Sunday, October 30, 2011

The End... For Now

Almost at the end of the vacation – 10 awesome days in Goa. Tomorrow, we will be back in Pune, to life as we know it. It’s been an amazing vacation. No work, very little email, no meetings, no calls. Not much TV, just a local newspaper in the morning. Lots of fish, lots of sleep. Hours spent lazing around, day time Siestas for hours, deep REM sleep. Hours at the spa, getting everything mentionable on this blog pressed, rubbed and scrubbed, while the mind and eyes get into a trance, woken only by two phrases – Sir, is this pressure enough? and Sir, your treatment is over, can I get you some lemon tea? The longest and most relaxing vacation as far as I can remember, ever since vacations stopped being synonymous with going from one standard to another, gulping Rasna after hours of cricket in the sun, and getting sand into every crevice of the body on Nerul beach and being hosed down with a pipe before being allowed inside the house.

But it was also a vacation of misses or almost misses. I didn’t do any off-roading with Samara, even though the weather was perfect with lots of bright sun interspersed with some heavy showers. Almost didn’t make it to the beach – just managing to slip in one visit today morning. Almost missed the chaat at Miramar. Didn’t visit Naik Villa. And managed just one trip to Baga at night, although Tito’s was missed completely.

The vacation was too long.

Isn’t that how most of us live life? We know we have a lot of time on our hands, so we sleep. We take it easy, we keep procrastinating. We know we can do it later, so we push it. Until suddenly, the vacation is over. And sadly, in life, there’s no next time!

Friday, October 28, 2011


Meet Aniceta, earlier called Lisa, my first love, my first car... now my neighbour's love and my envy, just as pretty, just as beautiful! After having heard rumours earlier of her being in a bad accident, it was so heart warming to see her fit and fine, and extremely well taken care of. It was a strange feeling being with her, almost like a childhood flame you haven't seen in a while, but with a very special bond that only you share!


Natural In Nerul!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

More Rajnikant

Happy Rajnikant and best wishes to you and your family!

From Diwali and her family.

Ra.One Collection.One

Ra.One could create a record at the box-office, with first-day collections predicted to touch Rs 22 crore, with 20 crores coming from Hindi version and 1 crore each from Tamil and Telugu. The Rs 145-crore film was released on Wednesday in 3,200 screens across India. Coming at a time when there are 4 consecutive holidays may work both for and against it. Although the evening shows on Diwali day were expected to be low on attendance due to Laxmi Puja, it was expected to run to packed houses in the night shows.

The current record is held by Salman's Bodyguard, which was released in 2700 screens and had collected 21 crores.

A Sweet Thrashing

And while we are at it, I should also mention that India finished a brownwash of England, handing a comprehensive 5-0 thrashing in sweet revenge of a very forgettable summer, giving India a perfect Diwali eve gift. Chasing India's below par score of 270 something at Eden Gardens (strengthened by a late in in the innings blitz by Dhoni who slammed 4 sixes and stayed unbeaten throughout the series), England were 129-0 and on the way to some redeemed pride, when Varun Aaron struck, leading to a complete capitulation by the English within the next 60 runs or so.

Wonder where Kapil paaji is these days... must be pretty disappointed!


Half way through my extended Goa vacation - been a good one so far! Lots of fish, lots of sun (not been to the beach yet, though!). Watched Ra.One. A good night out in an open jeep for Narkasur night. Diwali the next day. Sanam's 10th birthday - a beautiful party (will post pics soon). Finally caught up with a very dear friend more than a decade since our last meeting. And lots of lots of lazying around.

The only regret - missing Pune and a special someone near and dear back there!

Crazy About Coconuts

Got this nice picture forwarded from a friend... I am sure she doesn't have the copyright to this one, hence posting without her permission :)

Movie Review: Ra.One

Ra.One had started getting pretty mixed reviews from the Internet blogosphere when we caught up with him and G.One at the Inox last night. Die-hard SRK fans that we are, nothing would keep us from enjoying the superhero magnum opus! Turns out, we did have a smashing time… but in all truth, it could have been better. The movie thrilled us with the action, stunned us with the graphics and SFX, made us groove to the Akon numbers, but it failed miserably in doing something the King has never failed to do to viewers.. make them cry. Neither in sadness, nor in joy. And for me, that is where Ra.One loses out on being SRK’s magnum opus.

