Tuesday, December 29, 2009

10 Movies That Rocked My World '09

Another year gone by and did I watch a lot of movies or what. But I feel that somehow I spent more time on TV shows this year than watching movies. It was like like undergrad once again, though, because since June 1st week I watched a movie every week at the Theaters, some weeks even two. Phew!! hard work. I would like to thank Raghu for being a sport and a constant companion to the Theaters. I felt this year several directors I was rooting for failed to live up to their past work, James McTegue with Ninja Assassin coming off the spectacular V for Vendatta, or Balki with Paa which for me was not as good as Cheeni Kum. Even Tony Scott fizzled out with The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 . However the year ended on a wonderful note with Avatar , Sherlock Holmes and 3 Idiots ringing in the New Year Cheers early. OK so here goes my list of 10 movies that I saw this year, which did not necessarily release this year, but which I got around to seeing this year.
  1. Gwoemul aka The Host

This 2006 Korean film is about a family hunting a giant Lochness type River Monster after it takes away their daughter. It is a gripping story and I was amazed at the bold choice to actually throw in humor during some really poignant scenes. There is a scene where the family is mourning the death of the daughter and it is sad, because for one it is a child that has died, but in between the uncle and father start brawling , blaming the father for the death , and it veers to slapstick comedy. Sounds absurd but the scene works so well, invoking both emotions in good measures. There are several beautifully shot scenes which the filmmakers could have easily used on the poster. The climax is so intense and it draws you in , your teeth gritting with rightful indignation , you are rooting for the family to vanquish this most foul beast. This is what cinema is all about. Guiding you through a gamut of emotions , introducing new worlds and ideas. The Host is a must watch.

2. (500) Days of Summer

A Splintered chronololgy love story? Whoa , when's that ever happened before. A wonderful background score and the charming lead couple - the cute Zooey Deschanel and the Talented Joseph Gordan Levitt - had me hooked from the start. They make it clear its not a love story, but a story about a boy and girl. It is a story about love and about people in love but not a love story. See it and you will know what I mean.

3. District 9

I was not that intrigued by the trailer. Nor by the short it was based on. Or the concept. But they blew me away. Stellar story telling, state of the art special effects and lots of cool alien weaponry made this one of the best movies I saw in the summer. This much like Avatar is about a unattached soldier/outsider going "native". Its been done before, but not like this. Watch it.

4. Luck By Chance

I went in for this tongue in cheek satire on Bollywood expecting little if nothing. I prefer Farhan Akhtar behind the camera and can't wait for him to get back behind it again, but if its movies like this that he wants to star in , I am all game. An entertaining tale of starlets and wannabe actors and the harsh and bittersweet world that is Bollywood where perhaps its all about Luck and not talent, fate and not ability. Its got the whole Akhtar family involved and talent , people, is in their blood. I cant wait for Zoya's next movie, which also stars her brother. Incidentally this is the first movie to actually have Aamir and Shahrukh together among a plethora of cameos.

5. The Education of Charlie Banks

Jesse Eisenberg playing the role that he and Michael Cera play in every movie. The shy soft spoken protoganist who gets the girl in the end. I mean seriously these guys play the same guy in every damn movie. And you could put them in each other's movies and it wouldn't make a difference. In fact Jesse Eisenberg even looks like Michael Cera with a Jewfro. Anyway this movie , as Anang noted, is kind of similar to a little movie I saw as a kid called "Big Bully". So , Mr.Eisenberg's character squeels on a bully for beating up someone. Years later he shows up in his life, and they actually become friends. But how does he tell him that he squeeled on him and had him locked away. Watch it for the austere 80s look and the Arthouse kind storytelling. Its directed by Fred Durst, the Limp Bizkit frontman. Go Figure.

6. I Love You, Man

The Judd Apatow camp has only film coming out next year. That is sad. We need more laughs like this. Its hilarious and I like to call it the "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" of 09. Jason Segal and Paul Rudd shine out in their roles and Jon Favreau reminds you that he started out as a comic.Little known secret : This movie is not related to Apatow in anyway other than it stars his frequent collaborators.

7. Up

I agree with Time magazine. The opening scene with the sweet love story of Carl Fredrickson laid out in 5 minutes of a near silent montage left me colored melancholy. How dare the Pixar guys make such good movies one after the other. Such memorable characters , such strong balance of story , drama and humor. Their films are an exercise in perfection.

8. Inglorious Basterds

The film ends with Brad Pitt's character looking at the camera and saying "This might just be my masterpiece". He is of course referring to a swastika he just carved onto a Nazi's forehead but its also QT's way to tell you, that he too consider's the movie his masterpiece. I totally agree. This movie should not have been called IB, it should have been called " Once upon a time in Nazi occupied France" because that is what it is. It is the tale of how several characters converge at a movie theater premiering a Nazi war propaganda film including the titular fatherless spawns, a french theater owner hiding from the Nazi's who killed her family, a famed Jew Hunter, prominent members of the Reich and Fuhrer himself. The bar room shootout and the opening scene are so thick with tension, you could put out your tongue and lick it.

9. Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year/ Wake Up Sid/ APKGK

From the beginning of the movie, with the "Pankhon ko " song set to the images of a middleclass household, it reaffirms the claim of the trailer, of a story of "Hum aur aap jaise logon ki kahani". Did anyone catch all the rhyming dialogue?? Mice are Nice, Itne frustrate mat ho ki kabhi Castrate ho jaaon and the plans and empty cans. The screenwriter was seriously having fun writing the script wasnt he? Wake up Sid is the second cousin of Lakshya, but it held my interest with the taut storytelling and wonderful performances by the lead actors.It is such capable and flawless direction, I was amazed to know that this was a first time director. APKGK is just LOL. It will be the new generation's Andaz Apna Apna. What I love about these movies is the repeatability ie how well they stand during a repeat viewing and they are wonderful to watch again. I did.

