The Monty Ball ProblemSome unabashed traffic guidance: Do read my début post on Silly Point on why Monty's name is Madh.
May 28, 2006
Ad-endumThere's a new HSBC print ad out. Take a look at it and see if you can spot the identity of "the friend and colleague" beside Satyajit Ray.
That, if you didn't know, is Harindranath Chattopadhyay, well known for his poetry, lyrics, acting and even for being the brother of Sarojini Naidu. But it seems he wasn't well-known enough for Contract, the ad agency in this case. I'm a little surprised by the anonymous reference in the copy, for Chattopadhyay was a fairly recognisable person from his film credits. For instance, as the cunning magician Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, the patriarch in Bawarchi, or for his song "My heart is beating" in Julie, and sundry little cameos on TV IIRC.
A little lament for trivial ignorance then - his identification wouldn't have been all that important to the ad, but he wasn't all that trivial himself.
Thanks to Sinfully Pinstripe to whom I turned to for double-checking, as I was so puzzled at the omission in the ad that I wondered if I had made an error.
May 26, 2006
Respond, if you pleaseA standard stereotype almost everywhere in the world is that staff behaviour in terms of responsiveness is usually of a poor standard in public services such as post-offices, and much better in private institutions. The reasons are not hard to decipher, for it is usually a factor of how much customer feedback affects an appraisal of a staff-member's "performance".
I've observed two exceptions to this everyday thumb-rule, one on either side of the public-private division. The staff at KReSIT's office (my department at IIT-B) is atypically responsive for a government academic office. While my interactions with most of the rest of IIT-B have been disappointing (though on an average, the number of offices here are better at public relations that at my undergrad institution of COEP, where most of the staff was as responsive as a three-toed sloth on heavy sedatives on a Sunday afternoon), KReSIT's staff have been a credit to the place. (Unless they're not covered by the usual terms that others in the place are? - such as being on contract)
In contrast, the staff at British Library, Pune can be impressively rude and condescending. Starting from the guys outside at what can only be termed as the "baggage and now let me eye you with suspicion until you prove you aren't sneaking that book out" counter and proceeding to the disdainful people inside, they're a morose bunch. Things have improved these days and some of the attitudes have changed a little, but on the whole, they never inspired confidence since the day I went there to join the library and my friend was asked to "stand aside and not block the counter" despite the fact that there was no one else around.
Writing on sportWe're writing on sports at a new blog called Silly Point. The aim is to not (merely) link to stories, but to express views critically and talk about almost all the spectral properties of that wide world. Do take a look. Shamanth and Abhishek have already kicked off in fine fashion.
May 25, 2006
Yaad aa rahaa hai, meraa gaan!This is news. Bappi Lahiri has recorded the title track for Mani Ratnam's next film Guru, and so marks a new name in the list of singers to sing for A.R.Rahman. News via the A.R.Rahman fans egroup with the source post here (given that Mumbai Mirror has a pathetic habit of not maintaining permalinks).
So Himesh Reshammiya may not actually be that far away from realising his dream of singing for ARR :-).
Trivia question: how many film music directors (apart from ARR ;-) ) have sung for Rahman? I can count only two excluding Bappida: Shankar Mahadevan and M.S.Vishwanathan. I'm sure there are others.
May 24, 2006
Reductio ad absurdumHas the country always been like this or is there a particularly potent wave of absurdity sweeping the land? Take for instance yesterday's decision by the association of Multiplexes in Gujarat to not show the film Fanaa ostensibly because they wish to protest the film's leading actor Aamir Khan's support for the Narmada Bachao Andolan. The real reason is quite obvious given what miscreants did to many theatres screening Khan's previous film and statements by the local BJP guys calling him the supporter of "Gujarat's no. 1 enemy". (Incidentally, the release of the movie is in trouble in other multiplexes in the country, but that's over commission sharing percentages).
