including "Keep it down, you little runts!", "Where's a gun when you need one?" or my personal favorite, "One pill would've saved ya, Jill".
In other news, the India Today Anniversary edition educates me with this information, about the origins of these phrases:
Jhakaas! - First used by Anil Kapoor in Joshilay (1989)
Bad luck hi kharaab hai - First used by Aamir Khan in Rangeela (1995)
Lambi race ka ghoda - First used by Davar Seth for Amitabh Bachchan in Deewar (1975)
Naani yaad dila denge - First used by Rajiv Gandhi in his tirade against foreign powers at the Delhi Boat Club (1989)
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Sunday, October 01, 2006
When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall - think of it, always.
- Mohandas Gandhi
Some scenes in Richard Attenborough's Gandhi forever remain etched in memory. The one of the raging fire of British-spun clothing, with bare-backed and calm Gandhi looking on. The Salt March sequence. The chilling Jallianwala Bagh sequence (I would think, the first-ever depiction of this incident in international cinema), and the court martial of Dyer afterwards where Gielgud asks Dyer, "how did you ever expect an orphaned young child to apply for help?". Even the stark shocking numbers (1516 victimes with 1620 bullets) are characters themselves, that shriek in agony of their existence.
And of course, the funeral scene in the beginning - which is still held in the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest number of extras ever used in a movie scene. 300,000 of them! 200,000 were volunteers, and about 100,000 were paid. The scene was shot on the anniversary of Gandhi's assassination (Jan 31) in 1981 (the year I was born).
Ben Kingsley's portrayal was one of the closest any human being has gotten to an icon on celluloid. Can't even imagine that Anthony Hopkins and Alec Guinness were offered the role, and one is so glad they turned it down. Although, you must catch Daniel Day Lewis in his cameo as the thug in South Africa who threatens Gandhi as the young lawyer, in the streets of Cape Town.
Everytime I watch Gandhi, it makes me think that the passion that he exhibited, the principles that he stood for and the lifelong determination that he exuded, will never ever return to our planet. This thought resounds Einstein's words about Gandhi, "Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as [Gandhi] ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth".
To hear Beyonce and Alicia Keys do a cover of Rhianna's Unfaithful.
In other news, what a jackass, ladies and gentlemen, what an absolute jackass!