Archive for the ‘It is my life!!!’ Category

MOvie reViEw – Dhobi ghat

February 5, 2011

Dhobi Ghat:

This is my first full fledged movie review and I don’t think I could have chosen a better movie for it. Dhobi Ghat (2011) is Kiran Roa’s (Amir Khan’s Present wife) first movie as a director. Not only this, it is also a debut movie for the two actresses Monica Dogra (Shai) and Kriti Malhotra (Yasmin). The actor Prateik Babbar (Munna) is too just a movie old and then we have our own perfectionist “Amir Khan” (Arun).

So first thing first, staying here in US doesn’t help when it comes to the latest movies and their general buzz going around back in India. Although I had heard of the name of the Movie (through twitter and facebook updates) I never went deep into it, never bothered googling it. It was 21st of January when I first saw the trailer of the movie on YouTube and believe me I was instantly in love with the background score. Even the presentation of the characters and their links were shown in a great fashion in that three odd minutes of the trailer. Coincidentally it was the same day when the movie was released in India. Soon after this I started getting reviews of the movie from my friends, many through social networking, and baring one or two, rest all were thumbs down. I wanted to see that in theatre but the air was that the movie is a boring one, very slow and with an abrupt ending. I searched for the reviews by the critics and they were just ok ok kind of reviews. Most of the ratings were between 3 and 4 on the scale of five. But I had couple of great reviews through twitter, so that put me in kind of dilemma. To add to the dilemma, I don’t watch the Bollywood movies much since I get more varieties in Hollywood, I don’t want to sound like a cynic but that is true.

But after a week or so I just couldn’t stop myself from watching the movie. Actually it was the trailer that had something in it saying it loud that this movie is different! Also when we have completely diverse reviews it is prudent to go ahead and watch it for ourselves.

So I went ahead and saw the movie and here is what I felt. Soulful and thought full! To express my reaction, I could have used the words like “amazing”, “mind blowing” or ubiquitous “awesome” but it would have been a cliché which the movie it self is not!

First thing first, the movie is not at all slow. For me it got over soon, I was completely into it and never realized when the movie was over. Then come the ending. It couldn’t have been better, given the usual mystery surrounding the movie; it was good that the expected end was not shown in it. For those who said the ending was abrupt must be expecting “happily married” tag behind a car, zooming out of the screen. The ending was totally in sync with the soul of the movie. The next thing I heard people and the review comments ranting was that there is no story in the movie. Please define story! Anyway movies are more to reality than stories. For stories I can always fall back to Spider man, Batman, Superman, Chacha Chaudhary, Naagraj, Super commando “Dhruv”, Mogli, Alice in wonderland etc etc.

Before going to the movie let me say that the actors have done a stupendous job in the movie. Given both the female stars were debutants, it is really a commendable work. Hats off to “Kiran” for selecting the actors who could justify their roles. “Shai” is brilliant in playing a girl coming from US and wanting to get versed with the life of Mumbai and to find out how things work on granular level. Being in US for long time (courtesy twitter) must have helped her, and in turn her role in the movie. Looks promising, some of the scenes are clear top notch. “Yasmin” too had a difficult role to play given she has to speak to herself for most of the time in the movie. The innocence of a girl from a small town, the curiosity of a person being introduced to a city for the first time, the care for ones family, everything has been perfectly covered. Talented she is. “Munna” I have to say is the actor to watch out for. Take it from me; given the opportunity he will surprise us with his acting ability. He carries a carefree attitude, nowhere in the movie does it appears as if he is acting, it comes so naturally for him. Top notch acting, hats off. Last but not the least, “Arun”, we all know him and I appreciate “Kiran” for giving him that kind of role. Not making him big but just the part of the movie has again gone with the soul of the movie. It won’t be wrong for me at least to say that “Arun” was overshadowed by other actors (yes in terms of acting), probably he was under played but then it might have been done purposely coz it made the movie even more powerful.

Let me tell you that the first thing that made me fall for the movie was the “Music” when I first saw the trailer. If the movie had just the music in it, still I would have seen the entire movie or should I say, would have listened. It still lingers when I think of the movie. There is something in it… and I don’t know what! So my third Hat that goes off is for the Music.

Let us now jump to the movie. This is the exact kind of movie that I can pay for watching again and again.  This one goes right there in top 3 Bollywood movies for me. I don’t want to sound saying other Bollywood movies are bad but I like these kind of movies a lot. “Mr. and Mrs. Iyer” is top in my list. These are just that kind of movie that catches the smallest of things in detail. The emotions and expression run so high that you feel it happening for real. It is like reading a book and flipping the pages with your fingers rather than scrolling down a pdf.

There are many instances where you really can’t stop appreciating the movie. The busy life of normal Mumbaikars being captured by “Yasmin” with her camera and then the same kind of life “Arun” watches through his balcony when he comes to stay at that place. It looks so natural, everyone busy doing their work; no one wear even a smile for others not even for self. The sadness veiled behind the bustling city is so apparent here. People here are so occupied that other than their work they don’t see anything else, they just don’t get to see.

The most surprising part in terms of acting and capturing the life and expressions of people is when “Yasmin” takes video of her “Bai”. I just can’t explain how natural that little piece in the movie was. The way the “Bai” speaks, her expression, things she tells, her daughter hesitantly appearing in front of the camera but standing behind her mother, her recital of the poem, the mistakes in it, but then her explanation to her mother on how “Yasmin” will send the video to her brother, her reply of “English” medium, everything was simply amazing.

Other things like the scene where “Arun” drinks rain water from the roof of his chawl and “Munna” had to put a plastic cover on his roof so that the rain water doesn’t seep through. Simple things like “Munna” while he goes for bath in the morning, helps a drunk guy by laying him off the tracks, or say his cousin reading in the same room in which he and his other cousin watches movie. It is not about his reading in the chaos but the way he always bend forward and hunches back is notable, most of the people in “Madrasas” read that way, he being a Muslim brings reality to his character. This happens just for few seconds but then I am speaking of the subtle things in the movies and very often in life that people don’t appreciate much. I can relate to so many people with “Munna” when that scene happens where “Shai” asks him why he doesn’t have a girl friend given he as such a good body and he grins, the smile is worth watching and then “Shai” knows that she is just asking what “Munna” wants her to. Then “Shai’s” facial expression and her eye movement when “Munna” poses for the photo session with his shirt off is again one of the bright moments in the movie, where you see the brilliance in their acting. Then there is “Arun’s” reaction when he finds out that the video that he is watching was taken in the same room, his expression of comparing the current place with the one in video simply top act. Other instances like the one where “Shai” watches “Arun” from the construction site, we see couple of workers behind her, their curiosity is so obvious in their body language. Then there is an old woman who just plays the role of a watcher, who knows about everyone but can not interact with anybody else. There are few other things that are worth noting, even when towards the end when “Munna’s” cousin dies, there is an indirect connection between his death and “Shai’s” presence. Parallel to his death we come to know that even “Yasmin” has committed suicide. It is perhaps the death of his brother that prompts “Munna” to give her the “Arun’s” address even when he likes “Shai” a lot.