Shekhar Subramaniam is a game designer with one of the most advanced gaming companies in the UK, with silly curly hair and a lot of inspiration from Mr. Bean, all the way down to nudging other cars from their parking slots. He speaks with a South Indian accent, eats noodles mixed with curds with his hands, and basically does his best to make us laugh with his idiot act. And succeeds to some extent, especially when he tries to be a Michael Jackson with his “bad” dance moves. Trying desperately to impress his son Prateek (who spends all his time gaming and trying to look like his daughter, and succeeds at both!), and with his invaluable inputs on what makes a good game, Shekhar creates a game which has an indestructible villain Ra.One (Random Access Version One – until someone realizes, hey, that’s a cool name for a villain!), and his counterpart G.One, the good one, with just a 0.01% chance of winning. Stuffed with Artificial Intelligence and the most advanced technologies fathomable to this generation, Ra.One is guaranteed to be almost unbeatable, learning on its own, and able to come up with new stunts and moves every time you play!

Trouble begins when Ra.One gets a mind of its own, breathes life into its prototype, traverses the thin line between real and virtual, and goes out searching for the last online avatar to have played the game with him – Lucifer, intending to kill him and finish the suspended game. Needless to say, Lucifer is the on-screen persona used by Prateek, whose life is now in danger from the out of control Ra.One. When both the game designers, including Shekhar, are eliminated by Ra.One, it’s left to G.One to be the savior. But is he strong enough to stop Ra.One?

SRK is funny in both his Avatars, pulls off some really good action (although most of it is SFX) and has some beautiful dance steps to go with Akon’s Chammak Challo and Criminal numbers. Where he misses out this time is in bringing out the tears, and for the King of Hearts, that is a big setback. As I said earlier, the movie is devoid of emotions. You don’t really feel the terror of Ra.One, you don’t really celebrate the success of G.One. You don’t feel sad when Shekhar is killed, his death almost like another small setback in a video game you know you can always restart.  In being a virtual game character, SRK loses his passion, his vein-straining dialogues, his skyward gaze with outstretched arms, his romanticism – essentially everything that makes his what he is best at. Funnily, in being virtual, he is more life-like and less of the larger than life SRK we all love!

Another negative – too many references to condoms, breasts, bums, and the pelvis – given that SRK movies pull in fans of all ages, this is definitely something that could have been toned down. Most of it is in good humour, but parents might want to keep some explanations ready.

Kareena looks sizzling hot, her scissor-cut gowns little longer than her belt, leaving nothing to imagination, although she has very little to do than act confused.  Arjun Rampal is just one of the human forms taken by Ra.One and doesn’t make an appearance until well after half time. Looks great, but with most of him covered in a hooded robe most of the time, girls will not have enough of him. Priyanka and Sanjay Dutt make a forgettable cameo appearance in a video-game dream sequence at the beginning, inspired by Crouching Tiger Flying Dragon. Amitabh’s voice over is lost amidst the electronic bass makeover  given to Ra.One. Chitti Robot also makes a brief appearance when G.One and his damsel and child in distress land in India, an interesting (and ridiculous at the same time) tribute to Yenna Rascala.

The Akon numbers are great, the dances accompanying them are stunning in their simplicity. Dildara has some beautiful music and will keep growing on you with every hearing, the fusion of Hindi and English simply breathtaking. Some of the other numbers aren’t too inspiring on the music CD, but fit in beautifully in the storyline, and will definitely come to you from a different perspective when you hear the music after the movie.

The story is decently paced, the build-up to Ra.One’s birth a tad slow and mired in too many technical details, but picks up pretty well from there on, till the end game, which is tiring and exhausting, and fails to excite, and, coming as it does at the end, will leave audiences with a not-so-exciting lingering taste of spoilt tiramisu after a great meal. The car chase sequence is Bourne-like stunning, the train sequence has a lot of Chittinspiration, with a “Speed”y ending! There are shades of Hulk, Spiderman, Superman, Matrix – and they all work pretty well, actually!

What Ra.One excels at, and leaves other Bollywood movies far, far behind is in the SFX and graphics. Pure, unadulterated excellence. Whether it is the pixelated build-up of Ra.One and G.One, or the horrifyingly realistic destruction of CST, the effect is top-notch and what makes the movie such a visual treat.

At the end of the 3 hours, audiences will come out thrilled at the action, stunned by the visuals, and grooved by the numbers, but with not a tear shed. For me, that is the victory and loss of SRK in Ra.One. He was good as a robot, but he wasn’t our SRK.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


3-0, another clinical performance by the Indians, Ajinkya Rahane top scoring with 91 in India's run chase, Dhoni guiding the team to win with yet another captain's knock. 2 more games to go, but with the series pocketed, India have given it back to England a little bit.

