Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Five of the best from my 2008

Movies: The Dark Knight, Wall-E, No Country For Old Men, Juno, Rock On!

Books: Norwegian Wood, The Yiddish Policemen's Union, No Country For Old Men, In Spite of the Gods, The Road

Music: Khwaje Mere Khwaja, Kabhi Kabhi Aditi, Viva La Vida, Millionaire, Pappu Can't Dance

Happy New Year!

2008 & 2009

It's been a mixed year, like most others. Ups and downs, professional and personal. A year of very little interaction on LJ, though. I didn't post much, you guys didn't either. Blame it on Twitter, Facebook, Orkut and what have you. Blame it on laziness. Old age. Ennui.

Or perhaps blame it on the fact that society itself is moving towards instant gratification, capsule reviews, micro updates. No one wants to spend more than five minutes on anything anymore. And even if you do, why do you watch a movie? Because everyone's talking about it, because you won't be cool if you don't talk about it too. Why read a book? Because it's won the Booker and everyone's talking about it. Because the movie had millions of teenage girls queuing up, shrieking. Why have an opinion? You don't need to. Not when you can copy paste others viewpoints to your twitter.

I am getting old. 37 in a few months, for crying out loud! I never believed I would be this old, to be honest. Nor did I think I would lose this much hair.

And you guys have aged too. and , did you ever think you'd be a dad one day? , did you know you'd write for Rolling Stone magazine? , did you see yourself being rated India's #1 Twitter user?

What I'd like for 2009 though is to write more and read more. Read what you guys really think about these days. Put aside that damn Twitter or Facebook status update for a few minutes. Write about language, ! About Delhi, about Mumbai, . About comics, about music, . About technology, about the sheer magic of being a geek, . About life itself, all of you. Don't be comfortably numb. Please.

Happy New Year, everyone.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A New Age

Another reason why I love Roger Ebert. Go read it, please. And the original post which kicked off the whole ruckus.

And oh, while you are at it, please read Poe's Law too.


Monday, August 11, 2008


Abhinav Bindra wins the gold in the 10m air rifle event. India's first ever individual gold medal at the Olympics! Woo-hoo!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Blasts in bangalore

7 bomb blasts in Bangalore, reportedly. I'm ok. Shutting down office, getting people to leave. Take care, all.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Couple of movies, couple of books

Don't get me wrong, I thought Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Hey-nonny-no was watchable. I did laugh at times, especially when Ratna Pathak Shah was around. The cameos were well done and some of the one-liners had zing. That said, I found the gang of friends quite insipid. Everyone in that group save Jai (Imran Khan) was one dimensional. I couldn't really figure out what made the group tick. Why was Aditi popular? What do the others do apart from hanging around the leads and singing chorus? Hmm. Pass, could do better is my verdict, Mr Tyrewala*.

Aamir, now. The movie, not the director/actor/producer/blogger. A bit fantastic, the way the protagonist gets into terrible trouble a few minutes into the film. However, the excellent direction, sets and acting make up for some of the harder to digest moments. The lead actor, Rajeev Khandelwal, seems to have had a blast.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Christian reading two books, each of which have the word 'God' in their titles, must be very devout and will pull you into church and get you baptised at the drop of a hat. Even if the books were titled In Spite of the Gods and The God Delusion. No one is safe.

*Which reminds me, I need to go to the gym.

Friday, June 27, 2008

KQA's 25th

The KQA's 25th Anniversary is being celebrated with a two day quiz festival starting tomorrow, the 28th of June. and I are setting the Entertainment Quiz, scheduled for 3pm tomorrow at the St Joseph's Boys High School, Bangalore.

FYI & A, as they say around here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Going Legit

Like the Corleone family, I'm going legit. I've stopped my visits to National Market, avoided visiting torrent sites and have turned over a new byte.