This is clearly another form of coercion, almost tantamount to terrorism (even though that seems a strong word, these decisions by non-political entities are similar to reactions during bandhs: we fear for the safety of people and property in these situations). TV news report that the producers met the Gujarat CM, but failed to receive any assurances. If there was further evidence of lack of confidence in the state's law and order machinery, this was it - how can a state not be able to provide security for even such minor hassles?
If the people of Gujarat are hurt by Aamir Khan's stand as the parties claim, then why would they pay upwards of Rs. 100/- to go watch the film voluntarily? Would they not be able to show their disgust without need for such bans? I'm sure within a couple of weeks, those who are really keen on watching the film would have done so irrespective of this theatrical ban. The usual video piracy will have a great boost, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if someone were to discover a link between some of people behind the protest and this blackmarketeering. Some of the people who will lose out will be the local distributors and exhibitors.
Let's push the absurdities of the positioning to the extremes. Let's say tomorrow Kajol comes out in strong opposition to the NBA. Will the BJP push for the film's release and ensure all its cadres watch the film? In the meantime, will every BJP member who has watched an Aamir Khan film in the past either gouge out his own eyes or go in for immediate brain surgery to vacuum clean every trace of any Aamir-material in his brain? Or at the very least cover every sense orifice in his body when he appears on TV? Is every BJP worker strapped to a seat and forced to watch, preferable Clockwork-Orange style, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi because party-behn Smriti Irani stars in it? There's an episode in the absurdist comedy Father Ted where the priests of Craggy Island are given a diktat by the bishop to prevent screening of a sleazy film that makes fun of the church. The events in that episode were hilarious while purposefully illogical. The same can't be said about events in Gujarat.
May 23, 2006
Take a bow, O Arjuna!Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister have been among the best pieces of writing I have ever seen and admittedly a very hard act to follow when an Indian version was commissioned. The Hindi Jii Mantrijii didn't get anywhere near the brilliance of the original despite following the plots to a T, mainly because the incisive wit of the former was quite difficult to find equivalents for. But there is hope in real life. For the (fast becoming legendary) interview of Arjun Singh on CNN-IBN (link via Salil and Adi) has convinced me that all some desi Lynn and Jay have to do is to release a collection of the Hon. HRD Minister's interviews, and we'd have a rollicking Hacker-worthy masterpiece.
Let me illustrate. In an episode titled Official Secrets, Bernard Woolley, the as yet green Private Secretary gets an enlightening lesson from the PM, James Hacker, on handling difficult interviews (after Bernard gets tricked into saying the PM is above the law to the media). The eight ways are summarised as follows, and since Arjun Singh is an old practitioner of the grey arts, I have provided examples from this interview wherever possible for the benefit of any budding politicians among the readers:
1. Attack the Question and 2. Attack the Questioner:
Karan Thapar: According to the NSSO - which is a government appointed body - 23.5 per cent of the college seats are already with the OBCs.
Arjun Singh (Minister): What do you mean by college seats?
KT: University seats, seats of higher education.
Min.: Well, I don't know I have not come across that far.
KT: I put it to you that you don't have a case for reservations in terms of need, you don't have a case for reservations in terms of their efficacy, why then, are you insisting on extending them to the OBCs?(Of course, there is no explanation on the fallacies or lack of logic)
Min.: I don't want to use that word, but I think that your argument is basically fallicious (sic).
KT: Many people say that if reservations for OBCs in higher education happen, then the children of beneficiaries should not be entitled to claim the same benefit.
KT: So that there is always a shrinking base and the rate doesn't proliferate.
Min.: I don't think that that is a very logical way of looking at it.
KT: Is that not acceptable to you?
Min.: No, it is not the logical way of looking at it.
3.Compliment the Question - I personally feel this is only for rookies and not surprisingly, the experienced campaigner didn't not need to use this base trick.
4.Unloading the Question:
KT: For example, a study done by the IITs themselves shows that 50 per cent of the IIT seats for the SCs and STs remain vacant and for the remaining 50 per cent, 25 per cent are the candidates, who even after six years fail to get their degrees. So, clearly, in their case, reservations are not working.5. Make it All Appear An Act:
Min.: I would only say that on this issue, it would not be correct to go by all these figures that have been paraded.