Of course, we still need to avenge the Test losses!

Coal Conspiracy?

Read an interesting view point the other day on the power crisis that's hit the country these days. While the official version is that unseasonal heavy rains and the Telangana stir have resulted in coal shortages at main power plants in the country, there was speculation that this was in fact a government ploy to build public support for nuclear power.

Outlandish? Or possible?

Movie Review: What's Your Number

Anna Faris plays Ally, a young pretty girl in Boston, who reads in an issue of Marie Claire that the number of men she has slept with – 20 – is twice the national average, and that the higher a woman's number is, the less likely she is to get married. Focused on ensuring she doesn't increase that number, Ally, with the help from the playboy-next-door Chris Evans (in return for letting him use her apartment to escape from his ladies), tracks down all her old boyfriends, to see if any one of them could be ideal husband material. Yes, you can predict the ending...

However, this rom com comes to life through Faris and the extremely good looking Chris. The script is fantastic, the jokes crisp and original, the adult humour extreme but enjoyable, the pace quick, and the leads great eye candy.

Watch it, ideally a late night show!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Movie Review: Wrecked

Not yet in Indian theatres I believe, saw it on DVD. Better that way, because at least I could shut it off and sleep early.

So this guy wakes up and finds himself in a bad car wreck, in the bottom of a ravine, with two dead bodies, a gun and a trunk full of cash. A girl who mysteriously appears, talks to him, and poof, goes off like a ghost. A dog. A tiger also makes a brief appearance. Some flashing lights, some other apparitions - probably all in his mind. But who knows. Words as rare as the Kohinoor - he's alone in the jungle remember? He spends the first 10 mins trying to focus his eyes (which means you have to see a camera going in and out of focus), then the next 20 trying to get out of the car (over 2-3 days), and then the next 45 mins trying to crawl out of the jungle, only to find himself right back where he started.

Sorry, I really don't know how it ends - I fell asleep. Anyone's who sat through it - please update me.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Youngistan 2 Englishtan 0

Kohli's 112* and Gambhir's 84* powered India to their second victory over England in the revenge series, with 13.2 overs to spare and 8 wickets in hand. Glad to see Team India back on track! Yes, one might argue we lost to England in England and are champions only at home, but hey, doesn't that hold for England too? :)

Movie Review: The Lovely Bones

Old movie, saw it on DVD the other night because I love Saoirse Ronan, the Hanna girl, who played the 14 year old in The Lovely Bones. After she is murdered by a child predator when coming home from school one day, she tries to help her dad find her murderer before moving on from Earth.

A very beautiful movie, and if you have a daughter, it will touch you like few others can. The scene when she sees her dad searching desperately for her, and screams out to him, and realises he cannot hear her any more - because she is just a spirit now - and then, when he turns around in her direction, feeling her calling out to him... that scene is simply too much to sit through.

The movie ends beautifully though... leaving you happy and content to go to bed, hugging your daughter tight!

Movie Review: Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge

The title of Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge is the only bad thing about this movie, a funny, cheesy, corny rom-com which thankfully tries to be neither philosophical nor educational about love on the Internet.

Vishal has the hots for the sexy Malvika, and chats up with her using his cool dude rock star friend Rahul's FB profile. What he doesn't know, is that Preity, who herself has fallen for Rahul's cute looks, is responding on Malvika's behalf! The thing is, Vishal and Preity can't stand each other in real life, but online, with all inhibitions off, they hit off like a dream! Will Vishal hook up with Malvika, will Preity get Rahul, or is it all going to be one big mess? The end is predictable, but well executed!

The big plus point about the movie is the fast pace, and short duration, a little less than 2 hours. The story develops and moves quickly, none of the sub-plots taking too long. There is no emotional BS. The songs are light and peppy, the breakups and makeups quick. The script is young, and smart. Saqib Saleem puts in a feisty performance as Vishal, and Saba Azad as Preity is very different, very likeable, and actually pretty good! They get along beautifully, and share some really good scenes. Tara looks hot and beautiful as Malvika, and Nishant Dahiya is a total cool dude, although he has very little to do.

Overall, a very enjoyable entertaining film that will keep you smiling. Don't miss it!

