Thursday, July 31, 2003

Here we go again

Bloody hell ! Another trip to Dallas. For another one hour presentation !

Scenes Revealed

And here are the answers to my earlier post on movies. The spoiler warning holds good, so caveat enter !

And oh, 's comment has been unscreened

1. The scene about the bulletin board, coffee cup, etc is from The Usual Supects, directed by Brian Singer and scripted by Christopher McQuarrie. I've probably spoiled the movie already for those who haven't watched it, but I sure don't want to spoil it further. No more comments

2. The scene about Mary's beheading is from Pyscho, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and scripted by Joseph Stefano, based on an original novel by Robert Bloch. Mary from the book was changed to Marion, the beheading was changed to stabbing and a few other changes were incorporated, to make this one of the most memorable movie sequences of all time. Like I said, there is enough trivia here to fill a book. Chocolate sauce, turkish melons, the censor board's complaint about Janet Leigh's nipple, Ann Dore, Marli Renfro, Saul Bass et al are keywords. Remind me to discuss all this over a beer sometime

3. Helicopters and Wagner are from Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now, based on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Robert Duvall won an Academy Award for his small role here. Other famous quotes from the movie: "Saigon. Shit. I'm still in Saigon" and "The horror ! The horror !". Lastly, if you want to see what Morpheus was like when he was young and restless, watch the movie. Heh.

4. The Charley dialogue was from Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront. Or like puts it, Ghulam. Or Parinda. The actor was Brando, of course. Charley was played by Rod Steiger.

4b. My favorite. This is from Martin Scorcese's Raging Bull. Robert de Niro played the role of Jake la Motta in one of the most brilliant performances I've ever seen. This dialogue is towards the end of the movie when la Motta has fallen to performing at nightclubs, reciting from great authors.

5. was right, the last line here was a giveaway - "Well, nobody's perfect". One of the most famous last lines in movies. The film is Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot. An absolutely brilliant - and timeless - laugh riot. I think it was remade into Hindi with Rishi Kapoor. What was it called, Hera Pheri ?

6. The "Hereeeeee's Johnny!" scene is from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, based on a Stephen King novel. Jack Nicholson plays the deranged Jack Torrance who goes after his wife and son towards the end of the film. Worth a watch. I found the movie genuinely creepy.

7. The line "I'll have what she is having" is from Rob Reiner's When Harry Met Sally, scripted by Nora Ephron. This is the classic reaction line to Meg Ryan's superb illustration of how easily women can fake an orgasm. A customer seated close by, played by Estelle Reiner (the director's mother), tells the waitress ready to take her order: "I'll have what she is having". One of my favorite movies. Get hold of the script if you can't see the movie

8. Had to put a Marx Bros movie in there. This is from Duck Soup directed by Leo McCarey, in which Groucho plays Rufus T Firefly, the president of Freedonia. Many a memorable line here, but I thought these were the funniest. This has the famous mirror pantomime scene, imitated in countless Hindi movies, mostly by Amitabh. Again, get hold of the script - and try not to die laughing.

Well, that was fun !

Wednesday, July 30, 2003


Priyadarshan says Hungama is based on the Charles Dickens' play, The Strange Gentleman ! There ! I always wanted to know the inspiration behind Poochakkoru Mookkuthy, the only Priyan movie which appeared original...

Tuesday, July 29, 2003


Bob Hope didn't mean much to me. But Johnny Walker's death leaves me a little sad...

Scenic Stuff

Because I was bored, because I haven't set a quiz in a long time, because I stopped receiving quiznet mails, because I love movies:

Identify the movies from the descriptions below. These could be descriptions of scenes from a movie, dialogue or just general background to the film. There are a few spoilers, so please, please click on the lj-cut tag below only if you are a movie buff who has the confidence of having seen or at least heard about 'em all ! Then again, if you are a genuine movie buff, all of these should be sitters. The idea is not to have unanswerable questions, but to tease your brain into rememembering these moments from the movies...

1. The screenwriter wrote the scene about the police lineup first. He then wrote the bulletin board scene and then the rest of the movie, effectively written in reverse. The most famous scene has a crashing coffee cup, a bulletin board display and a fax machine taking forever to display a face. There is also a voice saying "It's all there, I'm telling it straight, I swear". The director has this to say about the scene: "It was one of those rare occasions when you could lie to an audience and because there were so many aspects to the film the audience would accept lies - it made the ending all the more exciting and powerful."

