Wednesday, September 24, 2008

You dont mess with the Zohan : review

Adam Sandler has, in one hurricane move, taken a jab at Israelis, Arabs and Rajnikanth himself! He does this quite confidently because apparently, "You dont mess with the Zohan". This elaborately titled film has a good dose of satire and crude comedy for the sick minded ones like me. However dont watch it with an aunt like I did. I had to hold back a lot. Not my style at all. Like all good movies that begin well, this film falters somewhere at the end and leaves you a bit unsatisfied(yes like sex with your fat man-servant). While Zohan with his over sized crotch does give us good reason to point and laugh, the humour does get a bit over the top. 
Zohan is an elite Israeli counter terrorist and he is sick and tired of blowing up terrorists(read Arabs). His heart lies in America and he wants to be a hair dresser. He nurses dreams of making the entire world 'silky smooth'. When he is dragged away from a holiday to recapture a militant he had already put behind bars, he sees and opportunity to escape. He fakes his death and stows away on a flight to America.
How he realises his dream of becoming a hair dresser, finds his soul mate and keeps his identity a secret is the rest of the story. 
There is nothing  really that stands out in the film. All the usual faces are there in the film. Rob Schneider et al. It is somehow a very comfortable feeling to see the same caste doing a decent job of a amusing you. Zohan the Israeli quite naturally falls in love with a palestinian hair dresser played by the very very luscious Emmanuelle Chriqui whose accented english is enough to wrench your heart from its foundations! Guest stars include Kevin James(King of Queens, Hitch), John McEnroe( yes THE John McEnroe - he takes off his shirt by the way. Very pathetic) and of course a has-been bimbette, Mariah Carey.
Not a must watch but I would not miss it either. A mindless movie with crude humour. You decide if you want to watch it. I did!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


I eagerly waited this long just so I could download this browser. I am a big fan of the google people and so I decided I was going to wait for the appointed time(I was 8 minutes late though!). Here we go.

I accessed the simple URL and in the usual google way ws taken straight away to the goods and hit the download button. a 500KB file landed in my system and I ran it. 
Then began the main download process. Within a few minutes I was prompted to shut down my firefox browser as Chrome had to import settings from it.
I shut down and thats it ..we were good to go. Installation is such a breeze. Complete novices will be so comfortable going through the process. Lets come to the actual functioning of this piece of art. I use this term with utmost respect. The browser has been done in the trademark shades of blue and is a really pleasant. We will obviously have to wait for the themes to come out. The tabs are layered right on top of the browser. This is good. rather convenient. I was pleasantly surprised to find all my book marks had been neatly copied from firefox. I found the general page scrolling to be a bit on the faster side. I know this is not a local system thing because firefox moves at a comfortable pace. I am using a laptop and prefer to use the corner scrollers on the trackpad. It is a bit too fast. I had to move back and forth across a point on the page before I could center on it. I have noticed another peculiar behaviour. When there is only one tab left, clicking on the little 'x' closes the browser itself! Why??! Shouldn't it just clear up what was there on that browser and present a blank page? Ofcourse this is a seasoned firefox user speaking. Over all I like what I see. The google people were not exaggerating when they said things load fast. The browser does load fast, I will hand it to them. Howver I would like to reserve a more detailed judgement until I have seen this browser perform  with plugins and themes weighing it down. Another space saving feature(which translated ot larger viewing space) I found is that there is none of the traditional menu system(File Edit etc ..) Instead we have 2 simple drop down menus at the right hand corner. These seem to take care of all that we would want to do to a webpage.
Thank you Google peeps. I love it.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Thought for the Day ...