10. Sherlock Holmes

I was really excited for this one. I was doing silly dances in anticipation. I knew what I was going to get, and I was so happy when I got it. Lots of laughs, a intriguing mystery, and maybe the year's best on screen couple - Holmes & Watson. I have no complains on this one. Thorough and total Enjoyment. The scenes where Holmes tells you what he is going to do, and then proceeds to do it are Kickass. Also there are many references to the novels and short stories.

11. Waltz with Bashir

What you cannot do with live action you can do with Animation. It follows a formerIsraeli soldiers attempts to recall his role in the Lebanese Civil war by talking and interviewing his former colleagues. It is a stark picture of war and its toll on soldiers. The images and the scenes are nothing short of Art. I found the actual scene where you find out why it is called Waltz with bashir to be very well shot. It was nominated for an Oscar. Yes its that good.

12. 12 Angry Men

12 men , jurors to be specific, get in a room to debate the fate of a murderer. 11 for conviction one against. What follows is this one jurors effort to convince the others that the murderer may be innocent. I never knew people talking and debating , just that, could make for such compelling and riveting drama. There is a reason this movie sits at #8 on the imdb's top 250 movies of all time.

13. 3 Idiots

While several people failed to deliver this year, Mr.Hirani did not. Fail that is. To me Mr.Hirani is the finest example of what Bollywood should be like. It is very much a Bollywood movie but it is also good cinema. There is no reason why they cannot be used in the same sentence without negation. Much like The Host , I loved how the director portrayed sad situations with a humorous touch. The Rastogi residence for instance is always shown in B & W. Like his previous Munnabhai films, this too has the right amount of laughs, emotions and drama. Aamir khan, Madhavan and Sharman reunite after RDB. Its amazing how convincingly young Aamir looks.

Also Loved : Avatar, Away We Go, Mother , Funny People, The Hangover, Casablanca, Sleuth, Warlock, The International, The Last of the Mohicans (amazing climax sequence)
Leading ladies I fell in love with : Summer Finn, Neytiri
Movies I haven't seen yet but want to : Up in the air, The Fantastic Mr.Fox , Precious, Paranormal Activity, Terminator Salvation
Shitfest: Wolverine ,TF2, GIJoe : Rise of the zzzzzzzzz, Ninja Assasin, Do Knot Disturb, All the best, Pelham 123, The Final Destination, Kurbaan
TV Shows that were amazing : LOST, Dexter, Parks and Recreation, The Office, V , Bored to Death, Entourage

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Time for some...

......Penn station humour.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Avatar : My Thoughts

Let's put this out there while its still fresh in my mind. Some may argue that Avatar is an excuse to showcase a technology under the guise of a story that has been told many times before. While not entirely wrong to say so, its one heck of a way to tell the story. I found it to be a delightful two hours spent discovering a wonderful world and its truly unique people . The movie deserves to be seen on IMAX, that's the only way you could realize its true vision. The movie speaks of so many things imperialism, environmentalism, humanity and even belonging. It gives a scientific touch to spirituality , by claiming that since all things living are made up of cells, they can feel and communicate each other, even store memories. The movie has heart, the scenes with Jake & Neytiri training together found me with a firm "Awww" smile on my face. There is no denying the fact that it is a visual extravaganza first and everything else later. The world of Pandora - the people, the flora and fauna - are all magnificent , stunning and bright. Very bright. The effects will blow your mind . A particular scene where a giant tree is fell , is so well done. The final battle scene and the climax are breathtaking and need to be seen. But there is something missing that makes a movie more than endearing, that punch , that "IT", something I can't put my finger on is missing.If you look at it it has all the makings of a great movie. The graph of highs and lows, the WOW moments all should have come together wonderfully. What should have been a masterpiece , remains a few steps away from being one. However the future is very bright , a world of possibilities has opened up with this technology and the real life rendition of CGI characters, which would make for an enriching movie experience.

16 to go

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gamble much??

Here's celebrating the degenerate Juari in each of us graduate student.
Was more sleep ever lost for an exam,
Was more sweat ever shed for work,
Was more nail bitten, hair pulled or brains racked for anything else??

17 to go.

I miss my beautiful posters :(

Saturday, December 12, 2009

What a great year for Ranbir

Is Ranbir Kapoor on a roll or what?? Three wonderful films in a year. Wake up Sid, AjabPrem ki Gajhab Kahani and now Rocket Singh: Salesman of the year. Just came back from the latter and found it to be a delightful entertainer in the vein of Khosla ka Ghosla. A tale of simple everyday people who perpetrate a con for the right reasons. Fun times!! Ranbir Kapoor being the only name actor in the movie is able to carry the movie really well. People are really accepting his potential as a star and with back to back good films , not just hits, you know he's lambi race ka khoda. Along with Abhay Deol and Kunal Khemu I see him as the "Tomorrow" star and present talent of Bollywood. Boyish good looks, fantastic screen presence and certainly a crowd pulling ability. Its not just Lineage, it is talent. Or you could say the talent comes from the lineage , whatever, you know hes here to stay. You could have might as well put him in Luck By Chance and called it his year, coz of the four Bollywood films that I really enjoyed this year, three starred this guy.