Movie Review: Ticha Baap Tyacha Baap (Marathi)

What happens when a strict disciplinarian Deshmukh and his family from Mumbai comes over to Goa, to the house of the fun loving, naughty and young at heart Faterfekar family, to discuss the love marriage of their daughter? Laughter, suspicions, misunderstandings, and then a happy ending.

The movie could have been a lot more fun for Goans like me, but the poor Konkani renditions, a bad mix of Marathi, Konkani and Malvani resulting in a concoction never heard any where in Konkan, and some over-the-top antics from completely unnecessary sidekicks, and very poorly executed dance numbers makes the movie a dud.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


After a terrible series down in England, India gave it right back in the first one dayer - thrashing England by 126 runs after setting a target of 301 in their allotted 50. Dhoni led from the front smashing an unbeaten 87 off 70 balls. Ravinda Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin grabbed three wickets each and Umesh Yadav claimed two, ensuring England collapsed from a comfortable 111/2.

India were without Sachin and six other regulars, due to injury or poor form.

Just the beginning, but as they say, sometimes, all it takes is an opening..

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nokia Customer NoCare

A couple of months back, I had finally rescued my molested and scarred-for-life Nokia E75 back from a 3 month ordeal at Nokia customer service. Yet another example this week - my friend had given her cell for service, and couldn't find the receipt. When she went to collect her phone, she was first asked to get an affidavit from the court! The next day, when she tried again, she was told that only the Election ID card would be accepted as valid proof of her ID - no passport, no driving license. And that's not all - the guy categorically stated that he would keep the original with him, in return for the cell! Thankfully, she finally found the receipt, got her cell back, and swore never to go back there.
Now, come on, really? Or were you just happy harassing her?

Movie Review: Doraemon in Nobita and the Steel Troops: New Age

As long as the name suggests, even the shouting and screaming excited kids fell asleep by the time Doraemon, Nobita and all the other Hindi-speaking Japanese kids fight the alien intruders and save planet Earth.

Watch it only if your kid forces you to.

And when it's all over, you can say, I told you so.

Movie Review: Thor

Three inter-galactical civilizations, the Humans, the mighty Asgardians and the evil Frost Giants of Jotunheim, clash in this epic adventure that thrills with some spectacular 3D FX and a good background score.
The mighty, arrogant warrior Thor is about to inherit the throne of Asgardia from the old king Odin, when a suprise attack by the Frost Giants of Jotunheim disrupts the ceremony. Thor recklessly attacks Jotunheim, threatening the peace in the universe, and earning the wrath of the King, who takes his powers from him and banishes him to Earth, leaving Thor’s half-brother Loki in line to be king. Will Thor be able to fight the Destroyer and prove himself worthy of again wielding his magical hammer Mjolnir?

For me the highlight was the 3D FX, and Natalie Portman. Not a must see, but not bad either.

Movie Review: Horrible Bosses

Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) need to get rid of their horrible bosses (Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell and Jennifer Aniston). With some expensive ill-advice from a drunk "fixer" (Jamie Foxx), the three devise the perfect plan to get rid of them... permanently. Will they be able to pull it off?

With humour cruder than in Hangover, the situations almost as bizarre, a lot of jokes around the bowel and urinary habits, and some action thrown in, Horrible Bosses requires an ID proof!

But yes, I totally got it... :) Chances are, you will too!

Natalie Portman

Guess who I saw at the Pune Mariott yesterday? Yes, the super gorgeous Natalie Portman looking absolutely ravishing in a simple white tshirt and tiny brown shorts.

Maybe, just maybe, she was someone else... but how does it matter? :)

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Tablet for 1250?

The Indian Govt recently announced the launch of Aakash, the 2500 Rs tablet that will be made available for students at half that price. Sounds too good to be true... but what are the implications?

Will students use it for studies, or will they watch porn on it?

Will students in the villages and small towns be able to get connectivity? Electricity?

It's a fantastic product, I am sure, I just hope it's not too good to be true!

Anna vs Congress?

It's open now - it's no longer Anna vs Corruption, it's Anna vs the Congress. He admitted recently that neither he nor the PM was kept properly informed during the fast, and that ego got in the way of sensible negotiations and dialogue with his team. Will he also admit soon that he allowed his anti-corruption agenda to be hijacked?

Movie Review: Love, Breakups, Zindagi

LBZ is predictable from the first 2 mins, it doesn't have a big star cast, it doesn't have item songs, it doesn't have anything that sets it apart from dozens of other similar movies where the boy and girl realise their current choice of partners isn't right, sparks fly between them at a marriage fucntion, there's a brief separation, and then it all comes together in the end.

