Friday, March 30, 2007

More Shantaram

This time about Mumbai's cabbies...

But an Indian will be so pleased that if he likes something else about you - your eyes, or your smile, or the way you react to a beggar at the window of his cab - he'll feel bonded to you, instantly. he'll be prepared to do things for you, go out of his way, put himself at risk, and even do dangerous or illegal things. If you have given him an address he doesn't like, such as the Palace, he'll be prepared to wait for you, just to be sure that you are safe. You could come out an hour later, and ignore him completely, and he would smile and drive away, happy to know that no harm had come to you. It happened to me many times in Bombay, but never in any other (foreign) city. It's one of the five hundred things I love about Indians: if they like you, they do it quickly, and not by half. Karla paid his fare and the promised tip, and told him not to wait. We both knew that he would.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

What is Necessary?

Here's another beautiful piece from Shantaram.. I am literally falling in love with the book!

What is necessary? That was the unspoken but implied and unavoidable question everywhere in India. When I understood that, a great many of the characteristically perplexing aspects of public life became comprehensible: from the acceptance of sprawling slums by city authorities, to the freedom that cows had to roam at random in the midst of traffic; from the toleration of beggars on the streets, to the concatenate complexity of the bureaucracies; and from the gorgeous, unashamed escapism of Bollywood movies, to the accomodation of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Tibet, Iran, Afghanistan, Africa, and Bangaldesh, in a country that was already too crowded with sorrows and needs of its owm.

Quote of the Day

Don't be distracted by criticism. Remember-the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you. Zig Ziglar.

Quote(s) of the Day

Reading Shantaram, a beautiful book by Gregory David Roberts - but that deserves it's own space some other time... here are a few beautiful thoughts from the book...

"Truth is a bully we all pretend to like"

"In a perfect world, all people would be like cats are, at two o clock in the afternoon"

"Civilization is defined by what we forbid, more than what we permit"

"The only force more ruthless and cynical than the business of big politics is the politics of big business"

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Enough Experiments - give me my team back!

Chappel, Dravid - you got your time, you got your experiments, you got to do what you want for long enough. We tolerated everything, all the series losses, the humiliation - of the team, and of our heroes, all in the name of experiments and your new philosophy of perform-or-perish. Only because you promised us the world cup.

We have had enough. You did not perform, you need to perish.

Please go. Please let us have our glory days back. Please get Dada back.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Konkan Trip

Last weekend, I went with my team on an overnight trip to Konkan. We left at 545 am from office, reaching Nagaon, our base for the night by 10 in the morning. We refreshed, then went to Alibag where we enjoyed a lovely horse carriage ride through knee deep water to the Fort.

The next morning, we visited Kashid and Murud, and the amazing Zazeera Fort in the sea, taking a breathtaking sail boat ride a la SRK in Swades. Enjoyed the company of our guide "Sahil of the 27", affectionately named so because of the way he called us "27 waale".

Played volleyball with our very own "international player", followed by some cricket and frolicking in the water. Exercised my portfolio photographer skills. Walked on the beach collecting sea shells which were promotly discarded when found to be alive. Handled the rocky outcroppings at Kashid with not much grace, investing a handkerchief in the bargain! Took some sun on the cotton ka zhula, ran around with buckets of water, built a bonfire in 30 mins which took 5 mins to burn out. Ate lots of fish, with and without curry, and then extremely cold ice cream which refused to come out of its pack! Listened to "4 wajta kombda oradla, saku geli panyala..." to our hearts content on the way back, finishing off with an awesome dinner of Chinese Alu Paratha at Lonavla!

Lots of memories... some good, some bad, some of those that were missed, some of those that will be missed... Lage tumse mann ki lagan, lagan laage tumse mann ki lagan... The song played in my ears as we pulled into Pune and I thought about Konkan and my 2 days spent in it's lap...

Words, Emotions and Tears...

When words fail me, my emotions escape through my eyes...

Waah waah, KD King, what a dialogue!

Song of the Week: Doorie

Doorie.. Sahi Jaane Na.... Sahi Jaaaye Na...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Movie Review: 300

300 is the story of a King Leonidis and his 300 warriors from Sparta against the million strong Persian army of Xerces. Brilliantly choreographed, with some excellent fight sequences, 300 is a good movie if you are ready to tolerate some gory violence, and the inexplicable need to have grotesque creatures a la Pirates of the Carribean.

Some great dialogues in the movie... when Xerces threatens Leonidis's captain with "our arrows that will block out the sun", the captain retorts, "then we will have to fight in the shade!". The Spartan's sense of unity and team spirit, and camaraderie, is also very refreshing and definitely an inspiration.

Interestingly, all the Spartans are white, the Persians, of course are brown. The Spartans are fighting for hope and democracy, the Persian king thinks he is God. No wonder the Iranians have condemned the movie!

Friday, March 16, 2007

2 Days in Dubai can do this to you!




I just returned from a 30 hour trip to Dubai on official business - no, I did not go for shopping, though I did pick up some souvenirs!

Dubai is an interesting city. It's wierd, really. It has the look of a typical American city - glass and steel buildings, lots of cars, few people, good roads. But it's like all the Americans on the road and in the offices were banished and replaced by desis! Hindi is universally spoken, and you rarely meet anyone who is not from Kerela or Goa.

It's also spooky - women in black robes, and men in white, glide around softly speaking in wierd Arabic language where numbers are written left to right, but words are written right to left. Lots of pretty women, really - but all you can see are their eyes, and yes, an occasional face.

Lots of shopping - great, big malls everywhere and tourists shopping to their hearts delight. Lots of entertainment parks too, including a huge indoor ski slope, including the cable cars to take you to the top. And lots of new ones coming up. There is just so much construction happening - entire cities being built in the desert, and in the sea. Dubai Marina could probably hold a couple of small cities inside it! The bridges are interesting - the texture is almost like ceramic/marble - very beautiful structures, with lovely curves. Some exciting buildings too, including the 100+ storey Burj Dubai and the beautiful, sail-shaped Burj Al Arab Hotel. Jumeirah Beach is lovely, with sparkling white sand and clear blue-green sea.

At the end of the day, though - Dubai is sad. It's almost like every effort is made to make you comfortable and rich, but not happy. You do not see too many smiles. You see a lot of fear. A lot of "discipline". A lot of hard work. Pursuit of money, not the pursuit of happiness.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Movie Review: Nishabd

He is 60, she is 18. He is Amitabh Bacchan, she is Jiah Khan. One has his personality, the other has her looks and her body. The movie, borrowing heavily from Lolita, American Beauty and Poison Ivy, is however a disappointment, and leaves you wanting for much more.

Jiah captures the screen, and your imagination, with her sultry looks, her innocent and seductive look, her white see through dresses and shorts, and her carefree and childlike pranks. But the story never really convinces you. The camera work is fantastic, the locales seductively romantic, but the chemistry between Jiah and Amitabh never really fires up. Amitabh's love for her comes across as very paternal - and when he tells his wife he loves Jiah, you are tempted to ask, then why don't you adopt her??? Her "one way" boy friend turns up and totally disappoints. The ending is pathetic.

Interestingly, Jiah's friend, played by a young new comer, does a good job in the few scenes she has.

Should you watch Nishabd? Only if you wish for a visual treat! Jiah is worth every minute of the two hour flm!