18 to go


Have I ever lived alone? No. I have been away from dear ol' Delhi for the last 6 and dot five years, but I have always had hostel mates or roommates for company. But my roommate is now visiting India, and as I sit alone in this quiet Highland Park apartment, I wonder, how would it be if I were to live alone. How I keep my place when I live alone would be the true mirror of who I am. We have made compromises on the state of affairs when we live with roommates, a plate left unwashed , a bathtub left unscrubbed (for weeks). And in spite of all that we agree this is not how our houses back home in Hindustan are. We would never label ourselves as unclean. Why mentally assure yourself that you are better than your roomies, when you clearly aren't being? Why live a certain way if that is not you. Why compromise.

I just came back from a screening of Invictus. I would call it Mr.Eastwood's most underwhelming flick since he shifted gears from thrillers to drama. Anyway, there is a line oft repeated in the movie. Its from the poem that gives the film its name.

" I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my ship"

It says a lot about how we are programmed from birth. We have mistakenly formed habits that weigh us down rather than accelerating us ahead. It is amazing how much I can eat when a craving hits, or how long I can procrastinate when something looms ahead. Its not because we are weak its because we have conditioned ourselves. It could happen the other way. I could have programmed myself to eat moderately no matter what or not wait on that assignment till the night before. In fact when I think of all the things a person can will himself to do , it is overwhelming. Like a Lego set, or a sheet of paper and a pen, the possibilities are endless. Why don't we spend every waking hour, being better, living better. And don't give me that "stop and smell the roses" excuse. It is about learning to appreciate the smell rather than smelling the bloody rose every chance you get. If I had the knowledge of these past 23 years with me when I was born I would certainly be a different person , as I imagine anyone would. Lets summarize the important life lessons I have learned:

1) Binging on foods and movies is not "enjoying life" it is setting up dangerous precedents to habit forming activities. The answer , like Mr. Buddha said , is moderation.

2)How can you be afraid of anything. For once you face it, it shall pass. It may come back to haunt you but the moment you fear the most is just that, a moment. It will pass. And that thought is emboldening.

3) Do not be afraid of girls. Go talk to them. They want to talk to you too.

4)Reading like crazy will make you suave and sophisticated like Shashi Tharoor. Then you can develop a baritone and strut around all you want.

5)Disciplining yourself , lets you know that your indiscipline are well deserved.

6) Nothing or no one is going to come and change your life. YOU have to cut down on food, YOU have to start writing that script and YOU have to better your knowledge of Civil Engineering.

I am sure life has thrown more lessons at me, but this is all I can think of right now. Ah, yes the one rule that has never been proven wrong. The one rule to rule them all. The one rule to bring them all. And in the darkness.. ok I will stop.

7) My father is always right. and I mean Always. There has been tons of things he has asked me to do and tons of things I did not because I thought it was uncool, or not the right choice at the moment or I was just being plain lazy. But each and every time his advice has been spot on. The thing is he sees the bigger picture, I dont. I am sure my progeny will ignore my advice the same way. Why God does it have to be a circle??

Ok That is all I can remember .

Friday, December 11, 2009

Southland Lives!!

I am a big fan of cop movies. Lets make that a huge fan. Procedural Cop dramas have yet to hold their sway over me. Apart from good ol' CID. And Southland. Southland was my favorite new show of Spring 09, and follows several different pairs of cops , from uniforms to detectives to the captain as they solve different aspects of the same case. Its shot in a realistic almost documentary type manner with a livid and very mobile camera chasing around the characters. Its a lot of fun but gritty and downright dark at times, which I love. The 1st season ended of in sort of a cliffhanger with one of the main characters being shot and left bleeding, and I was all prepped up for it to return this Fall, but the suits over at NBC suddenly pulled the plug , claiming it to be too melancholic and sanguine for their viewership. I was shattered, so much potential lost. But then I heard news that it was being shipped around at other channels. Then it happened, it got picked up by TNT. I mean what were the chances of a canceled show returning. But its back. So not only does Spring 10 have Lost premiering its final season, or Jack Bauer saving Anil Kapoor's Ass (in under a day, mind you) or the very fun "V" returning from hiatus, but the LAPD will also be back in business. Yaaay!!!! Spring 10 is going to be awesome.

19 to go

My Very Special Acoustic Evening with Bryan Adams

"I have 16 friggin records, pipe down people, Lets see if we can run through them all" - Bryan Adams on being barraged by requests after his first song.

I can honestly say its a dream come true for me. Bryan Adams produced the soundtrack to my teen years. To a puppy eyed 14 year old moderately plumpy guy Bryan Adams was God. My brother and I were mammoth fans. We knew all the lyrics, all the songs and his biography by Justify Fullheart. Since then I have wanted to see him in concert. Yes, he did come to India, but I just happened to be in a different city every time. But when BA decided to come to my very own backyard, The State Theater at New Brunswick, I had every reason to go.

