Friday, January 30, 2004

Travel plans

The great drive starts tomorrow afternoon at noon, Rachu willing. We will drive straight down to Kolenchery with just bio and coffee breaks in between. Hopefully, we should reach there before midnight. Sindha's parents, sis, bro-in-law and nephew will arrive on the 1st. Her folks have already lined up a series of relatives to visit in and around the Ernakulam area, something I didn't want to do at all. Was planning to just sack out at my parents' place - laze around, read, watch a match or two, go for a dip in the nearby river/lake, etc. Oh, well. All that and the visits can happen too, I guess.

We plan to return by Wednesday evening. Again, Rachu willing.

Finalized my Mumbai trip too. Will be in Bangalore for just a few hours all of next week. Muhahaha.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Top reasons for being in Mumbai this weekend

1. has postponed his trip to Trivandrum. 'Nuff said.
2. Might be able to go to SP for recruitment, if the schedule fits
3. Can meet with my small team in i2 Mumbai
4. Can meet a few of the Mumbai based LJers on my friends list
5. Can meet fellow i2-er, friend and ex-mentor Rick who flew in from Dallas.
6. Can attend the Jethro Tull - Hariprasad Chaurasia concert.

And the only reason why I can't make it:

Am driving down to Kerala to stay with my parents for three days, something I haven't done for over a year and a half.

Good enough reason, me thinks.

Adaptation and the Oscars

Saw Adapatation the other day. Found it quite clever and well made. The ending felt slightly contrived and a bit too pat, given how the movie started off. That apart, I enjoyed every minute. Nicholas Cage turned out to be a much better actor than I imagined. Chris Cooper clearly deserved his Oscar too.

Speaking of which, here are my predictions for the major awards this year at the Oscars. These are those whom I think will win and not those which I think should. (I haven't seen most of these movies in any case !)

Best Picture - Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Best Director - Peter Jackson for Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Best Actor - I'll go out on a limb and guess Bill Murray (Lost in Translation) instead of Sean Penn (Mystic River) here
Best Actress - Charlize Theron for Monster
Best Original Screenplay - Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Back in Bangalore

Got back from Chennai today morning. Had a good trip - most of the time was spent babysitting Rachu, which was a lot of fun, really. She had a whale of a time, cruising around furniture in the house and being pampered by her dad and grand-aunt. We took her to the beach yesterday, which was a bit overwhelming for her. She did appear to enjoy dipping her feet in the water, but got tired and cranky quite fast.

Managed to read two books that have been on my must-read list for quite some time - The Alchemist and Pather Panchali. Liked the latter, lukewarm about the former.

*Yawn*. Off to bed.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Painful Post

I am have a severe pain the neck today - just hope its not a repeat of the backpain I had a couple of years back. Came from playing badminton every evening I'm sure, which just shows how evil exercise can be. Couch potatoes of the world, take note.

Have been feeling irritated all day. And there's a bunch of things to take care of before we leave. Gnah gnah gnah !!

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Friday, January 16, 2004

Travel Plans

Plan to be in Chennai from the 22nd to the 25th. Sindha has a conference to attend, so I get to babysit the kid. Will be staying at my aunt's house in Vadapalani. Luckily, the conference is being held at a college in Porur, which is close to my aunt's place.

We are also thinking of driving down to Kolenchery on the 31st, spend a few days with my parents. Sindha's folks will join us there. I am a little worried about driving down, haven't taken the car for such a long drive yet. We will need to do a bit of driving in the night, which I don't particularly fancy. Kichan should be there to help out with the wheel, so thats a relief.