Ironically one who should be happy cries and one who should be sad, smiles! Above mentioned things are just few of the things that are on top of my head right now and I am sure there are many. There are!

Having said all that, I have couple of open questions that I didn’t understand even after watching the movie twice.
The first one and an important one is that the movie starts with “Yasmin” capturing the video of Mumbai, does this suggest that she was still alive at that time. Coz that was in the real time, we were not into the cassettes yet. If that is the case, it is confusing that she died and how old are the tapes, coz “Arun” had just moved into that room. Please reply to this if somebody knows the answer to this.

The other questions are like what does “Yasmin” writes on the sand in Urdu? What is the role of that old woman (watcher) in the movie? Does the women who towards the end of the movie warn “Munna” not to dream of the American Girl, is related to him in anyway? Probably she was just one of his old clients. And last one, just coming out of no where, is “Arun’s” wife still alive, apparently in Australia or is it only his son there?

In the end, I would like to say that “Amir Khan” didn’t look comfortable in smoking the way he did!

Happy watching….
If I were to give a rating, mine would be 9/10.

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Coincidences!!

January 15, 2011

Strange Coincidences:

Coincidence #1

Twice have I tried giving the prestigious and much touted CAT exam, but very strangely there were couple of incidents which when I look back seems so freaky.

So for the first time when I was gonna write CAT was in the year 2009. Now when the CAT dates were out for that year, we were supposed to go to few selected Axis bank branches to get the vouchers. The nearest branch to my place was the Borivali’s Branch. So I took my bike and went there, stood in the queue which wasn’t as big as I expected to be. But when I was half way in the queue, I heard the security shouting on top of his voice, “ye kiska bike hai”, I was wondering “hoga koi poor fellow” only to realize, hey! It could be mine too. I ran towards the exit only to find a traffic police and a towing van and few shabby guys who looked more like the local goons. Those goons were towing my bike, my lovely ‘flying-rani’. I quickly went to the police inspector and told him that it was my bike. I had parked the bike off the road (although on the pavement). But there were other bikes too, and God knows why only my bike got picked.

I told the ‘hawaldar’ that I didn’t know that it was no parking zone and I had gone inside for just couple of minutes to get a form. The Hawaldar didn’t say anything but asked for my license. I obliged and then he told me to pick up the license from the traffic police office near the National Park. I apologized for my mistake and but he didn’t listen. In the end I had to do what he wanted me to do. I took out “sau ki patti”, I was really sad that I didn’t had “50 ki patti” and wanted to bargain with him but then let it go. He slyly put it inside his pocket and told me to collect the receipt from the National Park, I wanted to just give him a nice lecture but then I let this go too. My bike was again with me. On asking where to park my bike now, he told me to either park it on the opposite side or to the street just next to the bank. I parked it in the street, it was a deserted street in terms of people and stuff but there were few bikes already parked. I should have seen this before, but anyway I went back to the bank and got my form and rushed back to my bike just in case I don’t have to witness double whammy.

Luckily my bike was still resting; I hopped on and took my keys….keys!!! Where the hell is the keys, it was not in my pocket, OMG I had lost it somewhere, double whammy definitely. I traced back the route, looking down to the road if I had dropped it inadvertently but couldn’t find it. Then I went to the bank again, and thanked God coz the security man was holding my keys and asking people in the queue if it was theirs. I barged in and thanked the watchman and went back to my home.

Now I have already written a blog about how I missed my first “billi” I mean the CAT exam. Yes I did miss the CAT exam as I reached late for it and thus was not allowed to enter in. The details are mentioned in one of the post of this blog so I am not going into it all over again…or shall I :).

A year passed. It was 2010. Again the CAT announcements were out in the papers. This time I was bit serious about the exam, even had enrolled for mock tests. So again I had to go to the axis bank to get the voucher. I took my “flying rani” straight to Marve road and then a left to link road…bang! reached Borivali. This actually makes the bank as X-Axis bank, had I taken a right turn it would be Y-Axis bank. For those who are still wondering what I am talking about, guys this is a PJ, please oblige me and laugh:).

So on reaching the bank I was very mindful of not parking my bike at no parking zone (this zone I am so very sure that the traffic police make at their own whim). So I went bit ahead and parked it into the street where few other bikes were parked (same street I had to park after my bike got towed a year before). I went to the bank, again not as big a queue as I expected it to be. Got the voucher in 10 minutes or so, and headed towards home. But hang on a second…what the &*^@, where is my “flying rani”, I jut couldn’t believe my eyes that my Bike was towed again. This time I was so very furious coz I had parked it at the right place this time. I didn’t had any clue what to do, last time the towing van (vehicle eater) was standing by the bank so I could get my bike on the spot but his time the street was deserted. I waited for a minute wondering what should I be doing, and then bang…saw the towing van coming from the other end of the street. I waved to the vehicle and it stopped. I saw my poor “flying rani” being stuffed between few other bikes. I told the traffic police that it was my bike and also told him that I had parked it at the right place. The traffic police with a growling voice asked for my license and told me that my bike wasn’t parked at the right place coz it was not within some 20 odd feet from the turn that leads to the main road, it was against the rules. I was just looking at him and wondering what the shit is he speaking:) Which all laws do I have to know now, and does this law even exists and above all I am sure that my bike was well over 20 feet away from the turn. I even told him that it was parked way away from that turn; he didn’t agree and said that if that is the case I should get my bike from national park. Shit man! I again thought why only my bike, reached out to my wallet, again regretted not having a Rs 50 note, so got 100 ka note and handed over and asked for the receipt. He said for receipt I have to pay 200. I was just looking at him with anger, he turned away, handed me my license and the towing van went ahead to eat more vehicles. My bike was left behind by the goons, I took the bike, hopped on and then the last thing was still waiting to happen!!! My keys GOD…where are my keys, I searched my pocket, it was missing….I went straight to the bank, this time the watchman too didn’t had anything for me, I traced back my path to the bike looking down to the road but didn’t find my keys. Something clicked and I reached out to my bag that I had put over my shoulder, and there it was….probably sub consciously I had kept my keys in the bag just to be safe.

BTW in the 5 years I have ridden my bike, my bike had got towed only on three occasions (if I recollect them all), two of them are already mentioned in this post (which makes this even more strange) and the third one too happened in Borivali but not near the X-Axis bank :). It was the very first incident of my bike getting towed and in this case I had to go to National Park to fetch it back.

Couple of months after this incident one more thing happened before I could give my CAT exams. I got onsite opportunity in somewhat unusual and unexpected manner and came to onsite therefore missed my CAT again:), isn’t it a coincident or should I say series of coincidences!!!

