Wednesday, February 29, 2012

No Vote For Kejriwal

Another big slip by Team Anna... Kejriwal skipped voting to go to Goa :) Missed voting in the morning, went to the airport, then came back on reports of scathing media reports, only to find that his name was not even in the voters list!

Practice what you preach, Team Anna!

No Kidding!

If you are an Indian-origin parent in Norway, make sure you do not feed your kids by hand, or let them sleep in your bed...accordingly to Norwegian authorities, this is reason enough to take your kids away from you and put them in state care.

Wonder if they will take my cat away too?

Breaking news: The Indian government's diplomatic blitz has triumphed, and the babies will now be handed over to their uncle in India

Online Banking

With a change in my "active" phone number, I thought it was also necessary to update my contact number for my various credit cards. Was a pretty interesting exercise...

With HSBC, all it took was a quick phone call to their customer care center, they asked basic questions like my mother's maiden name, and birthday, and updated the phone number.

Bobcard was even easier - they didn't ask anything at all, just my credit card number, and updated the number :)

IndusInd was slightly more complicated - as part of the verification, they wanted to know the date of billing, the last amount paid, or the last three transactions - the exact amounts. Only after I digged out that information did they go ahead and change the phone number.

The most interesting, and not surprisingly, frustrating, was ICICI Bank. It took me all of 45 mins, talking to 4 different customer care associates, countless journeys through the extensive IVR menus, and yet, at the end of it all, I was no closer to getting my number changed. Their systems didn' recognize my CVV code, their systems would not allow me to generate an online pin, no matter what option we all tried, and without the online pin, there was no way to change the number. Finally, the exasperated customer care executive offered to get a pin sent to me by courier - expected to be delivered in 8-10 days, after which, hopefully, I will able to use it to get my number changed.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kohli King

Staring down the barrel at the end of a disastrous summer, India finally got their act together in an unbelievable batting performance, chasing down a 321 run target in just 36.4 overs, well inside the 40 overs they needed to win in to get a bonus point and stay in the hunt for a berth in the tri-series final. With Sachin and Sehwag giving a good, brisk start, Kohli and Gautam steadied the innings until Gautam departed, bringing Raina to the crease. Suddenly, Kohli cut loose, smashing boundary after boundary, and tearing into the Lankans, especially Malinga who conceded over 12.52 runs an over, to take India to safety. Kohli amassed 133 not out in just 86 balls, with 16 4s and 2 6s.

India now await the result of the final league game, and require Australia to beat Sri Lanka, to ensure a place in the best of 3 finals.

English Babu Desi Menus

Joke For The Day

A class 6 boy proposes to a class 10 girl.

Boy: I love you.
Gal: Stupid I'm elder than you.
Boy: I'm madly in love with you.
Gal: Get lost
Boy: Didi plzz...plzzz didi....


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Movie Review: Ek Deewana Tha

OK, this one, frankly, is a mixed bag. The acting by the leads is very amateurish, the story predictable and flat, the dialogue kiddish, and overall, the movie needed a lot more polish.

However, it has its moments. Amy Jackson sizzles (although her complexion changes as often as the twists in the tale), exuding a certain sexiness and innocence that's perfect for the role. The treatment of the story is very interesting. The use of Malyalam in the soundtrack and the dialogues adds tremendously to the atmosphere and the entertainment. The soundtrack isn't too bad, Hosanna being the best. And the locales in Goa and Kerela are beautiful!

The second half could have been snipped by another 15-20 mins, and if the leads could have got their act together, this could have been a pretty sweet movie!

Movie Review: The Son Of No One

When the cast has Al Pacino, the movie interests me. When the story involves cops and murders, it excites me. But when I fall asleep while watching a movie, it's mostly a sign that the pace is woefully inadequate, the thrill missing, and the movie a no-no.


Movie Review: The Woman In Black

Harry Potter goes to a remote English villa and gets scared on seeing a woman in black. Some kids get killed, the dog barks ominously, and the arm chair rocks by itself. Crows fly, some bodies are discovered in the marsh. Against movies like Paranormal Activity, and even our own Ragini MMS, leave alone the Rings, TWIB is a damp squib. The end is predictable. Harry Potter without his powers sucks.

Maybe I was just uninterested.

Either way, not recommended from my side.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Another wonderful example of customer service and customer focus.

All started with me needing to buy a book, which wasn't avaialble at Crossword. Decided to take a chance with Amazon, and quickly regretted it. First, it kept telling me my email was already registered, asked me questions like the last 4 digits of the CC I used in my earlier purchases to retreive my password saying it couldn't identify me only with my email, and after advising me to visit the customer care link for further help, took me right back to the CC number question. Finally, in desperation, I registered with my alternate email ID. Then it took me all my patience and intelligence to search for what I wanted, chose between the myriad options that came up, and check out my order - only to be told that the particular book I chose wasn't open for delivery to an Indian address.