KT: You mean the IIT figures themselves could be dubious?
Min.: Not dubious, but I think that is not the last word.
KT: But there are people who feel that their lives and their futures are at stake and they are undertaking fasts until death.6. Use the Time Factor: Though the minister did not explicitly make use of this technique, he must have been comforted by the fact that time has been scientifically shown to tick by at regular intervals and the interview would end soon. All he needed to do was use the remaining two methods.
Min.: It is being hyped up, I don't want to go into that.
KT: Do you have no sympathy for them?
Min.: I have every sympathy.
KT: But you say it is being hyped up.
Min.: Yes, it is hyped up.
KT: So, then, what sympathy are you showing?
Min.: I am showing sympathy to them and not to those who are hyping it up.
7. Invoke Secrecy:
Min.: As I told you, it is an issue that I cannot comment upon at this moment because that is under examination.
KT: Will the reservation for OBCs, whatever figure your Committee decides on, will it happen in one go, or will it slowly be introduced in stages?
Min.: That also I cannot say because as I told you, all these issues are under consideration.
KT: Which means that everything that is of germane interest to the people concerned is at the moment 'under consideration' and the government is not able to give any satisfaction to the students who are deeply concerned.
Min.: That is not the point. The government knows what to do and it will do what is needed.
KT: But if the government knows what to do, why won't you tell me what the government wants to do?
Min.: Because unless the decision is taken, I cannot tell you.
KT: But you can share with me as the Minister what you are thinking.
KT: So, in other words, we are manitaining a veil of secrecy and the very people who are concerned...
Min.: I am not maintaining a veil of secrecy. I am only telling you what propriety allows me to tell you.
8.Take Refuge In a Long Pointless Narrative
KT: Except that Parliament is not infallible. In the Emergency, when it amended the Constitution, it was clearly wrong, it had to reverse its own amendments. So, the question arises - Why does Parliament believe that the reservation is the right way of helping the OBCs?A masterful performance indeed! (BTW, IBN need to proof-read better: the first page of the interview had Parliament agreeing in rare anonymity rather than unanimity!)
Min.: Nobody is infallible. But Parliament is Supreme and atleast I, as a Member of Parliament, cannot but accept the supremacy of Parliament.
Min.: I wouldn't like to go behind all this because, as I said, Parliament has taken a view and it has taken a decision, I am a servant of Parliament and I will only implement.
KT: Let me quote to you Jawaharlal Nehru, a man whom you personally admire enormously. [...] "... This way lies not only folly, but also disaster." What do you say to Jawaharlal Nehru today?
Min.: Jawaharlal Nehru was a great man in his own right and not only me, but everyone in India accept his view.
KT: But you are just about to ignore his advice.
Min.: No. Are you aware that it was Jawaharlal Nehru who introduced the first ammendment regarding OBCs?
KT: Yes, and I am talking about Jawaharlal Nehru in 1961, when clearly he had changed his position, he said - I dislike any kind of reservations.
Min.: I don't think one could take Panditji's position at any point of time and then overlook what he had himself initiated.
On a more serious note: if you think I'm biased, well, unfortunately, what to do you expect if the votaries of such policies seem to be unaware of possible contradictions and are as inarticulate as a random guy off the street? Though it must be said that very few on either side of the debate seem to have the capacity to provide clearheaded thinking right now.
May 22, 2006
A little sampling of GuinnessIt has been recently revealed to me that Sir Alec Guinness was an exceptional actor. Late as this revelation may have come, it has come in time enough for me to make viewing decisions based just on his name. Prior to last week, the last time I saw Guinness in a movie was in his Oscar winning role in Bridge on the River Kwai several years ago, where he pretty much played the ultimate British-stiff-upper-lip. Obi-Wan Kenobi was many years before that, and so you can understand why I spent several years without a light sabre to dispel the darkness. The immediate gospel was delivered home via two Guinness performances: one in his famed series of "Ealing Comedies" and one in a TV production of a John Le Carré book.