Historical Trip to NYC

January 9, 2011

Trip to NYC:

This was going to be my first Christmas in US and guess what it was also my first Christmas eve :). So here was the plan for the Friday the 24th. We were clueless of even going out somewhere coz most of my friends have been to NYC on number of occasions. But then my friend Sardha who also happens to be my sis was very firm that even if no one comes with us, we would still be going. So finally in the morning of this Friday we decided that we would indeed be going for NYC and we had one more friend to accompany, our own Sudhendu. So we were just three, going to NYC as it is in the movie NewYork :). I still believe I am John, no arguments guys 🙂

At around 10:00AM I got a call from Sardha that we would be leaving at around 1:15 in the afternoon. So beginning 12:30 I ate a banana, put eggs to boil, made sure that I have enough battery and space in my camera (my only priced possession). While the eggs were boiling I googled information about the place we would be visiting including the train arrival and departure timings. At sharp 1:10 I again got call from Sardha to be ready and come down, this was the time when one complete egg was inside my mouth, I nodded and said I would be there. I quickly finished the other egg, arranged my stuff the camera, hand gloves, skull cap, train time table and the piece of information gathered through google. The car was already waiting for me, I rushed down and we headed towards the Hamilton station. Luckily couple of other common friends was also going out for the weekend so we got a ride till the station.

In next 20mins we were at the parking lot of the station and we could see 1:37 train heading off from there. The next train was at 2:05 so we went to the waiting area after removing the ticket to NYC (to and fro – 30$). Other than us there were 5-6 other from our company whom we met at the station, they too were headed towards NYC, so kind of TCS gang now, although we decided to go our own way, just three of us. I officially mark my fantastic trip to NYC from this moment on.

Waiting for the train, behind us was a lady, beautifully dressed but hey there was something drastically odd about her behavior. She was wearing a heavy make up and dressed elegantly, sitting crossed legs STILL. I mean she was not moving at all, there wasn’t any motion from her. To be very frank I first thought she was a DOLL, really. I was in fact going to take her picture, I am not kidding, she had a fake look on her, but then my friends told me that she was actually moving but her movement was subtle. I observed minutely and I did see here eyes and lips move. Till date I don’t know the reason behind her behavior. The other interesting thing was that just in front row there was this two ladies chatting and whispering close to each other. Then guess what after few minutes they started kissing each other, mind you both of them were ladies! I told one of my friend to see what was happening, (I know that was private thing, but then it was a public place :)). He saw and then scoffed at by asking “haven’t you seen this in Mumbai, Band stand and all” only to correct himself coz he mistook one of them as a guy :). With just 15 mins left for the train I decided to go to the platform and take few snaps.

As I took off my camera and was adjusting my self for a good shot, here was a guy who came to me and asked about the camera I was carrying. I showed him the camera and soon we were into a conversation. He was originally from Russia and was going to Romania. He too was interested in photography and in fact showed me his camera. He asked me where was I from. Then he started telling me about himself. Apparently he had worked in Marines and had come to US when he was 10. He was a cool dude, only thing was that he was smoking while we were chatting. Anyway, he suggested me few good places to visit in NYC. It seemed he had left marine so that he could go around the world and enjoy life. He was a bachelor and wanted to be the same all his life so that there was nothing stopping him from being a freelancer. He in fact told me that he has a huge map with him and whenever he feels like going somewhere he just throws a dart from a distance and wherever the dart lands is the place he would be visiting next….coooool isn’t it. I always dream of this life, going around the world enjoying each and every place, I really think that the life would be a waste staying at one place for ever, this in one time opportunity that we should be utilizing to its entirety. The only thing about it is the Finance or money, where would that come from…..I wanted to ask him but then deterred.

Finally the train arrived too, I bid the guy goodbye. I really learnt a lot from him in that short span of time. The train was bang on time, the doors opened, we entered and our journey took off even faster. Coincidentally the Russian guy was sitting behind me, it felt bit awkward since I was with my friends this time, I just smiled. One of my friend offered me the window seat (else I would have preferred sitting alone :)). It was a 6 seater, 3 either side specially made for people who love gossiping….like us! Through out the journey of over an hour we were the only group making that much of noise. Any way the trains here are half full most of the time, so nobody cares. We reached the Penn station (NYC) at around 3:15PM. I said final adieu to the Russian, wished him luck for Romania, put on my jacket, and left the train.

The very feeling of seeing so many people around made me happy, coz this is so rare at the place where we stay, in fact you see people only in major cities like this one. We came out of the subway and were greeted with the vibrancy of the city, it felt as if we were in entirely different part of the world (which actually it is :)). Standing just outside the Madison Square we took few snaps and moved towards our first destination the “Empire State” building. We knew that it was close to this place. We were at the 6th avenue and had to go to the 5th avenue, street number 33. This was the first time ever for each one of us to be traveling without a person having knowledge of the place. But it was fun, we crossed streets, asked couple of people the direction, believed our intuition on couple of occasions, crossed the Empire state building, went away from our destination….YES we crossed the Empire state building but didn’t recognize coz it was from the side and the top was not visible due to the height and the angle. But as we moved away, Saradha pointed to the building and asked if that is the one, I was so happy to see that coz I recognized at once that this is it….I had only seen it in the movies, TV or in the pics but this was live. It was gorgeous; we quickly moved towards the building, in fact traced back our way and soon were standing just opposite the mammoth structure. A clean inscription “The Empire State”, the top of the building, the place….everything looked so surreal. We crossed the street, and entered inside the building with the crowd. Yes it was crowded….so much crowded. There was a serpentine queue for the ticket and then the security too was very tight. Weirdly the security here was more than what I saw at the NY Airport when I landed. We had to go through the scanner with our belongings through conveyer belt and then to the scanner. After that was the ticket counter, 21$ for the 85th floor which has the observatory and 15 extra bucks if someone wants to view things from the summit, it was 102nd floor if remember well, which I actually I don’t. I took the tickets and we went ahead for the elevator. Again there was a big queue, but the people around didn’t made it feel bore. Just for the record the couple immediately ahead of me were kissing each other every 23 seconds or so. I mean I observed….i mean not the kiss but their chemistry…this girl used to touch the guy’s thigh and then they used to kiss, and sometimes the guy says something funny and then they used to kiss. There were countless gals who were not only brilliant looking but simple awesome, flawless…I was living the moment only to get sad when the thing strike me that most of them were couples :).

Anyway our turn came and we were let into the elevator. From 2-3-5-10-15-20-30-50-70-77-79, we wondered why only till this, we have to go to 85th floor. But nothing was in our control the lifts were programmed that way. We came out and again saw a serpentine queue. The queue was for another “programmed” elevator that would take us to the 85th floor. But looking at the unexpected flow of visitors the guards there made an announcement saying volunteers are free to take the stairs and climb up 6 floors or wait for their turn for next 15minutes in the queue. Half of the crowd dispersed and took the stairs; we belonged to that half…better half….better people…you know!! The stair space was narrow, we moved ahead chatting and there were many like us….guess what in the elevator everybody were quiet but now there was buzz everywhere, this is the fun with taking the stairs :).