I had fantastic seats, right in the center, less than 30 ft away from him, in front of the stage. He trotted onto stage at 8:10 , (ten mins late) and broke into "Run to you" right away . It was an acoustic show and so he just had one person accompany him on a piano(who was fantastic, btw). "In case you didn't get the memo, this is the band" he said pointing to himself and the pianist. He followed it with "Tonight we have the stars" , "Back to You" ,"Here I am" "Heat of the Night", "Lonely Nights", "So69", "Everything I do", "Only Thing that looks good on me", "Thought I had Died and Gone to Heaven", "Lets make a Night to Remember", "Not Romeo, Not Juliet", "Cuts like a knife" , "To really love a woman" "Christmas time", "This Time", "When you love someone", "Heaven","Straight from the Heart", "Cant stop this thing we started" and many more. Acoustic does bring out the best in his songs. There's a more personal connection with the audience and its mesmerizing to say the least. I am a bigger fan of his lesser known songs and I was happy to see him give some of them a chance. He has great stage presence. The audience was in splits , when he started singing "Cant stop this thing we started" like a country song. He said "Waking up the neighbors" was his second favorite album title, followed by what he wanted to name his second album but the studio wouldn't agree to: " Adams hasn't heard of you either". He recalled the time he recorded "Lonely Nights". "It was a magical time , I was 21, broke, in NYC. It was fantastic". He spotted two ladies on the balcony waving at him with their little fluorescent "concert thingys" and had them brought down to sit right in front of him. I am sure they will never forget that. While in the middle of "Heat of the Night" his guitar string broke, the pianist immediately covered for him while he quickly got his guitar replaced. I was a bit put off by how abruptly the concert came to an end. He said his goodbyes and rushed off stage. He came back twice, though. It also surprised me how I remembered the lyrics to even some of his less popular songs. I hate "All for love" and "The only thing that looks good on me" but couldn't stop myself from singing along. Towards the end, everyone came up to the stage and started flashing their mob cams. I cursed myself for not having a better cam but had to make do with grainy pics. Someday when I am rich and famous, I will get to shake his hand. Till then this day ,the memory of singing So69, along with him, will do. Now lets see if we can catch Simon and Garfunkel sometime.

20 to go

Sunday, December 6, 2009

...And now a Message from our Founder.

It doesnt make sense to just randomly post anything just to reach my goal of 46 posts. i have to be mature about it , play fair otherwise there is no reason to do it. I could just post 21 photos and then just add a comment to them and I would win. But that doesnt do anything for me. Where is the struggle, the fight against adversaties to emerge victorious. There has to be something at stake. Do this for the right reasons or not do it at all. Being the fickle minded weakling I am , what I can put at stake is my desire for food. I could give up some sort of food for a period of time if I dont complete my challenge. I am already vegetarian for 41 days (Swami Sharanam Ayappa) so cant give up non veg. I could give up soft drinks or maida or cheese or butter. This is not going anywhere. I guess I will put my pride at stake. Can I be motivated enough to accomplish this task. Do I have it in myself to walk the mile. To do what I set out to do. Can Mr.Frodo get to Mordor? We will see in 24 days. I will write only if I have something to say. Expect 21 meaningful or at least sincere posts from yours truly. And if i dont? You all get to slander me on the comment section of the latest post as of Dec 31. Wait a sec.. you can already do that. But I expect u ppl to be fair about it, as I will.

21 to go!!

New Look!!

1) The Black was hurting my eyes.
2) The new year is coming up, I had to go for a new better gritty look.
3) White is the new Black.Literally!!
4) Ok..Ok I admit it . I did it to increase my post tally. There..I said it. Happy??.... Dont look at me like that.. Dont look at me.. nooo!! Go away and trouble someone else!!!

22 to go!! [;)]

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Masterly Mr Master McMasterton

" Jack of all trades and Master of one". Master of Science that is. It was today, this glorious thursday morning that I presented my masterific project and mastered the last task which stood before me and my Masters. True some formalities remain but the groundwork is done. What's that? How does it feel to be a Master, you ask. Well not that different from yesterday actually. Did I do a dance of joy and leap around in front of my department? Did I take off my clothes in a huge F U to the system and establishment and run around Busch campus wearing nothing but my butt.Did I change my facebook/orkut/gmail status to the first line of this post(which I gratuitously lifted from Raghu)? Well, no. I did do a " I have a Masters you dont , nana - nana-na -na in front of Onkar and Srini. Other than that it was just another day in the life of a "student by day, crimefighter by night " person that I am. I spent the afternoon debating with myself whether a person with a Masters should be legally allowed to use the term Master in front of his name like PhDs do with Dr. and some overtly excited B.Tech guys do with Engineer in the way of Er. Hmm.. Master Arjun Raju Adimari. Well that would suit me if I were a child actor in a Rajesh Khanna- Mumtaz movie. Could I just call myself "The Master". Doesnt have a good ring to it , sounds like a Buffy villain or a Darjiwala. What I am is a very jobless person who needs to realize that without a job he is going to have a very hard time repaying those student loans. I actually have a lot of free time ahead of me. I need to apply apply apply. What else. Well a little while ago I promised my dear readers (all four of you) and myself that I would accomplish the task of matching the number of my yearly posts to the previous years. I am at 22 now , well 23 with this one , I need to put out 23 more to match the 46 I have put out each of the previous years. So people get ready for an exercise in namesake posting as I try to pass off whatever I can as a blog post. Here's wishing Master Arjun , All the best.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Thing about Busch Campus

What is it about holding a cup of coffee and whizzing through BCC that screams I am a researcher. That I have got a code running in my office that needs attending to, that I just purified a batch of protein and I have several to go and that I just found an exciting new article that clears up a lot of doubts on heavy metal munching macrophytes. Or is it just me? I am no researcher just a lowly grader but when I hold a cup of coffee and walk past mid term minded undergrads and "I am taking a break" grads, I feel powerful and so superior. I guess , I am pretentious thataway but this is my first sem on Busch. I had almost all my classes here but my work or research never made me stay all day long in Busch. The first year it was the Livingston Warehouses, the next year it was Newark but this year I have a legitimate reason to spend my daylight hours on Busch. I know there was a time when I found Busch depressing, because it personified all the doubts and burdens I had. I detested the whole B bus L bus routine and was willing to give up my hourly research job for the good life at the Livingston bookstore. Busch Campus had none of the carefree charm of Cook & Douglass or the calmness/nearing barren emptiness of Livingston. Busch for me was work but not anymore. Well it is actually work, but for some reason I enjoy being here. I love having my lunch at the Faculty Dining hall with fellow "researchers", the coffee breaks, stepping out of my department to witness the serene image that is the sun setting beyond Sonny Werblin and CORE and finishing off my day with a very victorious round of squash. There is definitely a charm to Busch. Maybe it is because as I near the end of my academic life, I am witnessing separation anxiety. So much that I am considering staying on and studying more. Or maybe its a phase. I know people who loathe Busch campus. I also know of people who have so settled down in a schezwan express-JCX routine that they abhor change. Come graduation day, I will find out.