2. The original novel describes this scene with the words: "Mary started to scream, and then the curtains parted further and a hand appeared, holding a butcher's knife. It was the knife that, a moment later, cut off her scream. And her head." This ended Chapter Three. 'Nuff said, there is enough trivia about this scene to fill a whole book.

3. Helicopters swarming out of the dawn light to flatten a village. Speakers blasting out Wagner's 'Ride of the Valkyries'. Surfing. Explosions. The smell of napalm in the morning. Insanity.

4. "You was my brother, Charley. You should've looked out for me a little bit. You should've taken care of me - just a little bit - so I wouldn't have to take them dives for the short-end money...You don't understand! I could've had class. I could've been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am. Let's face it (pause) ...... It was you, Charley."

4 b. I had asked this question on quiznet long back. The lines above were uttered by an all time great who won an Academy Award for his role. These lines were spoken again by another all time great in another great movie, who also went on to win an Oscar. Who ?

5. "I called Mama. She was so happy she cried. She wants you to have her wedding gown. It's white lace."
"Yeah, Osgood. I can't get married in your mother's dress. Ha ha. That - she and I, we are not built the same way."
"We can have it altered."
"Aw no you don't! Osgood, I'm gonna level with you. We can't get married at all."
"Why not?"
"Well, in the first place, I'm not a natural blonde."
"Doesn't matter."
"I smoke. I smoke all the time."
"I don't care."
"Well, I have a terrible past. For three years now, I've been living with a saxophone player."
"I forgive you."
"I can never have children."
"We can adopt some."
"You don't understand, Osgood. (Changing to manly voice.) I'm a man."
"Well, nobody's perfect."

6. He stalks her into the bathroom, lurches after her, saying "Little pigs, little pigs, let me come in...Not by the hair on your chinny, chin - chin...Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in!" He smashes his way into the bathroom door, with each stroke of the blade jutting through the wood, as his screaming wife watches his progress with her butcher knife poised to strike. He peers through the broken slats with an evil grin and perversely exclaims: "Hereeeeee's Johnny!"

7. "I'll have what she is having"

8. Couldn't resist this - another long one to wind up:

- Never mind that stuff. Take a card
- Card? What will I do with the card?
- You can keep it. I've got fifty-one left. Now what were you saying?
- As chairwoman of the reception committee, I welcome you with open arms.
- Is that so? How late do you stay open?
- I've sponsored your appointment because I feel you are the most able statesman in all Freedonia.
- Well, that covers a lot of ground. Say! You cover a lot of ground yourself. You'd better beat it. I hear they're gonna tear you down and put up an office building where you're standing. You can leave in a taxi. If you can't get a taxi, you can leave in a huff. If that's too soon, you can leave in a minute and a huff. You know, you haven't stopped talking since I came here. You must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle.

.. and later..

- Not that I care, but where is your husband?
- Why, he's dead.
- I'll bet he's just using that as an excuse.
- I was with him to the very end.
- Hmmph. No wonder he passed away.
- I held him in my arms and kissed him.
- Oh, I see. Then, it was murder. Will you marry me? Did he leave you any money? Answer the second question first.
- He left me his entire fortune.
- Is that so? Can't you see what I'm trying to tell you? I love you.
- Oh, your Excellency!
- You're not so bad yourself.

Monday, July 28, 2003

Money matters

Finally signed up for the house. Paid the builder a cheque that almost wiped clean my bank account . Need to pay up a similar amount by Wednesday. Scary, really. Brrr.

I'm redeeming all my mutual funds apart from a couple of bond funds that don't move much anyway. Might keep HDFC equity fund also alive as a nest egg. I've cashed in most of my stocks too - the ongoing bull run has helped me no end.

HDFC is helping out on the home loan front, but the way their EMIs fluctuate each time I talk to them is wierd. Need to have them put it in writing asap. ICICI has been dogging me too. They seem to segrate prospects linguistically. When I went to them for a car loan, they had a Malayalee talk to me. Now for the house, I initially met a Mr Mukherjee over the phone and another Mr Mukherjee in person ("He is D. Mukherjee, sir. I am R. Mukherjee"). A day later I have yet another good soul from ICICI call me up and ask, "Naattil evide aanu veedu ?". Hmm.

HDFC also wants me to give them an undated cheque for the entire loan amount, which they say they will return when I give them the original agreement papers. Eeks ! My life isn't worth that much. What the heck am I getting into here ?

A very good Sunday after a long while. Rachana was quiet and well behaved. My parents left for Kerala early in the morning. Sindha and I lazed around the house, reading and listening to music. Peace.

Not sure how Sindha can manage without anyone around at home, though. Both sets of parents are now back in Kerala. I need to get home early most days, hope I can manage that.