So we reached the observatory point in no time, never felt we climbed 6 floors. There were people all around the circumference (observatory was circular is shape) with their cameras on. It was almost sunset now and too perfect for the view. As we stepped out to the open, we could not stop admiring the beauty of the city. It was too perfect a view, the sky in reddish-orange color just enhanced the glimmer, with all the city lights turned on and we viewing this from such a height was really an experience. The Hudson River looked calm from the top, the cloudless sky made the view even more enticing, the lights from the towers and far away were twinkling with grace. I was lost in the moment; I took my camera and started capturing this lifetime experience moment. There were so many people that it was difficult to get a place to steadily take snaps but I managed anyhow. I took a complete view from all over the point and after about 20mins or so when I could not bear the biting cold anymore and that I had viewed and captured views from all the directions or should I say angles.
Now this was the funny part; in the midst of all these I lost Shardha and Sudhendu, or should I say, they lost me. So here I was searching for my friends and they were searching for me, I went complete 3 circles but couldn’t find them. I am not sure how much circle did they go or how many times did we cross each other coz it was dark and to complement the dark each one of us were completely packed into jackets, caps, and gloves, so that made even for difficult to recognize someone. I then decided to just stand in the middle with my camera on, so that my friends who were searching for me could recognize, as expected Sudhendu came from behind and we were back together.

The epical scenes were behind us now, and we were feeling hungry. So we stopped by a burger king outlet and had some food, fuelled our selves and went ahead with our journey. The best part with the NYC is that there are so many shops, so many people, so much of energy that it make you feel comfortable being there. You can anytime stop by a shop to have food, buy things from the stalls on the roads, walk aimlessly until you drop and above all be the part of the hustle-bustle of the city.

Our next destination was the Brooklyn bridge, the same bridge we have seen in so many movies include Bollywood ones. We knew that it was to the south of NYC and we had the address too but didn’t know how to go about it. So I called up one of my friend who stays in NYC and whom I had never called in decades, to give me the direction :). He generously guided me, we took the subway (for the first time again in my life) near by. This is again a good thing about the planning of this City; you have subway entries and exit on almost every steet\avenues. Soon we were inside the train heading towards Brooklyn. Again for the first time inside the subway train, I could relate this to many of the Hollywood movies that I have seen. In next 15 mins or so we were at the Brooklyn station, we came out, read the direction, followed our instinct and went ahead. Sudhendu was leading us this time, just after couple of minutes of walk we were witness to a beautiful and a grand bridge quaintly illuminating in the darkness of the pleasant night . The pavement was aptly laid between the two busy roads, in next 10 minutes we were right at the center of the bridge. It was again an exhilarating experience to be on the bridge and see the East River underneath it and Atlantic Ocean far away, couple of more bridges were seen at a far distance. We took a lot of snaps there, acted foolishly sometimes, and tried couple of weird pose. Btw one thing striking about this area was that all the people we met on the bridge were like the “Chinese\Japanes\Koreans”. All means all. Still don’t know the reason behind this. Again btw one funny incident happened there when we asked two gorgeous looking girls (most probably Koreans) to take our snaps. Now one of the girl in white jacket, long straight hairs and perfect figure was more that happy to click for us. But hey, the way she posed, I mean posed to take our snap was so weird but definitely hot!! She took the camera, bent towards her right at almost 90 degrees and tried taking snap….i could not comprehend why would she have to bend and take snap, it is we who were posing not her. But anyway she could not get a good pic of us which even she admitted to, so she handed over the camera to her other friend, she looked more practical, stood perfectly and clicked, and bingo it was a nice pic. We thanked them both, they replied with their killing smiles and that white jacket girl…OMG…less said the better…still have that picture of her in my mind…absolute beauty :). But this thing really annoys me, why do beautiful girls have to act idiot, the way she did :).

After about spending 30mins or so we trace back the same lane, with vehicles both the sides and clean walkway at the center. Mind you the sub zero temperature was in no way helping our cause, it made us move all the time, we could not stay at a single place for long, we needed to walk to keep ourselves warn enough, and if we have people like those Koreans then should I say hot enough :). It was around half past 7, we moved towards our next destination that was the Wall Street. Although it was quite a distance from here, we decided to go walking till there. This was the time when Sudhendu felt like relieving himself, and due to contagious effect I too felt like rushing to loo ASAP. Sudhendu spotted a pharmacy we went inside and started the search for the loo but to our disappointment we couldn’t find any, I was anyway not convinced at first place that there would be any loo there, we might get diapers though ;). We came out, and rushed to our next destination that was loo. I regret not using the bridge in better way, nobody would have come to know I am sure :). But to the pleasure of our eyes we saw our own McDonalds outlet few meters ahead, we rushed towards it and directly went into the loo, it was amazing that we could find the location for the loo in that big outlet that quickly, that was intuitive I guess. I tell you with all the jackets, gloves, skull caps, mufflers etc Loo is definitely not a preferred place. So finally we were relieved and then moved ahead for the big bull. In next 5 minutes or so we were at the Wall Street. It really looked dull in the night; there were hardly any people out there. No buy, sell calls or puts. Most of them who were present were actually cops and security since that place was a sensitive one. Disappointingly we could not find the big bull even after going round and round about the street, perhaps that bull was being guarded since there were few streets that were closed for entry due to security reasons. Anyway we saw the surrounding, and without wasting any time took the subway (again found it nearby) and moved towards the famous Rockefeller Center. The subway station was completely deserted and it felt we were the only people out there, in fact there was a moment were we were speaking loudly while removing the tickets and then I saw two pair of legs entering the subway station taking the stairs, but then the legs took a halt. It seemed our voice scared those two ladies (legs are enough to distinguish the gender, isn’t it :)), but after few seconds when they realized that it was an innocuous sound (perhaps listening to Sardha speak) they moved in and I was almost laughing at them :). The train came in next 10minutes, and we hopped in. Each time we took the train, I and Sudhendu used to gasp at the metro map and follow the directions that we take. Believe me; the system is so well organized that you can travel alone without a fear of losing direction. Anyway we did lose direction when we reached the 95th street in search of Rockefeller center which is actually situated at the 47-50th street. With the help of a very generous lady we got the correct address, so we hopped back into the subway and moved down town to the 50th street, it was actually our bad and not the system’s fault btw.