I gave up, and on a hunch (actually, I love their ads, and that's what drove me to them!), visited

Found the book in 10 seconds. Gave my delivery address, used Netbanking to make payment, and I was done! It took me all of 120 seconds. No faltu waste of time on registration. Smartly, flipkart registered me behind the scenes, and sent me a welcome mail with my initial temporary password. Simply stunningly beautiful.

Just 2 days later, I had the package delivered at home. SMS and email notification. Plain, simple and superbly efficient.

And the book came packaged beautifully (they even had an option of getting it gift wrapped - which I did not opt for)., you have a fan!

The Yokos Make Their Debut

Samara has logged ~35K and I was eager to get rid of my stock 245 MRFs and get some new rubber, and the proposed Rajmachi trip on 11th March provided just the excuse I was looking for. Based on the encouragement and guidance, and a great deal brokered by my TBHPian friends, I got her a set of sexy 255/65 R16 Yoko Geolanders from Prabhat Tires (opp the Pune Corporation building) - got a hefty discount, free alignment/balancing, and a set of comfort pillows, as the package. Great guy at the shop too - Sairaj - had a nice conversation with me about what exactly we do to "Live to Drive"!

Some pics to oggle at...

Monday, February 13, 2012

TBHP Drive to Pavana Dam

Finally, after many false starts, I managed to attend one of the TBHP meets, a long drive to Pavana Dam. We kicked off from Paud Road under the Chandni Chowk flyover at 830. Caught up with folks at Talegaon, and with other folks from Mumbai at Kamshet, before proceeding to the dam. Once there, it was time for some pohe-patties, and lots of photos with the beauties. Then back to Sunny Da Dhaba for lunch (and beer), and then back home.

It was amazing meeting so many people with a shared passion and a sense of camaraderie and belonging. There were 12 cars, 5 SUVs, and 2 bikes, and around 40 crazy car lovers.

Here are some pics from the amazing event!

The cars start lining up opposite Paud Road CCD at 830 am

Red and Black

Crowd of enthusiastic TBHPians check out Samara while Sanam looks on with pride

"Doc" in his awesome Bullet

The meet generated a lot of interest among onlookers

Bhoberao Singham

The Big Boys

Finally, it's time for Sunny Da Dhaaba and some good lunch!

The Beauties

...with the Beasts

Pavana Dam

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Movie Review: Jerry Maguire

One of those iconic movies you always hear about, but somehow never get down to watching... finally got a chance to catch JM on Star Movies last night...

Very inspirational movie, for anyone who's going through a mid life crises, a tough time personally or professionally... and a must see movie for all those enterpreneurs and leaders striking out on their own...

Jerry Maguire is a very successful, living-it-large agent for sports stars, when one fateful day, he is dumped from his firm, leaving him with nowhere to go. With every big client choosing to stay with the firm and his rival, Jerry is left with just one struggling American football player as his client, and one colleague from his old firm who leaves her join to join him, inspired by one of his parting memos. They fall in love, get married, and struggle through all the ups and downs life throws at them, including a painful breakup, until one day, it all falls in place and life is beautiful again.

Tom Cruise has always been an attractive guy, but in Jerry Maguire, he pulls in a stunning performance displaying a wonderful range of emotions from cocky to confident to devastated to determined to defeated, from being in love to losing love, from being a lover boy to a loving father.  Rene Z is pretty, and vulnerable and strong at the same time..

Overall, a very touching movie, and highly recommended if you have been stupid enough like me not to see it yet...

Movie Review: Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu

A happy-go-lucky hairdresser meets a "perfectly average" out-of-work architect on Christmas eve in Vegas, they share a drink, and when they wake up in the morning, a la Hangover, they realize they have gotten married. Waiting for the marriage annulment two weeks later, they end up spending some special moments together, and fall in love...

Yes, there is a twist, if you may call it that...

But that's not what you should watch the movie for. Watch it for some great chemistry between Imraan and Kareena, who puts in yet another stirling performance, a repeat of her character in Jab We Met. She looks great, and makes you fall in love with her. Imraan is also good, reminding you of his character in Jaane Tu. They share some very memorable scenes - the scene in which she gifts him a camera, the scene in which she says he is allowed to disturb her at night, the scene in which she say thanks to him for her birthday...

Kareena's grandmom is played by this really cute lady, and you will love the scene in which she scolds Imraan. Absolutely brilliant :) Boman is completely wasted though, which is sad.