The Lavender Hill Mob sees Guinness play Mr. Holland, later dubbed "Dutch" in his avatar as City employee turned bank robbery mastermind. A seemingly docile employee with a fastidous mind in charge of the regular transport of gold bars, Holland plots an ingenious attempt to pinch the bullion. Joined in by a new friend and collecting two old pros by way of one of the most ingenious recruiting schemes seen in fiction, they go in for the old smash-and-grab. The movie is all about the hilarious consequences of their actions, which I will let you discover in your own time among Eiffel Towers and Police Exhibitions. Do watch out for the typically British ironical twist at the end, which in a sense is mirrored even to this date in some of the popular Guy Ritchie films.
Smiley's People, on the other hand, sees Guinness operating in conditions of serious drama. The Le Carré world of espionage is at the opposite end of the narrative spectrum from that of Ian Fleming, with such unglamourous men such as George Smiley who live, operate and suffer. In this series of six episodes totalling upto five hours, Guinness has about 80% of screen time, and so is squarely responsible for keeping our interest alive in the fairly complex plot. Thankfully, the usual thumb rule of the average British television episode being populated by competent actors more than holds, with a supporting cast consisting of names such as Michael Gambon and a small cameo by Patrick Stewart; yet Guinness towers over them.
George Smiley is a complex character, a retired spy who is forced out of retirement again to confront past ghosts while having to get his "hands dirty" unwillingly, but with a sense of duty. Le Carré's interview in the additional features on the DVD tells us how Guinness prepared for this - talking to people from the intelligence services, gobbling up little nuances for his role, and gradually slipping into this different persona. What's striking about Guinness as Smiley is the sustained and considered acting of a quality that I seldom been privileged to watch. There are several places where the screenplay calls for just "being", sans dialogue or action, and Sir Alec manages to precisely convey to us the conflicts that seem to be grappling inside him, especially when the tough decisions need to be made. If I was studying to be an actor, this would be a much viewed manual. The contrast between the younger version of the actor with a perennial smirk in the previous film and this old, weary espiocrat was very distinctive.
I must go now - yesterday, I picked up Kind Hearts and Coronets, starring Sir Alec Guinness in eight roles, and it awaits.
To those who were expecting a narration revolving around the dark beer and were disappointed, it's not my fault - I'll have you know that I'm probably one of few people on earth to go all the way to Ireland, very close to the source of Guinness, and not even have a sip, much to consternation in some chapters. (Informative tip: they will give you a free drink if you take the tour)
May 21, 2006
On "The Interpreter of Maladies"I have never really found books on the great cross-cultural Indian-American upheaval very good. I think the principal culprit was Fasting, Feasting by Anita Desai, whose prose seemed unnatural and disconnected from a possible reality, and books like the puerile The Inscrutable Americans didn't help the cause. Therefore, the reasons I picked up Jhumpa Lahiri's Pulitzer Prize (for Fiction, in 2000) winning collection of short stories were not the mandatory blurbs or the promise of stories from "Bengal to Boston" as the subtitle promised, but merely that it was a slim volume and I only wanted to experience first-hand her much vaunted writing style.
The book of nine stories turned out to be very impressive. Seldom have I read slice-of-life tales that seem "lived" and crumpled with use. Lahiri suffuses the stories with a rare emphathetic tone, establishing a quiet rhythm. Her choice of sentences are simple without being plain, which is what appealed to me the most. Except for one story set completely in Bengal without any tinge of the Western side, all stories keep up the subtitle's promise of intertwining lives and cultures. Quite as a quilt would when it is being woven - with many ends loose and unsure.
A review of a book like this is best kept brief. So I will, but not before noting that the first few stories from the book had the greatest emotional impact. Perhaps one could attempt reading the stories in reverse order?
Written for our Lit Blog
May 20, 2006
Annus Blogus - IVImage may take time to load - apologies to those with a low bandwidth connection!, to those whose aesthetic sensibilities have been offended by the asymmetry of the "4", and to those who found the reading a hard job!