We reached at the 55th street but before going to the Rockerfeller center we had something very important to do….fill our empty belly. My friend from NYC had recommended me to this Halal food center which is more of a “dhaba” kind of shop which was at the 48th street and opposite the Hilton towers. So we directly went to “Halal”, to our amazement there was a huge serpentine queue and most of them were either Indians or from Pakistan not sure. They all looked similar; it felt like home a very similar feeling of eating in night at “Bade miya” in Churchgate – Mumbai. For the first time today we heard people speaking in Hindi although there were few who spoke English in a very annoying accent, Americans have a great accent but these people were totally ruining it. Anyway we had the option of not to stand in the queue and that too when the temperature is 4 degrees below freezing, but since this was a very famous “dhaba” we stood there wasting our time gossiping over gibberish things. After about 40 minutes our turn came and we took the hot served food plate and started filling our tummies. The hot vapors out from the food felt like heaven over our naked hands. We were given two sauces that we were supposed to mix and eat but it was too cold outside to resist that much of time just to mix stuffs. The food was not that great, at least for us, may be the sauces would have increase the taste but anyway we could not finish the food since it was heavy and the quantity was good enough for two meals. After the food we went ahead to the Rockerfeller center, by now more than the tiredness it was the chill that was hindering our progress. Battering the chill wind we reached the Rockerfiller center, it was a sight to be seen to be admired. With three tall towers surrounding a central block, the block with a beautifully arranged Christmas tree and an ice skating pond it all looked perfect. There were a lot of people already there to witness the arrival of Christmas. A feeling of joy was in the ambience with Christmas just an hour away. We took few snaps of this place and moved to our last destination that was the ice skating at the Bryant’s Park. I wanted to experience the Ice-Skating thing for the first time in my life, and what better place than the Rockerfeller center but my friend from NYC suggested me this park which was just couple of street away and was bigger in size and with relatively few people and less costlier. So we moved to this park, it was indeed close by and there were indeed fewer people as compared to the Rockerfeller but good enough. It was 11:30 and I and Sardha decided to buckle up the skating shoes. Sudhendu was totally against it coz he didn’t had that pleasant an experience with the ice skating when he did it last time. Sardha too was bit apprehensive coz it was going to be her first such experience too but I anyhow convinced her that nothing would happen and there is nothing to fear, as I will be always there. Little did she knew that I actually wanted someone to just lift me up if I had needed to :). We went to the main entrance but again to our surprise (we don’t live without surprises) it was closed. On asking about it, we were told by this lady that the park would be closing in next 30mins that is midnight so the entries are closed, we however told them that we just need to go in there; we are good with 30 mins. The cute lady allowed us and then there was nothing stopping us. As I was putting on the skating shoes I was wondering how I would go to the skating arena from this place, I mean we had to walk few steps to reach there and this thing in my feet only had a blade beneath, so how could I walk as if I was sure to skate. While I was pondering on this thought Sardha stood up and started walking, Oooo I said we could actually balance on that blade. I too stood up and with little wobble was able to reach the skating arena. Now was the moment.

I put my left leg into the pond and GOOOOOOOODDDDDDDD it was so slippery, never in my dreams did I thought it would skid that much. Holding the rails on the edges I moved my second foot and GOOOOOODDDDDDDDDDDDDDD this too was so slippery. I did nothing but held the rails and stood firmly. Now was Sardha’s turn, she too put her left leg and screamed OOOOOOOO….i thought that was in excitement but actually it was NOOOOOOOOOOO….brave lady she is, she put her second foot and then started screaming, “No I can’t do this”….i was like “you don’t have to do anything, just grasp the railing and stand like I am doing”. She did, but hey now we had to do something at least for the sake of 13 bucks each that we paid for just 30 minutes, so I took my first baby step in the history of my Ice-Skating (please engrave these words with golden “akshar”), still holding the rails I moved little ahead. Then she too followed the baby step. This gave me little bit of confidence and I moved two baby steps ahead still holding the rails. She did too, but but but…..heyyyy what was that…I was watching something in slow motion, still very fresh in my mind….Sardha was screaming, her lower body moving ahead but the law of inertia was acting on the upper half of the body, in fact her upper half was moving backward…and all I could do was “No No NOOOOO” still holding her hand. Meanwhile the law of inertia and momentum were playing well with her lower half of the body and I could only see her falling right in front of me…..I could have gone to save her…but I had no Idea who would have come to save me…..coz my feet were firm, one hand was still clasped to the rails and other hand was quickly slipping away from Sardha’s clutch.

Finally everything was over, she was lying on the ice, half crying and half laughing, even now I was in no position to lift her up, only if my one hand had all the Austin powers, I was very adamant not to move an inch else someone else would have been writing my slow motion fall in his\her blog. There was then a lady who came from behind and just lifted her with one hand…would you believe it, one hand! Within no time Sardha was out of the pond and with all the madness over me in her eyes….I was like “Meri Pyaari Behna” I was HELPLESS….i tried a lot to convince her to be back in the battleground but she simply refused. Now I realized why Shudhenu didn’t join us…hmmmm. Now I was all alone here, in fact I asked one of the skating guards if he can help me learn skating, at least the basics, and he very politely refused. Now I was in front of so many people, from little kids to adorable ladies all were skating as if it is a piece of cake. I was still holding the rails and moving slowly on the edge of the pond disturbing lot of couples having a private moment or others who were just resting. I was carefully watching people around me as in how they were moving so swiftly. Slowly and very importantly steadily! I too was now moving but for most of the time helping my self with the rails but on fewer occasions I did manage to be on my own. I was simply unaware of the surrounding and only concentrating on my skating and my balance. Slowly I moved towards the spot where Sudhenu was ready with the camera, I tried posing (without holding the rails) and succeeded too. He had a cunning smile on him, he asked about Sardha but I was too busy concentrating on my balance, he asked few other thing too which in really don’t remember. Gaining confidence with every baby steps for the first time I noticed the crowd around the place, there were so many strikingly good looking gals, but how helpless was I that I had to concentrate on my balance.
Moving close to the rails, I saw two pretty looking gals looking at me with a smile, the smile similar to what Sudendhu had put on. One of the girl with a smile told me “you can do it” :). I replied “Yes I can, but this is my first time you know”, both smiled back. I took a complete round of the pound and was really happy to do that. Loving adventures, this had to be among the top for me. I still had some time for another round, again with bit more of confidence and most of the time without holding the rails I was moving faster now, crossed Sudhendu with a smile, then met those two pretty gals again, this time they just smiled but didn’t say anything, but I did. “Better that the first round, right:)”…one of them said “yup, this is better”, smile exchanged, wanted to exchange numbers too but thought concentrating on balance is more important. I did had a moment when I wobbled a lot and lost my balance a bit and was down on the ground but then it was definitely nowhere close to what Sardha had experienced or what Sudhendu might have experienced :). As soon as I completed my second round it was midnight, everybody greeted “Merry Christmas”, kissed their loved once….all this time I was too focused on moving out of the pond…and as soon as I did I jumped and thumped the air, this was really a great sense of achievement for me and I plan to perfect my self in this sport and may be I will have time to exchange numbers then :).

That was it, we took the train back to our place, all exhausted, but the memory of this trip will never exhaust. I rate it among my personal top 5 “days to remember” :). Special thanks to Sudhu and Sardha for being such a good company :).