The soundtrack is the type that grows on you over time... the songs fit perfectly, and add tremendously to the movie. The Konkani para in Aunty Ji brought a big smile.

Overall, an enjoyable movie... and with the exception of a couple of unnecessary references to sex, a good family option.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The World This Week

Army Chief loses age battle against the government, gets a rap from the SC - +1 to that!

Court in the US rules Orcas Whales cannot sue Water World against Section something something about slavery, because the Section applies to humans, and whales are not humans. Smart!

15 year old Chennai student stabs teacher to death because she complained about his performance in a subject to his dad... is this what we as parents are encouraging by exposing our kids to violence on TV and films? Or is it just a stray, crazy incident? Is the world getting crazier, or are we just finding out because of too much exposure to TV and media?


Pune shivering at 4.6 degrees, apparently the coldest in decades... and just 0.2 more than Jammu Thursday morning :)

No wonder my cat wanted to get inside my sheets!


A friend's in Goa... messaging me to make me jealous.. and it's working.. I just close my eyes, and I can smell the salty Goan air, I can feel the sea breeze, I can see the streets, the fields, the sun going down.. I can taste the mussels...

I am going crazy...

I wanna be in Goa :(

Movie Review: Straw Dogs

When a Hollywood writer and his sexy young wife move to her old family cottage in a small American town, all they want is solitude, while he scripts his movie on the battle of Stalingrad. Little do they know that their own lives will be eerily similar to the Russians who were under siege in their own city... but will they be able to hold out?

The movie starts with a gentle pace, but the underlying tensions build, slowly but surely. When their cat is found killed, hanging in their closet, the gloves are off, and the movie hurtles towards the shocking climax.

Kate Bosworth is steaming hot (no wonder she sweats so much!)

Not a bad thriller.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Movie Review: The Double

When a US Senator is found with his throat slashed in a dark alley, the CIA fears the return of a dreaded Soviet assassin, leader of a feared gang of seven, and now long assumed to be dead. They call back retired agent Paul Shepherdson (Richard Gere), who life's mission was to track and hunt down the Soviets, and team him up with the rookie FBI detective Ben Geary (Topher Grace), who's been a long time "admirer and fan" of Paul and his nemesis. Who is this mystery assassin, why is Paul insisting he is dead, and does Geary's hunch about him have any truth?

The action and story are decent, and will entertain you, but it's not a nail biter.

(And yes, for Castle fans, watch out for Stana Katic in a short appearance!)

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Movie Review: Texas Killing Fields

A Texas County is rocked by a series of teen girl murders, and two detectives must give their all to stop the murderers before yet another victim falls prey. The story is nothing remarkable, but the pace is good, the drama decent, and the cinematography and screenplay make for an interesting watch.

Might look even better in theatres, I caught it on DVD.

Movie Review: Journey 2 The Mysterious Island

A teenager and his hunky stepfather hire a rickety helicopter with an old pilot and his sexy daughter (the gorgeous Vanessa Hudgens) in search for an mysterious island indicated to the teenager in a coded message by his long-lost grandfather, and end up crashing in paradise... a fantasy land of miniature elephants, giant bees and lizards, and the lost city of Atlantis. But the island is sinking, and the gang of 4 and the grand father must quickly find the rumoured centuries old submarine, and get it powered up using the powerful electric eels haunting the waters, to escape before they are consigned to the ocean.

Now, all that might sound very kiddish to you, and yes it is. But you will love the superb 3D visualizations (a movie I highly recommend to be seen in 3D), and while the kids lap up the fun, the dads can enjoy their own fantasy land with the super sexy Hudgens.

Good weekend entertainment.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Brave Catty :)

18 Year Old Hottie

Madhosh turns 18 next week, and has the looks, the skin and the figure to give every Sheila and Chikni Chameli a run for their money!

Lobster Treat

Surprise, surprise, this delicious butter garlic lobster was not in Goa, but very much in Amchi Pune at the Rahul restaurant in Aundh!

Goa Darshan

"Guy" on the beach at Little Vagator :)

Baywatch meets Bondi Rescue at Baga

"Spotted" at the beach

Just loved the setting at J&A at Arpora, and this couple looked so beautiful, finishing off a late dinner

A beautiful cup of frothy capuccino at J&A was a perfect way to end the day

High above the earth you fly, like a bird in the sky

Comfy Catties!

Catrina keeps a sleepy watch over my head, as I watch Penny in The Big Bang Theory

This cat was waiting for her fishy meal at the resort on the hill overlooking Little Vagator. By the way, who belled the cat?

Another spoilt kitty, this one in the manager's cabin at J&A in Arpora

Snuggled and cosy, Catrina takes a nap