Started reading Ripley's Game, thanks to this reminder from 's journal. Pretty good so far, better than Ripley Underground anyway. Highsmith has a very cool, almost cold style of wrting. Ripley is one of the most interesting characters I've read.

Saw half of Cider House Rules on Zee MGM. Since Irving wrote the screenplay, the movie was quite similar to the book.Some of the characters haven't been etched out very well though. Should try to see the second half on a repeat sometime.

Shakespeare in Love has been on my vcd deck for about a week now. Watching movies is next to impossible when you have a baby at home.

Friday, July 25, 2003

Monday, July 21, 2003

God's Own Restaurant

Tried out this new restaurant at Koramangala (near Jyothi Nivas College), called Padippura. Man, its probably the best mallu restaurant I've been to. Then again, like says, aren't they all ?

This place has a buffet lunch, kerala style, for just Rs 75 ! The decor is really good and quite unlike the one-step-better-than-a-mess ones I've visited recently. Buffet menu: chicken, fish, boiled rice, white rice, avial, sambar, theeyal, thoran, mezhukku purattiyathu, chammandi, pappadam, sambharam and payasam. Burp !

In news from the email front, I switched back to hotmail from netscape. Sorry, I just had to use an id thats stable and will survive in the long run. So sue me.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Word's Worth

Madhya Nadir - Friends:

2fargon, attiring, Bangalore, beats, beer bal, betel, buoy, birdonthewire, bobbin, boondocks, brains, cal Hobbes, Charles, chitin, contented bloke, hempen, Dilbert feed, eve_l_incarnata, fleeting moments, fling, foxtrot feed, fuss, ggollerkeri, grafixgirl, Grecian urn, harish_an, thorny, its joy, jade, jackal, jayasankarvs, jessyleen, jog, kalian, kanishka_sinha, karalla, Horvath, kaka, lj_nifty, madman, mkuruvil, mom, maim, mythrandyr, nachiketj, news, novellas, oolong, ox toxic, parody, Poona, Powell, preamp, psasidhar, psyched sunshine, quark, raga, random trivia, rates, rave, relining, scherazade, sea crow, seagull_29, shankerbalan, carat, saurian, Sid carter, spykeraven, surrender, tailback, auk, evened, Vijay, hazed, yell Sonja

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Another one of those husband-wife conversations

Me: "She looks lovely, don't you think ? So cute"
She: "She's extremely ugly"
Me: "What do you mean ?!!"
She: "Just look at that scowl on her face..there ! Now she's making all kinds of faces. Look at that double chin..I'm going to call her Dudley"
Me: "Dudley who ? Dudley Do-Right ?"
She: "Dudley as in Harry Potter"
Me: ".."
She: "Now she's banging her head against my chest. Maybe I should call her Dobby instead"

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Random notes

  • The King of Torts is probably the worst book I've ever read

  • Boiled tapioca and chicken liver fry is a nice combination

  • My cd-writer cannot read and hence cannot write. Need to start a saaksharatha program soon

  • The position of the TV is the most important decision while finalizing the plan of your new house

  • Mothers can be more intimidating than mother-in-laws

  • I need a good developer for my team

  • MSN messenger 6.0 is pretty nifty

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Of promotions, houses, boys, office space and baby girls

Sindha got promoted ! There she was, moping around at home post-delivery, wondering if her job would still be there when she returned to the college. Her principal calls up yesterday evening and congratulates her on the delivery, and extends it by saying "I've recommended you for the post of lecturer" ! Now she hasn't yet seen anything in writing and is not very clear on what this 'recommending her' means, but it does look likely that she has been promoted. This is good. This means a bunch of things, the biggest of which is that we don't need to think of returning to Kerala any time soon. All right !

I've given the legal papers of the site to Biju Small, a lawyer friend of mine. The Small is to differentiate him from another Biju, Biju Large. Now Biju Large gets his name not because of his size, but from a term commonly used in relation to measures of alcohol. But I digress

I also plan to show my dad the site and if possible, take an architect friend of his along. If all the above people certify that the property is good, we will go ahead. Should be able to decide in a week or thereabouts.

ARR's Boys is good. It has a very youthful, peppy feel to it. Catchy tunes, cheesy lyrics as always. Then again, I'm getting old.

Two new additions to my divx collection - Raiders of the Lost Ark and Office Space. I haven't seen Office Space yet, but had a peek at the first 10 minutes and liked it. I can see why its supposed to be a modern cult classic (if that phrase exists).