Trivia: Busch campus was formed after the "eccentric millionaire" Charles L Busch donated 10 million green ones to Rutgers at the time of his death.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


If you actually think about it, its basically two guys smashing a ball into a wall. Repeatedly. A Wall!! one of the essentials of Squash is a wall. Can you think of any other game where you would need a wall?? ( Yes, Racquetball, but who wants to play a game where the ball bounces like a crazyball? ) But I love Squash. Looove it. Its a passion. The activity I look forward to the most each day. I cant believe I used to play Racquetball in the beginning , but the moment I played squash for the first time, something inside me fell in place, something came home and felt so right. I now detest Racquetball and it is only with haughty eyes that I look upon the people who jostle for a place in the Racquetball court. So why do I love squash?? I actually sat and thought about why I love squash. I came across the following reasons:

1) It burns the most calories , compared to any other sport. Something like 800-1000 per hour. Thats huge if you are trying to lose weight.

2) The sheer excitement. The hilarious and energetic fun. It is so much fun, that it makes me look for other physical activities that might match the fun.

3) The rallies. My god the rallies. I have heard of games where they have lasted for over 6 minutes. I would be lucky to get a minute long rally. But when I do, the pure adrenaline that runs through you as you make one shot after the other, trying to outdo the other. Its outta this world. That's what I play squash for.

4)Its also a battle of the brains. From the time the ball strikes the wall to the time you swing your racquet, that's how long you have to decide where you are going to hit the ball. In that split second you have to anticipate the other players position, how hard you are going to hit, where to hit the ball and where you are going to move after the hit. All that goes into every shot, Its like a chess move. You have to give him something he doesn't expect. Feign, decoy and manipulate and when he falls for it?....You ....are the champion... of the world.

5) One wonderful thing the game shows you is how a human body can move if it decides to , that is. The decision to take a far off shot has to be made in nanoseconds. Your body has to accelerate itself and carry you forward with unthougt of momentum, and maybe you may make it . But all this starts with that one nanosecond decision.

We have been playing for so long now, we know who the regulars are, who are good and if we could take them or not.I know who would send me packing. There is a Pakistani duo that kick ass. Rajat Mittal the king of all sports. Then there is an old uncle who plays by himself but has the back hand of a tennis pro and finally the lady from Hong Kong and her older guy friend who looks like Stanley Tucci. Anyone else.... bring it on , I say. Here's looking at you Onkar, Amey and Srini.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Things I learned from "Fashion"

1. Everyone in the Fashion Industry is hellbent on success, populated with low morals and promiscuous.

2. If you become the Showstopper (I dont know if this thing exists in real life or is just some thing Bhandarkar cooked up) you will end up a drugged up, whoreish wastoid. That is the price you pay for ambition.

3. It takes enormous amount of courage and confidence to be a fashion model even though your only job is to walk on a ramp with a pout.

4. Sleeping with a Black guy is the lowest point you can get to before realizing how much you have effed up your life. How Racist!!

5. Kangana Ranawat has an obsession with the word " Basterd". (spotted by Onkar)

6. Fashion is just like Corporate is just like Page 3 is just like Satta is just like Traffic Signal.

7. None of the above are even remotely close to Aan : Men at Work. A spectacular Crap - o - cobana featuring action scenes from several hollywood flicks, a climax lifted from the beginning of Face/Off and supposedly part of Bhandarkars trilogy of Prostitution, Politics and Police (Notice how they all start with P)


I fell. After so long, the mighty giant fell. I fell so hard it still hurts. But something about the whole incident makes me all giggly inside. Lets start from the beginning. Here I was in a new apartment trying to fiddle the shower knobs, to get the right temperature. I stood up in the tub and switched from faucet to shower. That very moment hot scalding water poured out with furious anger and great vengeance. Trained as I am in the ancient martial and mystic arts the very simplicity with which it happened took me by surprise and I was literally taken aback. As I reeled back trying to avoid the water, something from 7th grade physics came flying into my mind.My center of gravity realigned itself , and simultaneously my foot slipped under the slippery wet porcelain. I fell. It all happened so quick. Futile and desperate grabbing for some support, my arm hitting the toilet seat and dislodging it and me crashing onto the floor with thunderous sounds and bangs. Downstairs the sleeping Indian Graduate student woke up. Next door the Indian Aunty startled and dropped her Katori of cut Bhindi , while outside in the woods a raccoon perked up its ears, and birds flew away from their perches en Mass. Like a great Oak Tree I fell. Like Sirius Black through the Veil of Mists, only mine was a 3 $ shower Curtain, I fell.
I gathered my marbles (cough cough) and thanked God that I did not hurt myself bad. Nothing was broken , a tragedy had been averted. I managed to fix the toilet seat. Surprisingly my Pride did not go after the Fall. I felt kind of good about falling. There was a sense of surreality to the whole incident and about how quickly it happened. I couldn't stop myself from telling everyone. I fell. The last time I fell was a year ago ,on Somerset St, right outside my house on the snow-melt-icey steps. While my friend Onkar laughed at me like the little girl that he is, he fell soon after ,outside Delta Kappa Chi. Oh how ,I laughed like the little girl I am not. Now a day after the fall, while my bum still hurts , reality has sunk in at how bad it could have been, I have resolved to be more cautious while bathing,walking and moving in general.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Good Bye , Mon Amis