May 19, 2006
When the Steves comeI am a big-match football spectator (all you big-match players rest in peace), so I lack any amount of in-depth knowledge, and so it enables me to ask some very naive questions. One such question arose last Saturday after watching Liverpool defeat West Ham United in the FA Cup Final: why isn't Steven Gerrard (in a manner reminiscent of a former quizzing teammate, I feel like immediately creating an email id called "stevengerrardisgod") the captain of the England team?
Each time, I see Gerrard let loose a shot on target after having arrived in the opposing box from deep in the Liverpool half on what must have been the bullet-train in top gear, I wonder why David Beckham, that dead-ball-deep-crossing-tattoo-and-much-more-fetishist, has the armband. Harish immediately attributed it to the high-profile sponsors of the Real Madrid galactico-in-meltdown, and in this case, I find his conspiracy theory quite plausible.
Coach-designate Steve McClaren has been cautious on the Beckham captaincy, not wishing to rock the boat before the World Cup, but anyone, apart from Ericsson (a bit of a glamour-boy himself), should be able to put Gerrard in charge for a while and see if English fortunes change. He will turn 26 in two weeks and will have enough time to make something of the team, and seems more than capable of carrying a team on his head. I think I prefer these English captains in the Shearer mould.
Blogger Search - the vast emptinessWhy is Blogger Search so bad while searching on a specific blog? I never get any good results (in fact, in several cases, no results at all) while searching for many of the keywords on my own blog. For some of the keywords like names of films about which I've written earlier, I get no results from what should be a very small result set. The problem either is that their indexing sucks or it could be because of some heuristic optimisation (talking somewhat out of my hat). Either way, it's the worst Google feature I've used.
And, like George, I've discovered the exceedingly irritating news that Webstats, the site-stats provider for this blog, was instrumental in a silly popup appearing and so wiped it out from all my blogs. Now, why would a site do something as stupid as that and risk losing its customers. Must confess that I don't contribute to their monthly revenue, but such a lot of ill-will. Read the details at George's.
A little fun, a little aarghAnd that's only the music of Fanaa. I'm not too keen on watching the film, given that the ingredients consist of the Chopra clan, Kunal Kohli (no surprise given my views on "Dumb Chums"), the title that makes me itch to add an "h", and it doesn't help that there is "an ending contest" that no matter how much fun George makes of it, the comments in the contest page will always beat him hands down, albeit unintentionally.
That establishing rant aside, a few thoughts on the music. I chose to write this post mainly because the music has a couple of interesting points to it. This soundtrack is, as is probably well-known by now, Jatin-Lalit's last as a composing duo. Fanaa (soundtrack credits) is a fitting sample of their wares: a couple of nice melodies, an sense of candy-floss and some rather mediocre tracks.
Mahalaxmi Iyer, who I personally think has been under-utilised and underrated, gets a lot of footage (byte-age?) in the album. But sadly, she doesn't snag any of the good ones. "Des Ra.ngiilaa" is extremely cliched, especially as in recent times, we've seen similar ventures in Veer Zaara and a good one in Swades. "Cha.ndaa Cha.mke", the insipid introduction to Hindi tongue-twisters is made annoying by Babul Supriyo and so poor Mahalaxmi has to grin and belt out the "mushkil gaanaa" - but we let it off on the excuse that it is some sort of a "fun" situation song. Reasons to not like "Chaa.nd Sifaarish": Shaan tending to Sanu, bad choice of choral riffs and sight of up-and-down-the-stairs dance steps. Electric guitar and Kailash Kher inserts - not so bad. Prediction: will be catchy, in the way many J-L songs have been.
Let's go to the nice stuff, both of which have Sunidhi Chauhan and Sonu Nigam. "Mere Haath Me.n" has the guest voices of Aamir Khan (this is turning out to be an unnecessary trademark in many of his films now) and Kajol reading out intense lines including the clearly reverse-engineered "panaah-fanaah" kaafiyaa. The arrangements didn't catch my fancy on the whole, but the tune is melodiously strong enough to survive that and so is the singing. It's about time Sunidhi Chauhan's "item song pinchhitter" status changes for the better.