Madhav Nair's Day Off

Had a lovely day off yesterday. Sindha and I left home in the morning and headed straight to Innovative Multiplex to check the show timings of Ek Hasina Thi, the only movie both of us agreed on. Found that it had a show at 1pm, drove off to Barista's on MG Road, the one in front of Barton Center. Chilled out there with a cup of coffee (current music - tere sang, ek simple si coffee bhi kick deti hai) and an orangey liquid called Mixed Fruit Tango. Moved on to a clothes shop in CMH Road where we picked up quite a few dresses for Rachana. Dropped in at 's new restaurant Shiok (hope I've got the name right) for a quick, delicious lunch and then made it to the theatre on time. Headed back home right after the movie, where Rachu was waiting with a smile. Topped off the evening with a round of badminton. Aah, perfect !

Ek Hasina Thi was good. It is definitely inspired from a host of books and movies - we could think of If Tomorrow Comes and the newer version of Double Jeopardy to begin with. I also thought there were several elements of Elmore Leonard, Tarantino and even Roald Dahl thrown in. However, the concoction does work. Just when you think you've figured it out and know the next scene, the director throws in a twist that leaves you wondering if you are really watching a Hindi movie. Quite unconventional. I thought all the actors save one did an excellent job. Saif was really, really good - this is eons away from his Dil Chahta Hai character. The only actor who didn't do justice to the role was Urmila. I've never been a fan of her acting, always thought she overacts - be it her role in Satya or the one in Bhoot. She doesn't really go over the top all the way here, but you do feel that a better actor (Karisma ? Kajol ? Tabu ?) would have excelled in this author-backed role.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004


Sindha and I are planning to take the day off tomorrow - not from work (its a holiday in any case) - but from home. We really wanted a day to ourselves without the baby around. Haven't decided what exactly to do, but we'll probably sneak out in the morning, catch a movie, do lunch and walk around MG Road/Commercial Street. Should be fun - its been ages since we spent some quality time together. Doesn't really make me feel like an ideal dad though. Oh, well.

In other news, we stared playing badminton in the evenings. More on this later.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Munnabhai, Fat Ollie and Cinema Paradiso

Saw Munnabhai MBBS yesterday on cable. Cliched in parts but good fun overall. The acting and direction were better than what you'd expect - I particularly liked Boman Irani, who played the dean of the college, and Arshad Warsi, who played Munnabhai's sidekick Circuit.

Polished off Ed McBain's Fat Ollie's Book yesterday night. Delicious, typical McBain fare. I must get hold of the previous book - Money, Money, Money - and the new one - The Frumious Bandersnatch - soon. Man, I love McBain. No one, just no one, does it better.

I haven't been able to locate a good DVD library that stores classic movies and is reasonably close to where I stay or work. Asking around in didn't help much. Habitat is beyond my commute, I would prefer something around Indiranagar/Airport Road/Whitefield, ideally. I guess I might have to join Leisure Hours. Their collection isn't bad, but they are quite expensive, if I remember right. Oh, for a Cinema Paradiso in Bangalore !

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Vernon God Little Part II

Well, whaddya know. The last hundred pages of the Little book totally engrossed me. Pierre put away his need to sound too much like an American teen and got down to some serious writing. I wasn't fully satisfied with the ending, but now I do believe I liked the book.

Friday, January 9, 2004

To do list over the weekend

Fix car stereo
Fix my teeth
Scout around for floor tiles (again !)
Buy a birthday card for Amma
Watch Munnabhai MBBS if it plays on cable (didn't do this on the weekend really, but what the heck)
A li'l bit of house-cleaning
Go for a drive with Sindha and Rachu
Book return tickets for the Chennai trip(got this done on Tuesday)

I'll be happy if half of these get done.

Thursday, January 8, 2004

Post #1

And so it begins

Post #400

And thus it ends.

Vernon God Little

I still don't think this is a great book. I haven't completed it yet, but I get the feeling I'm missing something here. Maybe I'm slow, maybe I haven't got the joke yet, maybe it will dawn on me towards the end. I still haven't found anything really compelling that would make me keep on reading.

DBC Pierre writes as though he is not very comfortable with the style he selected, I found quite a few phrases forced into the narrative. Ok, the protagonist has a thing about 'Number 2'. But there are only so many scatalogical references you can take. "My mouth twitched like an asshole" - erm, I'd rather not visualize that, thank you very much.