As far as I can remember I have always slept by a window or a door or both. Now too I sleep by a wall that holds two windows. One close to my bed streams the street light right onto my face every night. If I stand up I can see the traffic light, through the same window, dangling so close by I feel I can touch it. But I cant because the window is jammed tight. Also some highly capable individual has managed to throw his skateboard so high , that it now rests permanently wedged between the arches of the Traffic light. If the wind is strong I see the Street signs saying " Somerset St" and "Easton Ave" swing dangerously.

The other window is where I sit by, as my desk and chair are parallel to it. If I look down , I can see the beginning of Easton Ave and where it cuts across Somerset St. Everyday the crosswalks bear the treads of a thousand students and residents and unknown to all of them , like an owl in the night, like a satellite above, I watch. The parents who drop off kids after weekends, stuffed with home cooked meals , and holding onto numerous bags of groceries, while managing to appease them that, yes, they can safely walk the 20 m to the Dorm Entrance. The Sat night revellers who have taken an equal fancy to thursday , friday and sunday. The Drunken girls in their skimpy attires, who will bear the frigid cold and winds for that extra itty bitty skirt. The fat boys in dress shirts who longingly look at these drunk girls but dont dare talk to them. The Homeless regulars, amongst them the Dude with the Da Vinci beard who wont ask you for a penny but will sit in his fav spot (he has three fav spots actually ) and stroke his beard. The Black guy with the hunch who wears a coat no matter what time of the year it is and whom I recently spotted after a gap of 10 days holding a briefcase. Did he just return from somewhere? A homeless person convention, a family matter, an opening in some street , somewhere in Boston for a homeless person , we can only speculate. And far off on the train station bridge, the NJT train stops, late in the night, ferrying those partyheads for whom nothing less than NY lights would do. And the Cab drivers who justle among each other for customers. Easy , My friend, Plenty of fish. And when the night has fizzled out the odd person walking around returing home from some far off party, or that couple who got so drunk that they have to sing about it. And all through this ,solitary in the distance stands , One Spring St, The tallest building in whole of New Brunswick. Home to my Friend Prem Singhs, special friend, Cash Delorry. Where the rich of this tiny college town live. Where you can see the NY Skyline and every curve of the Raritan from. Where some lights stay on longer than the night.

This post is dedicated to all of you. I will miss you all . I will miss you, New Brunswick. For a year I watched over you. While losers gloat over Hamilton St in crime ridden Somerset county, we knew. Aah, the convenience of running down and grabbing a root beer and a Buffalo Chicken Slice from Giovenellis. I will miss it all. And while I return to the suburbs that is Highland Park. Remember one thing. You are not forgotten, and the story, its far from over.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Jhaad ke idhar udhar.

For some reason , I feel like washing my hands. I ate with a fork. I know they are not dirty , but I cant shake the feeling that they are. There is music playing in the background but its not from my laptop. Nor is it from my house. Its coming from outside. But what do I care? I haven't fallen in love with a song for so long now. I don't even remember the last time.

I know now what it will take to finally lose my additional pounds. I have the supreme power. The Total Knowledge. The only thing standing in the way is ..me. But its a promise, I wont enter my 24th year as a fat person.

अप्परेंत्ल्य यू कैन ब्लॉग इन हिन्दी, ആന്‍ഡ്‌ മലയാളം , and tamil and telugu. Dont the gujjus and the bongs need to blog?

It seems so long since they have been gone, but they are back. The cold NJ drafts I mean. The ones that chill you to the bone. The snow will soon follow. And as poetic and romantic the first snow is , they get old , very soon. Seeing snow for the first time is like seeing the beach. The feeling of seeing horizon empty in the distance and to realize that the beach is rt there up ahead. Is it just me or does everyone feel the child like glee. In undergrad my homies and I would hit the beach at 1 in the night to play football and kabbaddi. The first time we went there (TVM ka mashoor Shankhmugham beach) I just started running. Something inside me told me to run. Like Forrest, but I stopped in like 2 minutes. Cause I was fat and outta shape. But that feeling , that happiness, is something so pure. Something that can take control of you and make you do things. Something that feels so right. I want that again.

Its a coincidence that in 07 and 08 I clocked in exactly 48 posts each. And this yr I am at something like 16. Srinis blog, he says is abt quality not quantity. Well not this one. I will, no matter what, reach 48 posts by the end of the year. And to that I dedicate the above crapfest.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Entourage is Friggin Awesome!!!

Jyeah,Jyeah!!...... Jyeah,Jyeah!!!! I haven't fallen in love with a TV series like this since I sat up all night watching the first season of Dexter back in undergrad. Entourage is an absolutely amazing show and the coolest thing is that its just about four guys hanging together. Its such a simple concept, but the execution and the characters will make you fall heads over heel in love with it. Never thought four normal guys living the good life in Hollywood, surrounded by movie stars, cars, girls, parties would make for some friggin' awesome TV. Its like Sex and the City, just for guys. You cant help but love the characters. After just 2 seasons Vince, E, Turtle and Drama are all my homies now.People you would love to hang out with. Turtle & Johnny Drama alone are such great characters, I wouldnt mind seeing them together in anything. Infact they should make a comedy about just Turtle and Drama. That could work out real nice. And Jeremy Piven is hilarious as the short tempered agent , Ari Gold.