Which brings us to the best song in the album (all IMHO if you haven't guessed yet): "Dekho Naa" by Nigam and Chauhan is well-made and worth a few listens. The sitaar and santoor strains (would like to know if my inference of the instruments are wrong) form a fine base, with the J-L choral inserts not detracting too much from this addition to the Bollywood rain-song collection.
A couple of instrumentals round off the album: "Destroyed in Love(Lounge Mix)" is nice in its lounge orchestration of "Dekho Naa" and "Mere Haath Me.n" (riding on the melody), while I didn't think much of "Fanaa for You (Chand Sifarish - DJ Aqeel Club Mix)". Lyrics by Prasoon Joshi are not bad, though he doesn't quite transcend the typical Bollywood genres unlike his masterful efforts in Rang De Basanti. The better songs somehow give out a private-album feeling rather than a cohesive film album, while the not-so-good songs are merely average hindi film songs in the tradition of the past. Let's see what the Pandit brothers do in their separate ways in the future.
May 18, 2006
Calling it shortBillie Jean King would have happily seen me relegated to a French sty in the company of Nicholas Chauvin, but not any more. For Brijnath has made me see the light through the net.
Until yesterday I couldn't quite see any logic in the "equal pay for men and women at the Grand Slams" debate, for didn't the men slog out five of the most motivation-sapping sets and then do it again tomorrow? While the women daintily flitted through to the semi-finals only to choke 6-1, final set in the 2nd thirty minutes of the match? Apparently, I haven't been watching my tennis properly. Read Rohit Brijnath's article (link) in last week's Sportstar, where despite the not-so-shariif sans-serif machinistic fonts of the revamped sports-magazine, he makes his point. And takes the match with it.
Rs. 4/- per issue is no reflection on you, sir.
May 16, 2006
Captain's knockI don't really see much of Tamil star-(zyaada)-actor-cum Vijaykanth these days as I once used to while resident in the cheerfully cinematic bedlam-land of Madras. But whatever fleeting glimpses I do catch on what ammaa lovingly calls "the Karunanidhi family channel" of Sun TV, I realise that the actor fondly called Captain is keeping alive the legacy of the stereotypical "South Indian" hero.
I am usually among the first to scoff at the rest of Bollywood-India to straitjacket the equally if not more prolific film industries from the states of Southern India, but you can't really defend what some of these guys have done. Your archetypal cult hero usually aged gracefully by employing wigs and makeup around the pencil moustache; with one twitch of the right eyebrow, he'd get the nubile, aged merely-a-mischevious-twinkle-in-her-father's-eye-when-the-hero-was-making-his-25th-film belle to swoon into his arms while with the other eyebrow, he'd mesmerise the populace into casting votes for his newly formed party. Dancing and electioneering, paunches and populism, "punch dialogues" and slogans came easily to them.
Founders and Champions of this brand of celebrity-hood were the likes of MGR and NTR while veterans like Prem Nazir and Rajkumar didn't dabble in the political side but often did (and more successfully) a "Raj Kapoor in Around the World in 8 dollars". Shivaji Ganesan's occasional flared bellbottoms were only about as pleasant as his lack of success at the ballot boxes.
However, this trend seems to have taken a hit in recent times with the likes of Rajnikanth being in a permanent state of ambivalence and only a few attempts to keep the flag up from the Kannada and Andhra sectors. However, Vijaykanth is doing much to prop the dying art of the South Indian aging star with political ambitions. Described as a veteran of the "lungi western" by Shamanth, le capitaine was elected to the TN Legislative Assembly recently, continues to get jiggy with it with buxom lasses, maintains the scaramoustache while uttering verbal punches that guarantee a thunderous clap.
And if you are among those unfortunate enough to not have experienced the DMDK president's full blast, take a look at this little video clip (link thanks to Vaibhav). Subtitles have been provided for full viewing contentment.