Honest. All my recent movie acquisitions have been from stores. Spent money on the Final Cut edition of Blade Runner. Bought the 12 disc special edition of Lord of the Rings. Bought a bunch of games like Sid Meier's Railroads!, Shogun, F.E.A.R, Age of Mythology, etc. Downloaded a valid version of World of Warcraft and after some epic quests, managed to get a paid account that works from India*.

Why, you may ask. Because I can. So there.

* Thanks, and

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Celebrity blogs

Ram Gopal Varma seems to be the latest to hop on the blog bandwagon. Though I didn't particularly care for his blog, I found some of his responses to comments quite amusing. This, for instance:

Comment: Please make commercially successful films.

Ans: Thanks for the advice. It didn’t occur to me.


Comment: A study on you would be incomplete without AAG.

Ans: Ahhhhh! You are telling me! The greatest education I have ever had in my life with regards to cinema, my life and my self is due to AAG and its aftermath. I must have had one million twenty seven lakh thirty thousand and twenty three advises, and criticisms not including the ones I deduced myself. Now you can see how much more richer I am. Want any charity?

I think they are human too, these actors and directors.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tech Notes

So there I was, trying to use the World of Warcraft downloader and it telling me some of my ports were blocked. It apparently needs a set of ports to be open and enabled. I googled and found that I need to setup port forwarding for faster downloads. But that assumes a static IP for my computer. My setup is something like this:

Airtel --> Huawei modem with DHCP enabled --> Netgear router with DHCP, which doles out IP addresses to my VOIP adapter, my laptop, my desktop and any rogue machines in the wireless vicinity that are aware of my SSID.

Fixing a static IP for my desktop was the first step. I could set it up in my Negear router itself, by assigning a fixed ip to the MAC id of the desktop. Then I moved on to the Huawei modem and went into the Virtual Servers section. Added the ports needed by the WoW downloader. Restarted the modem. Moved to the router and went to the Port Forwarding section, ditto. The final part was configuring my Comodo firewall to allow TCP-in on those ports. Everything worked like a charm and I felt so proud of myself.

Until I found the Vundo trojan happily resting in my machine. Sigh.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I just can't wait...

From left to right: Silhouette, Mothman, Dollar Bill, Nite Owl, Captain Metropolis, The Comedian (kneeling), Silk Spectre, and Hooded Justice.

March 6, 2009. I just can't wait.

Image from Ain't It Cool News.

Friday, May 9, 2008


Good Josh!

This is from Oliver Stone's upcoming biopic, W. Should be interesting.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


It's all coming together. The three great obsessions of Indians - cricket, politics and films. Add a dash of eye-candy and music, and you have the perfect masala mix that can keep a nation enthralled for a month and more.

We have Shah Rukh Khan, that matchless actor. We have Vijay, the younger chieftain. We have Preity Zinta and Akshay Kumar. There's Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi, Prime Ministers in waiting, along with current and past Chief Ministers. We have businessmen. Beer and cheerleaders. Not to mention the scandals and the spice. Inconsequential cricket matches get higher TRP ratings than saas-bahu serials? Of course. You have slap-happy characters on the cricket field too. You have tears. You have what it takes to keep everyone's eyes glued to the telly. Ads galore, buy more, spend more.

Everything is condensed into a tiny capsule, fit for mass consumption. The Times of India-fication of our nation is now complete.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


When I was reading books and growing up, both at the same time, I used to come across words and phrases that weren't used in regular conversation. Not in Thiruvananthapuram, at least. No, not the words you think, but stuff like "chuckle", "what the", "darn it to heck" and the like. Me and my cousin found out that "chuckle" meant smile or laugh. After that, we often chuckled at each other. Literally. For example, he'd say something funny and I'd say "Chuckle, chuckle".

"What the" came out of comic books, mainly the superhero variety. On a side note, it wasn't until I met the illustrious that I realized there could be other varieties. Anyway. I used to read a lot of Superman those days, which usually had characters like Jimmy Olsen or Clark Kent who, when confronted with a super villain, went "What the..!". I used to wonder, this time without my cousin, what this expression meant. I didn't really think I was missing a word, it seemed to be complete in itself. I finally figured it was an exclamation of surprise, but nothing much more. As a result, while playing cricket with the neighbourhood kids, I used to often cry out "What the!" when the ball I thought was a perfect yorker was launched right out of the park.