Know how they say the grass is greener on the other side? There is a simple reason. There is more MANURE on that side. If you can take the shit...hop over to the other side. Have a nice day!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Marketing 101

On a dark rainy night, the grubby owner of a wayside tea stall taught me my first ever lesson in Marketing - Be nice to everyone because everyone is a potential customer.
This is what happened. Me and my roomie decided we wanted to eat some pseudo chinese dinner and so decided to visit one of the many impromptu noodle stalls you can find in Hyderabad. We barely reached the spot when the skies ripped apart and it started pouring.
We huddled close to the flimsy roof the cook had over his head and I was about to order two plates of noodles. I heard a voice behind me and saw a man who was probably in his 40's asking me to come into the adjacent tea stall. I walked in and told him I wanted two plates of noodles. His answer surprised me. He said, "Give your order to the cook there. It is a different establishment. However, please feel free to take shelter here until the rain passes over." I kept staring at him and he repeated himself. I must've looked like a moron with my mouth a little open. My roomie came to my rescue, thanked the chap and we gave our order to the cook. We sat down to wait. To be frank, I was uncomfortbale sitting there without ordering anything. It was a cold night so we ordered to cups of chai(tea). Pay attention folks. The man asks me, "You want to drink tea before you have your noodles? Later would be better." He was not even forcing himself on me(and I do mean that in the most decent way :| )! I insisted on having the tea. After a cup of diabetic tea and piping hot noodles, we made to leave. We got up to go and noticed some butter biscuits in the counter. Roomie decided he wanted some. We bought two packs and left the place. Later in the room, we thought about what transpired and we were quite surprised. Let me summarise in my roomies own words. "We spent 40 bucks t take shelter from the rain and he didnt even ask us for it!"

Friday, August 29, 2008


This is a piece of art created by me. Its a simple ink on paper drawing of weed. I fashioned the brush out of a small piece of wood and used a slightly roughened edge.
I must also add that I photographed it and photoshopped it to bring them all to the same sepia tone :)
Aaah well ... next generation art I guess ...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

a new emoticon

It is never sick enough ... my mind that is ..
I have come up with a new emoticon.
Its simply the number three followed by a tilde.
Like so ..


only the sharpest of minds can see it is a fart ..
use it my friends ... use it ..
Spread the err ... love! :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Frozen roses.

I am in a garden,

Of frozen roses.
Where the petals hurt,
More than the thorns.

The dewdrops they shine,
Like rare diamonds
But they are hard.
I cannot quench my thirst.

I walk past
The barren trees.
The branches reach out,
To the sky for comfort

I tread carefully,
Not that I can hurt them.
I cry softly,
I know it wont move them.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

21 : Movie review

I've put off writing this review for long enough now!! I will also be reviewing The Incredible Hulk. That however is a different story.