Cheers………

 

Movie At 11!

April 3, 2010

Movies at 11:

I thought of writing this article just because of my passion for the movies.
So here are the top 11 movies that I have seen in past 3 year…and yes let me tell you that three year back I hardly used to watch any movie…hardly, not even the Bollywood ones. But now I make sure that I watch at least one movie a week from my huge collection of the movies (All NON BOLLYWOOD).

Before starting let me clarify that the sequence in which the description of the movies appear, doesn’t indicate my rankings coz it is too difficult for me to rate one above the other. Though I should say that the first two movies are my favorites ranked 1 and 2 and rest are among my personal top 11 list in random order.

The Pursuit of Happyness: I don’t have any doubts in declaring this movie as the best movie ever. There is not a single point that goes against the movie. Mind blowing acting and amazing chemistry between the father-son along with the emotions involved makes it the topmost movie in my list. You can actually relate it with lives of many common people who emerge victorious against all odds. You have to watch it if you need to find the definition of happiness and how painful can the struggle be for most of the people who are not lucky enough to be born rich.

Reasons to watch:
1.    The truth of life is being portrayed and the excellent chemistry between the father and a son. By the way the son in the movie is also the Will Smith’s real son.
2.    Proves the importance of perseverance, hard work and determination in life. You can achieve anything and against all odds if you have those two.
3.    Based on a real story.
4.    Doesn’t have any gore, violence, nudity, blasphemy, etc. You can all watch it with your family.
5.    No comments on the acting, specially the Will Smith. I am too small to judge his brilliance in the movie. It looks so real.
6.    One of the movies that bring tears to my eyes every time I see it.

The Shawshank Redemption: Again a clear winner and deserves being the number one movie on the IMDB top 250 lists. Just because I am bit emotional and love things that actually happens around in the real world, I have put the above movie as my top favorite.
If you have any doubts that a lone, helpless person can not do anything great in this world, just go ahead and watch this movie. Nothing beats the power of determination and patience. One thing I have learnt from this movie is that you don’t have to tell your enemy that you are killing (defeating) him until he realizes that he is already dead.

Reasons to watch:
1.    Awesome acting.
2.    Core thing is that when you know that you are true and honest no matter what are you up to, you will emerge as a winner and even if someone with all the authorities and power is against you, you can still defeat him if you have confidence in you. This includes even if you are alone fighting against the entire world that too in a nonviolent way.
3.    Another thing it teaches is the importance of patience in life. Believe me (or at least the movie) your enemy would just hate to see this quality in you as it is not everyone’s cup of tea.
4.    Again it doesn’t have any gore, little bit of prison violence, no nudity, no blasphemy, etc. You can all watch it with your family.
5.    Do listen for the unforgettable and inspiring dialogues\quotes in the movie.

The Prestige:
Want to know what is obsession? This movie is for you. Setup in the era around the end of 19th century this movie has got a tremendous screenplay. The movie clearly epitomizes the common desire of getting more famous than the other. That was the time when people used to work for a sole reason that they just loved their work, penchant for money never tempted the humans of that era. This movie also proves how much do people are ready to sacrifice just to prove that they are better than someone else.

Watch the movie for:
1.    Lovely screenplay.
2.    Lovely acting.
3.    Lovely theme.
4.    MEANING OF OBSESSION!
5.    Also for one of the most beautiful woman on earth – Scarlett Johansson
Btw you can watch this with your parents 🙂

The Usual Suspects:
If you love to get puzzled, if you love movie’s CLIMAX that makes you go crazy and if you love deceiving people, this movie is for you. It has got the best climax among all the movies I have seen till now. That’s a big thing to say, but it is true.
Watch out for:
1.    Exceptional acting (actually it goes with out saying that all these 11 movies fulfills this criteria that is acting!!!)
2.    Mind blowing CLIMAX! (don’t take in other way :-))
3.    The teaching, that never underestimate the weak, and often it happens that what appears in reality is just an illusion and what appears to be unreal is what the reality is.
4.    Do I need to say more?

The Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind:
Interesting one and especially for those who are in a relationship and often fight over trivial issues. Now I hope more people are gonna watch this movie :-). Staring Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey, interesting pair indeed, this movie has something in it that makes you watch it more and more and strengthens your belief in LOVE, I mean the true LOVE!
Watch out for:
1.    Extra ordinary theme\story. Believe me if I pen down in just a small paragraph the gist of the story, there wont be a single person who would be able to resist watching the movie.
2.    After the movie you will be assured that true love can never be washed away and it remains with you for rest of your life.
3.    The direction and the concept of the movie, just awesome.
4.    Again the climax, it gives you Goosebumps.
5.    No gore or violence in the movie.

City Of God:
Caution before, this one has got loads of violence. And I am pretty sure that girls would not like the movie as much as guys would. This movie depicts the real slum story of “Rio De Janeiro” in Brazil. It is all about the life in slums, the gang wars, and the eternal cycle of shift in power. It is a strong movie which maintains the tempo from beginning till the end.

Watch out for:
1.    The reality depicted in the movie. No where does it makes you feel that it is a reel story but real.
2.    The brilliant screenplay and dialogues (watch them carefully).
3.    Importance of law, order and education in any society.
4.    The false belief that you can be in power for eternity.
5.    Revenge and redemption.
Only minor problem you might have is the subtitles as the movie is not in English. Good if you could get the dubbed version but in no way does it take away the brilliance in the movie.

Schindeller’s List:
This movie has been the favorites of many people and rightly so. If some one wants to know the details of barbaric act against the Jews by the Nazis, this movie tells it all. The holocaust and the horrendous, inhumanity against the poor Jews really brings tears to your eyes. The best part is the change of heart of a Nazi officer (mind you, a spoiler) and the sympathy he shows towards the Jews. Truly amazing!!
Watch out for:
1.    The life, how we are better off and how cruel can life can be for others (God where were you).
2.    It is based on a real story.
3.    Jews frightful condition under the Nazis and their endurance.
4.    A Human amid the devils.
5.    Above all the MR. SCHINDELLER.

Life is beautiful:
Just one word BEAUTIFUL. It is a classic piece of art. This movie makes you believe that in spite of the precarious situation you can still survive by being yourself, being calm and enjoying the way you live, because life indeed is beautiful. I bet this movie will have a lasting impression in your life, at least for the father-son duo. Like the above movie this one too is about the Nazi’s treatment against the Jews but has far lesser violence and more aligned to the life in a Ghetto and the love of a father towards his son.
Watch out for:

1.    Father’s love towards his son and his effort to protect him at any cost.
2.    The pathetic condition of Jews (getting different kind of feeling after writing about the above movie and this one, I pray those conditions never arises in the future ever and may God give peace to those helpless souls).
3.    How can we make our life less complicated by just being what we are?
4.    Essence of the movie.