We now come to "Darn" and "Heck". I confess I went twenty seven years without knowing that these words were substitutes used by God-fearing folks when they wanted to curse. I realized this when I was on a chat site long back and I said "Heck" in conversation. One fellow chatter, from Canada if I remember right, immediately said "Oh, we have a devout Christian boy in our midst!". It was then that enlightenment dawned. Since then, I've always been fucking explicit when I chat.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Vuja-de and a compulsive confession

I experienced the opposite of deja-vu yesterday night. Rachu brought her toy phone to the dinner table and was carrying on an animated conversation with her best friend, Malavika. I had to yell at her to stop using her phone at dinner. I can clearly see myself repeating this in a few years.

I have a confession to make. You've read the Rediff message boards, haven't you? Well, that's all me. Yup. The folks who commented on reservations yesterday, the Amitabh controversy, even the Valentine's day comments. All mine. Yeah, you knew those were too good to be true, right? Right.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Second RIP entry for the day

And now Raghuvaran is dead. Not that I was a big fan, but still. He was good in Shiva, Anjali and Daivathinte Vikruthikal, from the movies I've seen.

RIP Clarke

He's on his way to Rendezvous with Rama, probably.

His three laws:

  1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

  2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

  3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

I hope the David Fincher - Morgan Freeman film gets made.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Nice line

Homage without innovation isn’t homage, it’s karaoke.

From Matt Zoller Seitz's review of Doomsday.

Friday, March 14, 2008

No more Mr Nice LJ

Great. For the first time, I'm unhappy with LJ. Not the site per se, but the management behind it. Take a look at this news post which sneaked in something totally under the radar. I had read it yesterday, dismissed it as another one of those crappy pat-ourselves-on-the-back announcements which don't mean anything much, but are harmless. Turns out a lot of LJers read it the same way, till this one comment. All hell broke loose after that, and I'm glad it did.

Check out 's view on this (thanks, ). was quick to respond to the user community with another post, making their position clear.

I have two problems with this. One is of course the fact that it is no longer possible for a new user to have a basic, ad-free account. The second is the sneaky, underhanded way this was announced to the LJ community:

Other changes you may have noticed are the logged-out homepage and registration process for new users. We streamlined and simplified things so that now it’s faster and easier than ever to create a LiveJournal account.


I had converted to a paid account a couple of months back. Not because I wanted the features offered, but I thought it was time I gave something back to LJ. This is my 7th year running on LiveJournal and I've benefited tremendously. Made some great friends, learnt a lot of interesting stuff, recruited some amazing people and frankly, had something to look forward to when I logged into my computer every day.

None of that changes, of course. But I'm no longer as big a fan of LJ as I was earlier. And I don't think LJ gives a damn.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Tropic Thunder

The pic below is from Ben Stiller's upcoming film, Tropic Thunder. The plot, sounding quite similar to ¡Three Amigos!, deals with a group of actors who are forced to become the soldiers they are portraying. Hopefully, it should be as funny as Stiller's last movie as a director, Zoolander.

Anyway. Guess the man in the circle.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Heard of the Mallu rock band Avial? Their album came out recently, it's available on Musicyogi. Highly recommended.

This is probably their best song, the one that got them noticed:

Saturday, March 1, 2008

No Country For Old Men

Loved the movie, need to watch it again.

I didn't find the much talked about ending ambiguous. There wasn't any ambiguity, there really wasn't anything to misunderstand. The ending was just way different from traditional movie climaxes, especially when you've been led to believe you were watching a convetional albeit very well made thriller.

Yeah, right. The Coens and conventional.

The first reaction me and my wife had was quite similar to this. You can find a more serious discussion here, if you have watched the film and want to know more.

I'm happy No Country.. won Best Picture. Very un-Academy like, I'd say.