Catcher in the Rye for the 21st century ? I think not.

Monday, January 5, 2004

does writin like dis bother j00 ? shudnt be a pbl...

does writin like dis bother j00 ? shudnt be a pblm prolly. the msg is comin thru, rite ?

Loot and looted

Went to three bookstores over the weekend. Didn't feel fully satisfied with my browsing since Rachu was awake and wanted to devour all the books she saw. Still, managed to utilize the Rs 1000 book coupon I had won from last week's quiz. Spent another 1000+ at FountainHead and bought a couple of McBains from Blossoms.

A slight risk, but have decided to give Indian writing one more try Another risk, but the story sounded interesting Mainly for Sindha The Booker winner - hasn't started off very well, I'm not impressed so far...

This is on jace's recco A collection of his movie and book reviews from the New Yorker - looks great A new 87th precint book - looks very promising Another McBain for my collection

Sequel to Angela's Ashes which I haven't finished yet Might be good, supposedly one of Naipaul's better books

Couldn't get a graphic for the last book - The Mugger, by Ed McBain. This is the second book in the 87th Precint series and the second time I'm buying it ! Me and my memory, sheesh !

came over on Saturday evening and left with almost three-fourth of my movie collection. I had forgotten to bring back the Kurusawas from office, though. They were the ones he'd actually wanted. Next time for sure, buddy ! I did locate them at office, btw.

Friday, January 2, 2004

New Year's Eve and Day

Spent the Eve shopping for a dvd player and a microwave. Finally wound up buying both from Vivek's, at what I believed was a good price. We picked up a base model Kenstar microwave and a Philips 625K dvd player. Tried out the latter successfully, but haven't yet experimented on the former.

The rest of the evening was uneventful. Stayed at home, watched tv and made several unsuccessful attempts to sms folks at midnight.

Rachu had a bad hangover on New Year's Day. Well, she was puking like crazy till late afternoon anyway. We have not yet found out the cause of the problem, but think its either the mushrooms that Sindha ate the previous day or the egg that we fed her in the morning. It was quite sad to see the poor thing collapse in my arms, dehydrated and exhausted. She is much better today, though not completely cured.

Saw my first ever DVD - Gangs of New York. The video store guy had a copy of Kill Bill too, but I didn't want to take it as I was pretty sure it was a pirated version. Might check it out later. Ebert's review of Gangs is good, the last paragraph pretty much sums up what I thought of the movie

[snip]...I do not think this film is in the first rank of his masterpieces. It is very good but not great. I wrote recently of "GoodFellas" that "the film has the headlong momentum of a storyteller who knows he has a good one to share." I didn't feel that here. Scorsese's films usually leap joyfully onto the screen, the work of a master in command of his craft. Here there seems more struggle, more weight to overcome, more darkness. It is a story that Scorsese has filmed without entirely internalizing. The gangsters in his earlier films are motivated by greed, ego and power; they like nice cars, shoes, suits, dinners, women. They murder as a cost of doing business. The characters in "Gangs of New York" kill because they like to and want to. They are bloodthirsty, and motivated by hate. I think Scorsese liked the heroes of "GoodFellas," "Casino" and "Mean Streets," but I'm not sure he likes this crowd.

Watching a movie on DVD is definitely a whole new experience ! I'm now looking forward to 's return. Heh, heh.

There is still time

If you live on the West coast of the US that is, to wish a happy birthday !

Thursday, January 1, 2004

You hear a lot of sounds out here in my current h...

You hear a lot of sounds out here in my current home. Buses that ply on the road outside, workmen building a house next door, vendors peddling their wares, etc.

There are sounds from within the house too - Rachana crying, sounds from the kitchen and sounds from the washing area outside. The maid loves washing, if you hear loud thumping sounds thats likely to be jeans; on the other hand if its a much softer sound, then its likely to be...


Sorry, just couldnt resist that!