Titanic:
I just love sea and ships. This movie was always in my top movies list. Above that the romance just makes it even more compelling. I can watch it 100times (bit exaggerated:-)) and still would not get bored.
Watch out for:
1.    Romance and love.
2.    Life on a ship.
3.    How people from different social strata being in the same ship live life in an entirely different fashion.
4.    Breathtaking scenes while it sinks.

Babel:
This one is of a genre where you see different stories running in parallel and often having a common string that binds them together. I personally love these kinds of movies. The movie has got stories from different location on the earth but each one connected to other. It really amazes me the way the director has seamlessly captured the essence of the respective geography. Again this is one of the movies that may move you into tears (keep napkins handy:-)).
Watch out for:
1.    The life in different parts of world.
2.    Though being so far from each other we all have some kind of problems in the life, so everything being uncommon the problems definitely are common as are love and hatred for that matter.
3.    How cruel and unfair the life can be to us, but above all how can we rise against all odds and emerge triumphant.
4.    How deeply the emotions are attached and how important they are for each one of us.

Memento:
This one is truly UNIQUE and I don’t think we have any other movie of this kind (not sure actually).
One thing I will tell you in advance is that this movie made my head go round and round and round when I saw it for the first time. This is because almost the entire movie is in backward timeline, two minutes of live and then 15 minutes backward, two minutes of live and then 30mins backward, so on and so forth (again a spoiler).

Watch out for:
1.    Incredible concept, direction and acting.
2.    The CLIMAX again, mind blowing.
3.    Full length of thrill and suspense.
4.    The perplexity of a person that the actor is.
5.    Where do Bollywood movies get the ideas from 🙂

By no means are these the best movies ever made but definitely worth watching once (at least). Other than these movies I would like to recommend few more which are equally worthy of being in the top 11.
Pulp Fiction, Fight Club, Donnie Darko, A Beautiful Mind, GoodFellas, Godfather and many more…..

Few excellent animation movies for me are: (Top 5)
Kung Fu Panda, Horton Hears a Woo, Finding Nemo, Over the hedge, Ice Age – 1
PS: I love all the animation movies, and make sure that I watch them at least once. Kung Fu Panda is the undisputed king of this genre.
To be frank I could just go on writing about so many other excellent movies coz I feel as if I am not doing justice to them, but then these are my final top 11 movies (TILL NOW). Do pour in with your valuable comments, recommendations, and suggestions. Would love to hear your top three movies of all time (NON BOLLYWOOD please).

Cheers!!!

Movies at 11:

I thought of writing this article just because of my passion for the movies.
So here are the top 11 movies that I have seen in past 3 year…and yes let me tell you that three year back I hardly used to watch any movie…hardly, not even the Bollywood ones. But now I make sure that I watch at least one movie a week from my huge collection of the movies (All NON BOLLYWOOD).

Before starting let me clarify that the sequence in which the description of the movies appear, doesn’t indicate my rankings coz it is too difficult for me to rate one above the other. Though I should say that the first two movies are my favorites ranked 1 and 2 and rest are among my personal top 11 list in random order.

The Pursuit of Happyness: I don’t have any doubts in declaring this movie as the best movie ever. There is not a single point that goes against the movie. Mind blowing acting and amazing chemistry between the father-son along with the emotions involved makes it the topmost movie in my list. You can actually relate it with lives of many common people who emerge victorious against all odds. You have to watch it if you need to find the definition of happiness and how painful can the struggle be for most of the people who are not lucky enough to be born rich.

Reasons to watch:
1.    The truth of life is being portrayed and the excellent chemistry between the father and a son. By the way the son in the movie is also the Will Smith’s real son.
2.    Proves the importance of perseverance, hard work and determination in life. You can achieve anything and against all odds if you have those two.
3.    Based on a real story.
4.    Doesn’t have any gore, violence, nudity, blasphemy, etc. You can all watch it with your family.
5.    No comments on the acting, specially the Will Smith. I am too small to judge his brilliance in the movie. It looks so real.
6.    One of the movies that bring tears to my eyes every time I see it.

The Shawshank Redemption: Again a clear winner and deserves being the number one movie on the IMDB top 250 lists. Just because I am bit emotional and love things that actually happens around in the real world, I have put the above movie as my top favorite.
If you have any doubts that a lone, helpless person can not do anything great in this world, just go ahead and watch this movie. Nothing beats the power of determination and patience. One thing I have learnt from this movie is that you don’t have to tell your enemy that you are killing (defeating) him until he realizes that he is already dead.

Reasons to watch:
1.    Awesome acting.
2.    Core thing is that when you know that you are true and honest no matter what are you up to, you will emerge as a winner and even if someone with all the authorities and power is against you, you can still defeat him if you have confidence in you. This includes even if you are alone fighting against the entire world that too in a nonviolent way.
3.    Another thing it teaches is the importance of patience in life. Believe me (or at least the movie) your enemy would just hate to see this quality in you as it is not everyone’s cup of tea.
4.    Again it doesn’t have any gore, little bit of prison violence, no nudity, no blasphemy, etc. You can all watch it with your family.
5.    Do listen for the unforgettable and inspiring dialogues\quotes in the movie.

The Prestige:
Want to know what is obsession? This movie is for you. Setup in the era around the end of 19th century this movie has got a tremendous screenplay. The movie clearly epitomizes the common desire of getting more famous than the other. That was the time when people used to work for a sole reason that they just loved their work, penchant for money never tempted the humans of that era. This movie also proves how much do people are ready to sacrifice just to prove that they are better than someone else.

Watch the movie for:
1.    Lovely screenplay.
2.    Lovely acting.
3.    Lovely theme.
4.    MEANING OF OBSESSION!
5.    Also for one of the most beautiful woman on earth – Scarlett Johansson
Btw you can watch this with your parents 🙂

The Usual Suspects:
If you love to get puzzled, if you love movie’s CLIMAX that makes you go crazy and if you love deceiving people, this movie is for you. It has got the best climax among all the movies I have seen till now. That’s a big thing to say, but it is true.
Watch out for:
1.    Exceptional acting (actually it goes with out saying that all these 11 movies fulfills this criteria that is acting!!!)
2.    Mind blowing CLIMAX! (don’t take in other way :-))
3.    The teaching, that never underestimate the weak, and often it happens that what appears in reality is just an illusion and what appears to be unreal is what the reality is.
4.    Do I need to say more?

The Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind:
Interesting one and especially for those who are in a relationship and often fight over trivial issues. Now I hope more people are gonna watch this movie :-). Staring Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey, interesting pair indeed, this movie has something in it that makes you watch it more and more and strengthens your belief in LOVE, I mean the true LOVE!
Watch out for:
1.    Extra ordinary theme\story. Believe me if I pen down in just a small paragraph the gist of the story, there wont be a single person who would be able to resist watching the movie.
2.    After the movie you will be assured that true love can never be washed away and it remains with you for rest of your life.
3.    The direction and the concept of the movie, just awesome.
4.    Again the climax, it gives you Goosebumps.
5.    No gore or violence in the movie.