Rachana looks set to be a mimicry artist. She makes all kinds of sounds both asleep and awake. Grunts, sighs, tuneful moans and what have you. She has an interested look on her face when I play music, especially ARR (or so I would like to believe). She also seems to mistake me for the WC; she waits the whole day for me to get home and take her in my arms, especially after I've had a bath and changed into clean clothes. Maybe its my singing to her which does it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2003

And a house too !

This is happening so fast I can barely believe it. Sindha and I went looking for a house to rent in the Whitefield area. We didn't find anything good and within budget, so we were on our way back when we thought of checking out a new property coming up at Brookefields. Its a set of 20 row houses, located just behind the HLL corporate office and a stone's throw away from Ryan International School. We really liked the place and found it affordable too. Met the builder on Monday and signed up by giving a token advance ! Am now getting calls from housing finance companies and talking to various people on the merits and demerits of this property.

In all likelihood, we will go ahead. Just need to get the legal part checked out (a lawyer friend will do that) and get a good deal from one of the finance companies. Citi and HDFC are offering the best rates (8.25% for a 15 year tenure) but I've heard that PSU banks like SBI are better in terms of service. Does anyone have experience here ? What would you recommend ?

Friday, July 4, 2003

Odds and Ends

Longish update, hence the various lj-cuts.

Bought a few cds the other day, but don't tell Sindha - Meesa Madhavan, Nammal, The Ragpicker's Dream and a compilation of 18 modern rock hits. The last one is pretty good, though I thought all the artistes sound very similar. I was impressed with bands like Linkin Park, GooGoo Dolls, Nickleback, etc.

Has anyone got the new Metallica album, by the way ? I saw an ad that mentioned Planet M (or was it MusicWorld) was giving away caps with each cd. I'd like to see a good review before I buy it.

All my listening gets done in the car these days, what with the baby and people around the house all the time. Sindha's sis and family are at home right now. The house has been having a steady stream of visitors for quite some time. My ma-in-law will return to Tvm on the 13th, the day my parents reach here. Achan will be in the Ashram mostly, but Amma plans to stay home till the end of July.

I'd like to move into a new apartment somewhere in Whitefield by the end of the month. Prestige Langleigh is what I have my eye on, but I heard that the rent for a 3 bedroom apt there is close to Rs 20,000, which is ridiculous. Out in the boondocks and 20k for a flat ? My budget is more in the 10-12k range. If anyone hears of a good flat in that area, please let me know. Much obliged.

I had tagged along with Kamalachitta and co when they visited a relative of Kunjachan. This chap has a son who has done pretty much the same thing as I - hooked up his pc to the music system and the tv. He had a nice collection of divx movies, mainly new ones though. I noticed two Monty Pythons (Life of Brian and the Holy Grail), seeing which I immediately asked for copies. He also had this movie called Pi which has been on my must-watch list. However I didn't get time to copy that.

The office folks continue their merry spree of downloading the latest movies. They do come up with a few good ones from time to time. I'm picking up Raiders of the Lost Ark and Bowling for Columbine from the Bombay office. Office Space was another movie that I copied over from a machine on the network here. Oh, Bandwidth !

The baby is keeping quite well. We have decided to name her Rachana as planned, despite strong resistance from the l-j community. I went to the Registration Office at Kamaraj Road to get her birth registered. I have this morbid fear of government offices. You have seedy looking characters loitering around the place, who approach you with an ingratiating smile and a promise to get the job done at a small fee. You don't know the language, you don't know which window/clerk to approach, you don't know which forms to sign. You give up and give the set of papers to the agent and pay him an exorbitant amount to get the job done. You exit with the certificate in your hand, happy to get what you wanted but guilty and embarassed over paying a bribe.

Thankfully this place wasn't anything like I imagined. I had a bit of trouble finding the location but once I went inside, it was smooth sailing. The gentleman at the desk wasn't overly friendly, but was professional and explained what exactly needs to be done. I filled up the form (in Kannada, but luckily I had a spare copy filled in earlier) and coughed up Rs 65 for the paperwork. I need to go there on Saturday to collect the birth certificate. Smooth and easy, no shady characters, no bribes. Nice.

And in case anyone's interested, here's what you need for registering a birth:
1. A certificate from the hospital
2. A couple of forms filled in, you can get this from the registration office or the SBO (Sub Health Office, or some such)
3. You should know the exact SBO to go to. The Karnataka govt has a nice website which gives details on where you need to go.
4. Rs 65
5. The name of the baby, if you want the certificate to include the name

And now for the weekend...!