Ben Campbell is faced with a very simple and straight forward problem when he learns he has been accepted to Harvard Medical School. He does not have the $300,000 needed for the school expenses. His only hope is a scholarship that completely funds the fee amount. Ben is a soon to be graduate from MIT with impressive scores throughout his academic career. He is however told that there are other people equally qualified. What would really set him apart is the essay he will have to write. An esay that makes his stand out. An essay that will 'dazzle'.
At this time, while he is still pondering about what to write, his mathematical abilities impress Prof Micky Rosa(Kevin Spacey) and he is called for a private meeting of students. Rosa then proceeds to explain that they all go to Las Vegas over weekends. They visit casinos and 'count cards' so as to win money while playing BlackJack. While counting cards is not technically illegal, casinos very obviously frown on it and the pit bosses have a good time beating the hell out of people who count cards.
Ben is trained extensively by Rosa and the other team members. He is taught their codes and secret signals. Ben who is reluctant at first then declares that he is doing it only so he can earn the 300,000 he needs for the fee. He is then thrown into a world of big money, seductive women and high stakes. He enjoys it and realises that he is really good at it. Before they realise they start making more money that they imagined. Ben starts saving a lot of money. One of the team members, Fisher, gets jealous of Bens popularity. He ruins the earnings one night by getting drunk and drawing too much attention to himself. Things escalate and a gunfight ensues. Security chief Cole Williams(Lawrence Fishburne) has been watching the card play and he knows that card couting is happening. He now is alert and on the lookout for Ben.
Meanwhile Rosa shows a darker side of himself and fires Fisher from the team. Ben has been in the meantime neglecting his friends. He is supposed to be working on a project with them for a competition called 2.09. He brings in a wrong chip and this pushes his friends over the edge. He is told to leave the team. Ben is in a disturbed state of mind and loses all the money with him at the BlackJack tables. Kevin Spacey truly shines at this point as a 'Fagin'like character when he tells the students very clearly that he is not their father and he is not their mentor. He tells Ben very clearly, that he wants his $200,000 back. He walks away and tells them to find their own way back home. Ben convinces his teammates that they do not need Rosa and that he has been taking 50% of the winnings while he did nothing. They go solo and visit the casinos all by themselves. Unknown to them, Rosa is in the casino and he gives an anonymous tip off to Cole Williams about Ben. Cole gives Ben a severe beating and lets him off with a warning. Ben comes home to find that all the money he has saved and stored in the false ceiling of his room has been stolen. He then realises that all this is Rosa's doing and goes back to him and apologises. Rosa forgives him as Ben is one of the best he has seen.
Time is a crucial factor here for everyone. A new facial recognition software is soon to be installed. This has a two pronged effect. Rosa and his team will not be able to count cards anymore because they will be recognised by the software. Cole Williams and his security team will become obsolete. One set of people are in a hurry to make as much money as possible. Another set is frustrated.
Ben convinces Rosa to be another 'big player' so they can rake in more moolah. Rosa agrees, though it has been years since he counted cards. They get to the casino in disguises and start pulling in a lot of money. Cole bursts in on them all of a sudden and they are on the run. Rosa asks Ben to give him the money and he takes it and runs away to their waiting limo. Ben in the meantime runs through a different route and comes a little later to find the limo gone.
Cole turns up on the scene and tells Ben that he has Rosa and thanks him. What has happenned is this. When Cole was beating up Ben, he tells him that he was a certain Micky Rosa to be handed over to him as he has old scores to settle. Cole assures Ben of one night of zero security, to take how much ever money he could, in return for Rosa. So the whole thing is basically a set up to trap Rosa. The bag of chips which they earned was switched before handing it to Rosa. Cole tells Ben he can walk away but not with the money. Cole explains that he as at the end of his career and needs retirement money. Ben on the other hand is young and sart and has enough time. The movie ends with Laurence Fishburne relaxing at a resort and Ben recounting his story to the Dean and asking him if he has 'dazzled' him.

The movie begins slowly and picks up eough pace to keep the viewers attention. Kevin Spacey like I already said, simply shines. Laurence Fishburne as the hulking surly Pit Boss - fantastic and Jim Sturgess as the young misguided Ben Campbell. Excellent casting and good screenplay. However, the ending quite honestly fails to 'dazzle'. You know Ben will have his revenge. You know he will get ack at Rosa. You know Rosa is going to burn in hell. All this was handled in an overly predictable way!

So this film gets a generous

* * *

from me.

Friday, June 27, 2008

a blessing from above ...