However, the dialogues are fun, the humour subtle, the performances natural, the casting perfect, and the movie, although at a slow and relaxed pace, does grow on you.

Dia looks beautiful, a dainty daisy. I have always liked Zayed, he looks good, and puts a convincing performance. Tisca carries on her performance from DTBHJ, Boman makes a quick cameo, Ritesh also drops by, SRK enthralls in a short, sweet role as himself, Satyadeep and Auritra Ghosh make an interesting and pretty couple, and Umang Jain is cute as Dia's friend and roomie.

Slow, but worth a dekko.


The Sunday Economic Times has an interesting article today about Imovation - the process of imitating innovation and being successful at it. Do you know that Apple has not presented a single original product to the market? The computer was invented by IBM, Sanyo created the first MP3 player, Blackberry the first smartphone, and Microsoft invented the Tablet. Yet, none of these created as much hype and excitement until Apple added the "i" to them! Jobs wasn't the only one to be imovative. Walmart made discount stores famous, but the idea first came from a little-heard company called Korvette. A burger today means MacD, but it was first presented by White Castle. Similarly, Amex made credit cards a household name, but not before Diner's Club had come to market with it. And we all know about IPL vs ICL here in India.

Imovators have one major advantage - they already have the benefit of the R&D, market research, and all the hard work the innovator has put in. All you got to do now is improve on it!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Movie Review: Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster

Some films work because of their stars, some films are all about the suspense or the story line, some films are about an item song!

Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster is a must watch for many reasons - first and foremost, the journey into the world of royal scions and bloodlines, politics and gangsters, sepia-toned walls, antiques and stained windows, royal palaces, once glorious and majestic, now abused by time and neglect. Even though he's penniless and lives on the alms insultingly offered by his rich stepmother, the Saheb (Jimmy) hasn't lost any of his arrogance, ruthlessly deploying his own version of justice and law to grab government contracts and attempt to come to power in the forthcoming elections. His mentally imbalanced wife (Mahie) is royalty personified, although she has very little to look forward to in her lonely life, until their new "driver" (Randeep) shows up. As the web of intrigue, deceit and double-cross gets thicker in a deadly game of one-up-manship and envelopes the mansion and it's occupants, the movie hurtles towards a gripping climax.

The performances are top-notch. Jimmy Sheirgill, Mahie Gill and Randeep Hooda are stunning in their volatility and unpredictability, their characters beautifully developed. Jimmy is superb as the Saheb, his calm and composed demeanour hiding the deadly venom inside him. Mahie is pretty and sexy, scary in her vulnerability, shocking in her ability to strike with deadly effect. And Randeep Hooda, as always, is the best - absolutely beautiful as the small town lad desperate to get his "class", no matter what it takes, a complete "maukaterian". Deepal Shaw is cute, and adds to the movie in her own small way. The rest of the characters - Jimmy's trusted Kanhaiyya, his mistress - always aware of his dependencies on her, the minister - ready to play any game with anyone to save his khursi, deliver the perfect punch to an already wonderful cast.

SBAG is a wonderful action thriller woven around a gripping character drama. It's not your typical Karan Johar served dish of colorful fresh cut fruits with a glass of orange juice,  it's a fantastic dark concoction that will drug you, and leave you begging for more.

eMee in Newspapers

Also in,,,,,,

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Movie Review: Force

It's the Narcotics Control Bureau against the drug lords. John plays an honest, fearless NCB officer relentless in his mission to rid Mumbai of drugs, whose weakness is exposed when he falls in love with the kiddish, cute Genelia.

The action is good, a lot of hand to hand combat, but gets unnecessarily gruesome and bloody at the end.

The sound track is forgettable.

John looks good, like he always does, except when he comes up with Rohit Shettyesque tattoos in the begginning of the movie - and thankfully loses them after some time. If only he could bring some more expressions on his stubble... Genelia is a little artificial and uncomfortable at times, but in most scenes, she's graceful, pretty, super cute and will endear herself to you. The new boy, Vidjut, as the villain, didn't impress me much. Anaitha Nair is completely wasted, Sandhya Mridul has few decent moments.

Unlike Singham which left your thrilled, happy and wanting more, Force drains you with the deaths, the blood, the helplessness of it all.

Expected better from Nishikant Kamat after the fabulous Mumbai Meri Jaan!