Jul 31, 2008

The Dark Room

Just finished reading this novel ‘The Dark Room’ by R. K. Narayan. A simple story it is, however captures the different aspects of a housewife, right from being a good daughter, loving wife, responsible mother, and above all a self-esteemed woman. Unbelievably set in pre-independence era, the essence of the novel makes sense even to this day.

I need to look if any part of this novel was picturized for the TV series ‘Malgudi Days’.

It’s otherwise been a weak day for me, with me feeling not-so-healthy in the morning, but better off now though!

Jul 30, 2008

Cuil - Not so cool!

A Google-search of my name itself retrieves quite a few links pointing to me and my web-homes :) . But the new search engine cuil.com didn't as many though.

It is not so consistent yet, but user privacy is protected, with no cookies stored to tag the user or IP address with the search.

But, it is surely going to be sometime before Google loyalists like me will trust Cuil for web-searches...

Jul 29, 2008

Twice bitten, thrice cautious!

With two blasts back-to-back, I am sure the police forces in India are taking no chances of a third attack. Kudos to the bomb detonators who are risking their lives, and helping to keep the country safe.

Co-incidentally, the title holds good for another thing on my mind too!
With the last two Indian movie outings disappointing me totally, I am now wondering if I should go to Super Star’s movie or give it a miss? The music of Kuselan hasn’t impressed me so much and the trailer is so cliched for a Rajni movie that I am wondering if it is worth all the hype.

I can still call it "Twice bitten, thrice shy!"

Jul 26, 2008

Blasts in Namma Bengaluru

A total of 9 blasts rocked Namma Bengaluru on 25th July, killing two of them. While the loss of life is not huge, it is still a soul gone for the nearest kin. Since the blasts occurred mostly in the places that I used to pass by or frequently visit when I was in Bangalore, it seemed unimaginable to even think of the consequences otherwise!

Hopefully the people behind the blasts are found and brought to justice, and peace returns back to the once-peaceful pensioners’ paradise Garden City.

May the soul of the departed rest in peace!

Jul 23, 2008

When Penn became Pin…

Back to my usual topic concerning film music! Sakkarakatti does have its share of soul-stirring and foot-tapping numbers. But a few unpardonable slip-ups of the music director and the singers make the listening sound really funny at times.

Reena Bharadwaj, the lady best remembered for the masterpiece ‘Yeh Rishta’ in Meenaxi, and also for ‘Baba Kichu Thaa’ in Baba, is inexcusably bad in a few segments of the Tamil rendition of her masterpiece. She gets quite a few tough words right, while messing up easy words. The most noticeable being ‘Naan epodhu Penn aanen’ becoming ‘Naan Epodhu Pin aanen,’ – translating into when did I become a pin (instead of a lady). My friend Harish replied saying ‘eppo ATM card vanthutho appove PIN ayiten apdinu reply pannanum’ – ‘You should reply as ‘I became one, when I got my ATM card itself.’

Now coming to the other song by Madhushree – MarudhaaNi, which explicitly became Maruththaa nee at times, and ‘adi podi deepali’ became ‘atti potti deepali’. When the singer does such a great job with her voice, these errors can be ignored. But probably professional help with Tamil diction will help in the long run, especially in the times when North Indian singers win awards for songs in South Indian languages.

Anyways as I said in a previous post, it is not that my Tamil/Hindi is all that great, that I have authority to comment on these singers. But just a small sorrow (china varuththam) that the songs would have reached greater heights with better diction.

YouTube links for the songs:
MarudhaNi - http://youtube.com/watch?v=1xT9u_CJjNw
Naan Eppodhu - http://youtube.com/watch?v=b8MDls-ii5A

Jul 21, 2008

World's largest democracy... But...!

Probably my first politics-related post. I have always chosen to write on food, music, movies and other trivial stuff. While the rising political temperatures in India definitely make this a good topic to write on, I am really pained at the sad state of affairs in the Indian political system. This is not a post that is biased towards any single party, but biased towards the people of India ourselves.

An avid follower of the Indian democratic politics since 1996, the time the coalition politics began playing games with the country’s men and within the county, I have always wondered how being a politician, one can change stances for both monetary benefit and promise of position. An elected representative however greedy one can be, needs to look back into the faith a common man has put in him and voted for him, favoring him over his rivals. This time round when the Dr. Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government is facing the trust vote over a proposition regarding the nuclear deal, it is indeed really disappointing to see the members of parliament (MPs) bargaining for a ministerial berth or post of a chief minister in order to vote for the government, in order for it to not tumble. The rates that are going per MP almost touched Rs. 25 crores ($5.8 million) and now it has reached a Rs. 100 crores.

While the hard-working tax payers money is going into the ruthless (I couldn’t think of any other word, though it doesn’t fit well into the context) MPs pocket, one really thinks if it is worth the cause while there are just 10 months for the next National polls. Even though the elections are a burden on the national exchequer, it is not that the elections are far off. Instead of bribing these greedy MPs, one could as well seek a fresh mandate from the ever-confused people (which includes me as well). But in the past 12 years, we have issued a fractured mandate, hence the rule of coalition politics is here to stay, whether we like it or not.