I realise so suddenly that I am right now leading a very sedentary and comfortable bachelor life. Not as leisurely as Bertie Wooster perhaps but in my own way I do feel like the Nawab of Hyderabad! I am high on the feel good factor right now. Its the bloody climate I guess. Makes me stupid and happy. The rains do that to someone who is from Chennai. You don't get to see water for so long that when it actually falls out of the sky, you lose your marbles. Rains in Chennai do just one thing. It brings one of the biggest metros we know to a complete standstill. The rains seem to make up for lost time and unleash all they have in a very short time.
Rains in Chennai are rare and when they do happen, its the perfect storm! So a chennaiite no matter where he or she is learns to appreciate every drop that trickles down from the heavens. The rains make me happy. I'd rather not go into a 'wordsworth'y description of water rolling off leaves and branches. Instead I give you these lines that have touched me.
“The quality of mercy is not strained; It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed- It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.”(sorry shaky)
I have not come across a more beautiful comparison. Mercy and rain.
My best holidays have been when it was raining heavily and you can just barely make out the landscape from the misty windows. The rain is like the veil that is thrown on the face of a beautiful woman. It gives you a shimmering look at the astounding beauty that she is. It leaves you intoxicated and aching for more. It makes you want to reach out and touch the drops and try to reach for what lies beyond the curtain of water. Everything is more beautiful in the rain. The ordinary neighbor who comes running in all wet trying to avoid the water(like I said more about her later! ;)). The little kids thrashing around in the slush and of course sizzling hot cappuccinos while we watch the drops of water trickle down the glass walls of the office cafeteria where I am stuck until bloody 6:00 in the evening with no hope of salvation because my idiot boss thinks it is good management to hand out all the work and then scoot off to god knows where to enjoy bloody life yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa X(. That felt good.
People tell me they hate the rains because it means they come to office all wet and muddy. People like that grow up to be the crazy uncle or aunty who yelled at you to get back into your house because playing in the rain will give you pneumonia and kill you. Screw them I say. I love biking in the rain! Every drop is a stinging bolt of pain on your face and every puddle is an opportunity to plaster your neighbor! I guess this is the reason why I have never been good at giving a lift to anyone. I am just having too much fun all by myself! I have very consciously ignored some very pointed but indirect hints from people. Sorry ladies and you other people ;).
I say screw the rules. Balls to the norms. "People who love sunshine have never danced in the rain!". Just remember, if you see someone standing in the rain just taking it all in and he or she has a beatific smile on the face, you are either in Chennai or the fella/felli in front of you is from Chennai. ;)
Get wet people! :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Oh Damn!!!

I have filled countless "Slam Books" in my time. It is a silent promise between friends to keep in touch. Sometimes I think I have been so misty eyed, I must've made a hundred mistakes while writing things. However, the eyes dry up and the antennae get alert when we come to the part where the form prompts you to fill in your most embarrassing moments. Right! Like I am about to spill the beans at my most vulnerable moment! We exchange Slam books, quickly scan down to that part and see what the other person has written.
Most Embarrassing moment : "Its a secret ha ha".
Good move. We nod at each other giving a silent "Nice try" look to each other. Some things transcend friendship.
No seriously. What is a really embarrassing moment?
Some people would die rather than wear the wrong dress. I would think nothing of wearing a pair of old shorts and T Shirt with something utterly silly written slap dang across the front and back. That is apparently a no no for my neighbor. I am really curious about this girl. More about her later. What I want to emphasize is that she is always dressed immaculately even if she is only drying her clothes on the terrace! Like I said more about her in a different blog.
A large percentage of people will kill themselves rather than be caught flatulating loudly. Flatulence means farting(thank you Barron's). However when it comes to guy groups, I think we really let lose and fart in front of each other. Its ok to do it. Its social behavior. I think similar to how monkeys groom each other.
Tripping and falling is silly. We do it all the time. It does not count. Now if you were to trip and your face were to fall in a pile of dung. THAT would be funny. డాన్'t feel too bad ..the dung probably cushioned the fall..but we are deviating.
So what could be embarrassing? I feel the definition changes depending on what age you are at. When you are a kid tripping and falling will have you in splits. As we grow older however, the "fear set" is simply redefined. The things we fear are different. The most common fear is of course being termed a social outcast. However all the outcast tend to get together and so that is taken care of by itself. For men, it is committing a faux pas in front of a woman. Its the age at which we are doing the mating dance and convincing them that if we can walk and talk nicely we must be good in bed.
The past can come back to haunt us too. Consider this scenario. You go out with a girl, spend time with her and then you break up. You obviously get on with life and marry another nice girl you met somewhere. So you are out with your wife. You are having a good time. A friend turns up. Now this friend has seen you with girl number one and now sees you with wife number one. End of act one scene one.
Before you jump to conclusions .. this friend knows you broke up and knows u got married thats not the scene.
Act one scene 2.
You are with the aforementioned friend and other friends from the Girl one time zone. The discussion turns to how similar your wife and ex girlfriend look. How do you deal with that??! I think its real. People will be tut tuting about how you have not moved on. They will ignore your desperate pleas that you have a very standard and straightforward taste in women that you do not deviate from.
Imagine the same scene where you proposed to a certain girl ... she rejects you and then your wife is again accused of looking similar to the girl you proposed to. It will be embarrassing. Firstly because you would not have realized it! Secondly you cannot change it. You cant dust yourself and walk away from the laughing people. You cant whistle and say it wasn't you.
Some moments you live with. Before you ask .. yes this has happened to a friend of mine! I only pray i don't repeat his mistake!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Movie Review : Jumper