Each season (so far) is based on a simple story line , but the story telling is so compelling and the characters so endearing you cant but gobble down episode after episode. The first season was about Vince scoring a indie flick. The second mostly about him scoring a big budget-er with James Cameron. Simple ,rt? And with all the movie actor cameos and movie references, any cinephile would love it endlessly. Another thing is that these folks are living it up , Hollywood style .Their lifestyle is relaxed, so chilled out that it makes you wish you had something like that. Its an inspiration almost, to get off you lazy ass and work , do something so that you are somebody. I am so prepped up right now, its like everything is gonna be alright. I can do anything I want. I finally got around to writing this blog article. Now Iammago run a mile. See you later Chicken, say Hi to your mother for me.

PS: Mark Wahlberg produces Entourage.
PS2: Thank you Pompi for forcing me to watch the first episode.

Friday, August 7, 2009

What everyone is down with...

" I feel as if I do not deserve the food I eat." Said pompy while huddled over his plate of rotis and omellete. " I dont feel I should go out for a movie or eat out, because I do nothing to deserve it. I want to work hard be tired, and then go out and have fun. Now all I do is sit at home and apply for jobs.

I press my lips together and nod my head, I know what he means. Whatever he is down with has been going around the desi junta for some time now. Its as if a melancholy cloud has cast its ugly shadow all over cedar lane... well at least over my roomies. There is a pall of gloom that surrounds every conversation and completes every sentence. People have become nihilistic, they want to change , do and live better and their present life disappoints them. Some drink 9 cups of tea a day, others wake up and realize that they slept till 3:30 and that depresses them so much that they go back to sleep. The regular parasite at our place has suddenly realized that life should be spent travelling and meeting people and wants me to tag along with him to be a farm volunteer in Hawaii.

I knock and enter Pand's room . He is sitting on his mattress all red eyed from the job applications he's been sending. He seems like he needs a caffeine shot. I talk to him about a movie I saw and whether he should try going out of his room a while. He nods and continues typing onto his laptop. I wonder if he heard a thing I said.

" I go to sleep every night all jazzed up for the next day, but then I realize its because of the guilt I feel for doing nothing all day long. I have so much work to do or i feel like I do, but there is no motivation no drive. The only time I am happy is when I eat and when I play squash." says Onkar. My eyes light up at the mention of squash, its something I enjoy too, very much nowadays. " Do you think I should try to go professional?" I nod and do the pressed lips thing again and step out of the room. A stolen glance at his mac screen shows a page for the New Jersey Squash Association. Wow, was he serious?

Why is this happening to everyone? why are people suddenly so fed up with everything. If they were to get a job their moods would light up like that .What is that worries me ? I am worried that I am not worrying enough. Hey I need a job too.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Summer Mid Term Report Card

Its been a shitty summer, and the only good thing so far is that it we are halfway through. Very few movies left a mark or excited me in anyway. I even fell asleep through one. Compared to this year, last year was Golden. Lets see where I stand and what we can hope for in the future.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine : Shitty title, even worse of a movie. Give me my money back. 4/10

Star Trek: God bless Abrams. Not the 9/10 that movie sites pegged it out to be but a very enjoyable 7/10. Yes I am no trekkie.

Angels & Demons: Straight forward by the book thriller. I detested the first part. This one was better.The friend i went with thorughly ebjoyed it and never guessed the obvious twist in the end. Just seeing his satisfied , smiling face made me like this more. 5-6/10.

Drag me to Hell: Loved the climax. But I felt it could have been much much more. And thats where it loses points. Again not the 9/10 everyone purported it to be. 6/10.

Up: Looved it. The beginning montage from Carl childhood to his wife's death is so beautiful. I was almost misty eyed. Almost. great fun rest of the way. Its impossible for Pixar to dissapoint. All psyched up for Toy Story 3. 8/10

The Hangover: The return of Todd Philips. I dont know anyone who didnot love the life out of this one. A very deserving 9/10.
The Taking of Pelham 123: I dont know how they got Tony Scott, Denzel and Travolta to sign up for as generic a hostage flick as this one. I dozed off in the middle. I shouldnt have woken up 10 minutes later. 4/10

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen: Some fun scenes here and there. But 2.5 hours long?? And that too without anything resembling a plotline. Not for me. 5/10

The Hurt Locker: I know I would have liked it more had I seen it without interruption from people around me. Respectable thriller. I wanted to love it more than I did. 7/10

My Sisters Keeper: People cried around me at the ending. That means the film delivers. I liked it. 7/10

For some reason I am not excited at all for Public Enemies.

What I havent seen: Terminator and Land of the lost.

What remains:Bruno, 500 days of summer, HP6, Funny people (yes,yes,yes) , GI JOE(God let this be good, for childhood memories sake), Inglorious Basterds, FD4, The Boat that Rocked.
May Also see: District 9 and The Goods

I cannot understand , for the life of me, the people who actually clapped at the end of TF2 and Pelham 123.

My Life's Purpose

If you had to, what would you dedicate your life to? What would you devote your entire life to achieving and fulfilling? I am 23 years old with no worth while accomplishments to my name. I can carry on living like this. Just be another person in a swarm of humanity that crawls through their daily lives doing things they detest, just to get by. Eat, work, excrete, Repeat. But the very fact that God put us on this earth means something more. It has to. There has to be a higher purpose, a driving force in each of us which goes beyond the mere quest for material possessions. We just cannot spend time doing nothing. Every action , every choice should lead to enrichment of the soul and the body. We should become better than we are. It is hard to change , because we are programmed that way. To take the easy path and to be reluctant to change. But we can also be conditioned to do just about anything. Anything.