If the BJP-led NDA supports the nuclear deal, it should vote for the government, as a healthy opposition. It does see benefits in the deal, but just for political gains, the NDA is opposing the government. Let’s hope for a turnaround of events, with the NDA voting in the UPA government’s favor, just in the people’s interests in mind.

While, quite an argument has been made about changing the way politicians think of public money, it is best for them to put themselves in the shoes of a common man who works all day, six days of a week, and the struggle he puts in to earn a happy meal for him and his family. Till a realization strikes these mostly-uneducated breed of political gainers, one cannot hope for a reform in the way the Indian political system works. While youngsters, they say can make a difference in the way it works, who lets them work the way they want. Either it is made sure that their political career ends even before the election itself, or their life itself is cut-short.

Lets hope for a brighter tomorrow, with the politicians (we people ourselves) thinking in the interest of people, than in our own interest, our nation would not only be the largest democracy, but the best too!

Jul 16, 2008

Cute moment in Jaane Tu, Music of Sakkarakatti and Tempe rain

In the movie Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, there was a really cute moment. While Genelia asks, 'How did the 5 years of college pass by so quickly?', the mother is quick in saying 'Phone pe beta!' (On the phone!). So very true! Be it the not-so-far times when we used landlines or now when we have the cellphones, I guess most of the time after college goes in phone calls :)

The new ARR album 'Sakkarakatti' sounds refreshing, with tunes set in a futuristic way, however the Tamil rendition of the two of the singers in their respective songs is not so good. While they have sung it really well, they should have paid more attention to their pronunciation. Since I am not a great speaker of Tamil, I have no qualms about listening to the songs the way they are. Benny Dayal and Chinmayi are two singers who have utilized their potential to showcase their talent. Hats off to both of them. Even the Chinnamma song from Meenaxi which is reused in this movie sounds very different. I miss you song, reminds one of so many things :)

It poured in Tempe last Sunday, for pretty long. Long enough to flood the roads and probably a few apartment complexes.

Jul 11, 2008

Weather, iPhone, ARR and Jaane Tu

While its been an amazing morning here in Tempe/Scottsdale, I found yet another reason to blog. My workspace at TGen (the place I am interning this summer), has a beatiful view of the Scottsdale hills. This is where quite a few of the million-dollar houses are lodged, safely atop the hill. The not-so-high mountains have clouds (or should I call in fog in Indian English) covering them up and it is a real beauty to watch. It is more like how Kudremukh (in Karnataka, India) used to be on most days of the year. I cannot liken this weather to my good old Bangalore weather, since it is very humid. But as long as the sun is not out, I have no reason to complain.

And today is the release of the iPhone 3G, something that I wanted to get badly, but thanks to the service providers illogically high data plan, I might as well stick to my Nokia 6682 till its contract ends. Or in other words, (as singer Chinmayi puts it in her blog) - iPhone, (i) didn't go, (i) didn't see, (i) didn't get conquered.

Its also the release of ARR's Tamil album - Sakkarakatti, and am looking forward to see how my favorite 'Yeh Rishta' (Meenaxi) sounds in Tamil.

Also, I am finally going to watch 'Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na' today. It didn't get released here in Tempe last week :( . Hoping the movie is as refreshing as its reviews. And, as I told someone - I haven't really lived my youth in a long time, hopefully I do it today! Hope there are not very high expectations :)

Jul 1, 2008


The recent big movie I watched (see the review two posts below) didn't live upto the expectations of the people. So someone came up with a description of the subtle aspects of the movie which are supposed to be appreciated while watching the movie. these finally justify the Chaos theory, and the 'pattambuchi' effect.... OMG! As it is, I took so long to recognize a few of the characters as the universal hero himself! In addition to that, if someone ask me to think about the hidden aspects and the subtle details, what do I do? But curiosity has got better of me, and reading a forward sent by one of my friends, I want to watch the movie again, and see if the subtle details given were so obvious... If so, I would re-review the movie!

Connections – I live there too!

I once complained that I spend half my life waiting for connecting flights. The good old airline of India has such a dubious distinction of making me wait at the Mumbai airport for 10 hours (actual waiting time for the connecting flight is 4.5 hours), every time. The connection is usually so late, that I also miss my other connecting flight in LA, and am made to wait for a few more hours.

All of these hours spent in waiting for a connection put together, at times turns out to be more than the travel time itself. I could have at least stayed home for a few more hours, instead of spending time at an airport, with nothing to do.

Now, my life has taken another turn, with me waiting for connecting buses too! The Valley Metro system is excellent, no complaints about it at all. But, the place I need to go to is sooooooooo faaaaaaaaar off, and the connecting bus is once an hour. A kind soul (colleague) takes me with him in his car usually. But the past week (while he was gone on vacation) was such a pain. But going by bus last week made me learn the cross streets of Scottsdale as well. I am pretty good with the road map of Tempe and Chandler, and now can add Scottsdale to that list too! Probably, I have slowly grown into a ‘nadamaadum’ GPS (walking GPS)!

Luckily, my best partner, my Sandisk MP3 player was with me all the time, and gave me good company. What would I do without you???