1 UpCrossword opened yet another store in Pune - supposedly, their largest, and on the premises of the International Convention Centre premises on Senapati Bapat Road, the construction of which heralded the archaeological excavation processes in the city a couple of years ago. I tend to be slightly critical of such mini-behemoth bookstores, but one must say that the store is actually quite inviting - the softbacked chairs next to the massive glass walls with a lack of congestion (so far) that bedevils some of their other stores in the city made it a happy experience for the first-timer.
The usual Crossword problems persist though: the lesser-known books are hard to find, the vcds are stacked back-to-back in the most sub-optimal manner that actually forces you to noisily flip through them causing little avalanches that get the security guys dogging my steps (or so I thought!). The "Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" were spotted in the "Biography" section. Thankfully, this store spells "VCDs" without causing the Apostrophe Protection Society too much colonic distress unlike the Aundh one which had the ironic sight of "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" parked close to the shelves with the heading "VCD's".
The music and movies sections are on the first floor. Question: aren't stores more disability-friendly these days? This one definitely isn't, with its stairs. Bought a couple of books that have been on my to-buy list for a long while now: Ramachandran and Blakeslee's "Phantoms in the Brain" and Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene". Was scared to ask if "Godel, Escher, Bach" was out of stock for fear that it may have been filed under "Religion and Philosophy", but finally mustered up the courage and mercifully found out it was merely unavailable. I wish Crossword would get its employees to make a simple, but potentially profitable enquiry of "could we order it for you?" or "we could let you know when it comes in" that would forestall me taking my business elsewhere.
By the way, am I just a cheap, miserly person or are books overpriced on an average? Hope to soon visit the new Landmark in Bombay, while noticing that Odyssey has begun to advertise on TV. But most importantly, the long pending visit to Pathfinder.
May 13, 2006
Pardon my egotistic effrontery...... but I think I'm back to blogging.
TN pot electionsThey should market it better, sell tickets and popcorn, and add some more songs. Each edition of Tamil Nadu elections is a paisa-vasool entertainer with lots of eggs being broken and giving some people with some unintended facials.
If anyone voted for the DMK because they're offering free TVs, then I'm really surprised - who would have thought that there are still people in that cinema-crazy population without this essential service, second only to running water? If only the ammaa (the extra 'a' is intentional - too lazy to type her entire name with the extraa) had promised home theatres with woofers, tweeters et al, she might have pulled it off.
The customary pre-tournament transfer window saw some big names cross over - people like the actor Sarat Kumar for instance. In ten years time, it has been forecast that at this rate, the entire bench of both teams would have completely swapped (with the possible exception of the two leaders, of course). This is like the dilemma that some football fans face who don't have a local club to support. Do you support a player irrespective of where he plies his wares, or do you support the team?
The comedy track in this election was played with great aplomb by Jaya TV. Masters of stubborn resistance would do well to take lessons from the steadfast decision of the ammaa channel to hold on to their own version of reality by claiming a 10% lead in seats for the AIADMK all through the morning of the results while everyone else showed us the mundane and boring version. I wouldn't have been surprised if the former Iraqi Information Minister was a special consultant on this landmark performance.
May 10, 2006
A small screen view of celluloidJudging by the first set of trailers for the film that gets a direct entry to the numerologically-affected-fillmm hall of fame, Krrrish (is that three "r"'s or less? I never can tell) is being sold as a pot-pourri of Baywatch and The Matrix.
For as Chandler Bing memorably said about "Baywatch" - "they're running!" which is what Krrish does a lot, and with bulges too, just like the people in red used to. As for swirling black capes from a collection of rows and columns, Srikkanth junior is perched on a tekaDi doing that too.
Remember a rule-of-thumb in a share-a-vat like delivery: if they say it's hot, it's going to be not.
Apparently, the rumours started when RGV made some digs at Karan Johar's SRK's starrer Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, saying he wanted to see Karan's film because he loved horror films.Interesting, RGV doesn't deny this, merely stating that Johar and he had this joke going on for a while and neither of them minds. But that's why some of us think RGV rocks, and he has my vote even if his films have derailed in the last couple of years.
Time to say goodbye?
##Announce## karanaa zaruuri hai.