So what is my purpose in life. My life is an experiment. Its a test of human commitment and corruption. Can one person give up everything he has worked hard to achieve for the betterment of humanity. Can I after amassing a huge fortune give it up for the sake of the destitute and the impoverished. This is my life's aim. My purpose. To which I dedicate myself.

I found my calling by asking a simple question. Can everyone in the world be rich or is it necessary for people to be poor and deprived. Is our social hierarchy so built, that it would be destroyed by the absence of any one class? Can there ever be a Utopia. or the closest practical thing resembling it on this earth?? Is it what makes us human that is pulling us back, failing us. It is essentially human to be a mix of evil and good. Can only the good prevail? I don't think I can find my answer from a few isolated cases. It needs to a collective reply from the whole of humanity.

I tread the path of salvation .. of the entire human race. And each step in that path is an act of self improvement, betterment and striving to attain a more pure state of existence. I am a vegetarian from today. I cannot waste time on inanities. I have to use more than 10% of my brain capacity. I have to condition myself. I have to constantly endeavor, evolve, assess and improve. Oh yeah, and one more thing......


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Worst things in life..

...are also free. Take mosquitoes for example. They are the spawn of the devil. Creatures of night. Vampires.The deadliest vector known to mankind. They are things I detest as much as the All campus bus. In India where the houses are not exactly weather proof, they find it easy to get in. I don't really care for the disease spreading part (though I should) , its the biting that pisses me off. They are a constant thorn to my late night TV watching and no matter how many you kill they keep coming back. They are relentless. They say there's no rest for the wicked, and the only time I don't see them anywhere in the house is a brief 4 hour slot in the afternoon, when I guess they go to sleep. Otherwise they are alert and always on Arjun duty. I know they fancy me, not only because of the fact I am fat, but also because of my superior quality blood :P. You actually have to make a sincere effort on your part to get rid of them. I hate the odomos routine. In undergrad, All-out was a must in our room. Jimson ,who was next door would stock up on Kachua chap coils, which came into play the nights the power went out. Our desk drawers still bear the burn marks from the You just couldn't go to sleep otherwise. I have often wondered would we be actually affecting any food chain if we kill too many of them. Surely there is not going to be an ecological disaster if they became extinct. There are no toads/frogs in Delhi dependent on them. The way I see it its just us and them in the food chain. If only we pursued them with the same fervor as we did the Dodos and the Tasmanian Devil.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Requisite India Sojourn post.

My school friend Pradyumna Sharma is a chef in Australia. And since he is in the culinary business , he finds it most amusing to greet everyone with an eyes to the roof inducing " Whats cooking , mate? ". Well if I were to be asked that question now, the answer would be Delhi, that's whats cooking. Its sweltering, volcanic and brain frying-ly hot here. Its so hot that in the afternoon, its not just the heat from the sun above but the heat emanating from the tarred roads below that ensures a crispy well done human roast. The heat waves are so thick you can almost see them,rising up from the ground. you have to squint everytime you step out side the door because the glare is so harsh. Well other than that little detail its all fine and dandy in the home country.

I voted for the first time in my life (discounting a college election) and I am so glad that not only did Mr.Ajay Maken, the congress candidate from central Delhi win, but congress had a clean sweep all over the country. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that the police constables and the election officials at the booth were very courteous and helpful.

Public transportation in Delhi is mots convenient , at least to the places i want to go to. Over crowded , unplanned regions of Delhi like trilokpuri, lakshmi nagar all make me glad I dont live there but also bring me closer to the realization taht we are not out of the woods yet.Travelling in buses is most delightful and memorable. My first trip on a bus was marred by a child puking (It smelled and looked like a banana) and when the conductor and driver ganged up on the father with arguments like " Aapko pata hona chaahiye ne ki yeh ulti karne waala hai?" and " Isko aapne khaana hi kyun khilayan ?" ..wtf?? the public came to their rescue. The next day a guy got on with a daffli, one blind eye and started singing a most mellifluous song dedicated to Bholenath. Its amazing how much music is a part of traveling in Delhi. Apart from the traveling beggar-singers, I have found that traveling in a blue line is never bereft of the radio or the casette player blaring away in the background. Its always the early 90s- Tseries- nadeem -Shravan type of music that plays. Now here's the strange part. they never play the original audio cassettes. Whoever the singers are they are definitely not Anuradha Paudwal or Kumar sanu. This has led me to believe that there is an underground music industry in India, that has its own stable of singers who re-sing the popular songs of the time and release them under their own labels, probably at lower rates. Wouldn't it just be easier to copy the original tapes, the logical mind would ask? But then again these people are clearly devoid of the logical bent of mind.*

My group of friends mostly get together at out school smack in the centre of the city. Close to the school is Mandi House which is the HQ of Prasar Bharti and Doordarshan. They have several posters outside their building showing off the hit TV serials on their rosters, titles like Kaanch key Sapnay , Fauji - the Iron Man and Wild Adventures - Balloooning with the Bedi brothers or in hindi - Bedi Bandhuon ke sang yaatrayein.Does anybody still watch DD? Apparently they do in the villages, where Fauji - the iron man is a much awaited every Tuesday night.But the weirdest thing has to be DD+, that is the direct to home service that DD offers. Really? Would anyone actually pay money to set this up at their home ? Isnt DD for those ppl who cannot afford Cable??