A childhood fantasy of every boy has been very safely been made into a big budget hollywood film. However, the boys are not really buying it. It is enticing, the thought of being in any place you want instantly. It is euphoric to just think of it. The film fails to really capture the essence of this ability. Hayden Christensen is your average run of the mill college student. He is a weakling who keeps to himself and he loves a girl. At this point I cant help but hum "Spiderman, Spiderman, friendly neighborhood spiderman!". Its true. The plot base is too similar. But to be fair to the people behind the film the resemblances end there. Perhaps that is the sad thing. If more effort had been put into the screenplay, we would see a very different film. Remember when Spidey first discovers his powers, Sam Raimi drags you into the ecstasy. He allows you to feel every emotion along with Peter Parker. Somehow that aspect is missing in Jumper.
As I have mentioned before, David Rice is an average school kid. He lives in an abusive home. His mother left when he was five and his alcoholic father does nothing but scream at him. One day he discovers his powers when he nearly drowns in a lake. He teleports to the library. He realises that he can use his newfound powers to get away from it all. He robs a series of banks and build up a financial base. He then leads a life if complete luxury. He visits places all over the world.
The idyllic set up is shattered by the arrival of Paladins. Legendary hunters of Jumpers such as David Rice. Samuel L Jackson is the leader of this gruesome group that seems to have unlimited finances and resources. The Paladins firmly believe that the power to exist at all places at all times should only be with God. Jumpers are, therefore, abominations to be done away with.
David then realises he must fight this centuries old battle between Paladins and Jumpers. If only to protect everything he loves.
When you get down to it, the visual effects are good. Very very good. The screenplay sucks. A lot of people are making this mistake. Throwing a million special effects to blind the viewer and not let him complain about the lackluster screenplay.
I give the film *** out of five. Thats only for the special effects. And please who the hell decided Sam L J must have white hair??!

Movie Review : Vantage Point

Vantage point is a movie I saw after a very long time. In the theatre I mean. I am lucky enough to have a friend who is masterful at obtaining back row tickets to any film, 5 minutes before it starts! I watched a late show at Prasads(a multiplex here in Hyderabad).

The plot line is apparently uncomplicated. The president is in Spain for an anti Terrorism summit. He is about to speak when he is shot twice. The same shot is shown from the perspective of eight different people present at that time. As each persons view is depicted, more and more of the story is revealed and a very startling image jumps up! I personally felt it was a well made movie. The shots have been well crafted. Despite having to see some shots again and again, the film does not drag anywhere. The single car chase scene is worth mentioning! It was very well choreographed and I would even go so far as to compare it to the ones I saw in Transporter. Dennis Quaid has done a damn good job as a Secret Service agent. Forrest Whittaker looks like a child with cerebral palsy. I did not quite get what they tried to do with him. The end is dramatic a la bollywood but hey! you need those moments right?

I give it four out of five. Definitely not to be missed.