City Of God:
Caution before, this one has got loads of violence. And I am pretty sure that girls would not like the movie as much as guys would. This movie depicts the real slum story of “Rio De Janeiro” in Brazil. It is all about the life in slums, the gang wars, and the eternal cycle of shift in power. It is a strong movie which maintains the tempo from beginning till the end.

Watch out for:
1.    The reality depicted in the movie. No where does it makes you feel that it is a reel story but real.
2.    The brilliant screenplay and dialogues (watch them carefully).
3.    Importance of law, order and education in any society.
4.    The false belief that you can be in power for eternity.
5.    Revenge and redemption.
Only minor problem you might have is the subtitles as the movie is not in English. Good if you could get the dubbed version but in no way does it take away the brilliance in the movie.

Schindeller’s List:
This movie has been the favorites of many people and rightly so. If some one wants to know the details of barbaric act against the Jews by the Nazis, this movie tells it all. The holocaust and the horrendous, inhumanity against the poor Jews really brings tears to your eyes. The best part is the change of heart of a Nazi officer (mind you, a spoiler) and the sympathy he shows towards the Jews. Truly amazing!!
Watch out for:
1.    The life, how we are better off and how cruel can life can be for others (God where were you).
2.    It is based on a real story.
3.    Jews frightful condition under the Nazis and their endurance.
4.    A Human amid the devils.
5.    Above all the MR. SCHINDELLER.

Life is beautiful:
Just one word BEAUTIFUL. It is a classic piece of art. This movie makes you believe that in spite of the precarious situation you can still survive by being yourself, being calm and enjoying the way you live, because life indeed is beautiful. I bet this movie will have a lasting impression in your life, at least for the father-son duo. Like the above movie this one too is about the Nazi’s treatment against the Jews but has far lesser violence and more aligned to the life in a Ghetto and the love of a father towards his son.
Watch out for:

1.    Father’s love towards his son and his effort to protect him at any cost.
2.    The pathetic condition of Jews (getting different kind of feeling after writing about the above movie and this one, I pray those conditions never arises in the future ever and may God give peace to those helpless souls).
3.    How can we make our life less complicated by just being what we are?
4.    Essence of the movie.

Titanic:
I just love sea and ships. This movie was always in my top movies list. Above that the romance just makes it even more compelling. I can watch it 100times (bit exaggerated:-)) and still would not get bored.
Watch out for:
1.    Romance and love.
2.    Life on a ship.
3.    How people from different social strata being in the same ship live life in an entirely different fashion.
4.    Breathtaking scenes while it sinks.

Babel:
This one is of a genre where you see different stories running in parallel and often having a common string that binds them together. I personally love these kinds of movies. The movie has got stories from different location on the earth but each one connected to other. It really amazes me the way the director has seamlessly captured the essence of the respective geography. Again this is one of the movies that may move you into tears (keep napkins handy:-)).
Watch out for:
1.    The life in different parts of world.
2.    Though being so far from each other we all have some kind of problems in the life, so everything being uncommon the problems definitely are common as are love and hatred for that matter.
3.    How cruel and unfair the life can be to us, but above all how can we rise against all odds and emerge triumphant.
4.    How deeply the emotions are attached and how important they are for each one of us.

Memento:
This one is truly UNIQUE and I don’t think we have any other movie of this kind (not sure actually).
One thing I will tell you in advance is that this movie made my head go round and round and round when I saw it for the first time. This is because almost the entire movie is in backward timeline, two minutes of live and then 15 minutes backward, two minutes of live and then 30mins backward, so on and so forth (again a spoiler).

Watch out for:
1.    Incredible concept, direction and acting.
2.    The CLIMAX again, mind blowing.
3.    Full length of thrill and suspense.
4.    The perplexity of a person that the actor is.
5.    Where do Bollywood movies get the ideas from 🙂

By no means are these the best movies ever made but definitely worth watching once (at least). Other than these movies I would like to recommend few more which are equally worthy of being in the top 11.
Pulp Fiction, Fight Club, Donnie Darko, A Beautiful Mind, GoodFellas, Godfather and many more…..

Few excellent animation movies for me are: (Top 5)
Kung Fu Panda, Horton Hears a Woo, Finding Nemo, Over the hedge, Ice Age – 1
PS: I love all the animation movies, and make sure that I watch them at least once. Kung Fu Panda is the undisputed king of this genre.
To be frank I could just go on writing about so many other excellent movies coz I feel as if I am not doing justice to them, but then these are my final top 11 movies (TILL NOW). Do pour in with your valuable comments, recommendations, and suggestions. Would love to hear your top three movies of all time (NON BOLLYWOOD please).

MadAdd

March 10, 2010

MADADD:

I thought of writing this article only after the last ODI between India and SA. For more than a year the NEO Sports has been telecasting the matches involving India, be it in India or abroad.

Now here is what I think could happen in future. If India doesn’t perform well in few of the matches, which I pray doesn’t happen, the TRPs of the matches would go down like hell. Only because, like me many of my colleagues are now fed up with the frequency at which the channel take BREAK between the overs and sometimes during the over too. In the recently concluded series we were devoid of the best of cricket. There were many instances where few of the balls bowled were not shown at all. And quite regularly as soon as the last ball is bowled the break is taken, and then the ADD runs until the bowler reaches the umpire for the next over. This kind of broadcast and the money hungry broadcasters are ruining the quality of cricket. Gone are the days when we had enjoyed the captains call between the overs, the chat between the batsman and fielders, boundary fielders interacting with the crowd, umpires chatting with the players, and above all the terrific commentary etc. Now even when two player collide while fielding, these poor broadcaster don’t hesitate in taking break and we never come to know what exactly had happened. Breaks are taken even when a player had reached his century or had hit six\four\taken a wicket on the last ball of the over. What a shame!! Cricket is not only just bowler bowling at the batsman and batsman hitting it. It is much more than that. I would have really boycotted the series had India not played well.

This might also be the reason why cricket is not that famous compared to soccer, golf, F1, or tennis.

Having said all this let me take some positives out of this. Now that I have seen same advertisement repeating umpteenth of time, I can comment on few of those :-). Here are few categories into which I have segregated the ADDS into.

1.    Irrelevant Ones
A bikini clad women coming out of the sea on to the shore. First I thought it was a bikini ADD, then I thought may be an ADD by Goa tourism department to attract foreigners and to remind them that look people, Goa is safe!! But hey what does a cement company had to do with bikini or for that matter a woman. God saves JK Cement. Cheapo Cheapo, could have taken a better looking woman at least ;).

Why is Akshay kumar so desperate for a 25Rs Coke, common you don’t need to take so much of risk just for Rs25. If you need I can donate that much but please don’t put your life in jeopardy by doing those stunts. I get a feeling that those stunts were meant for dhoom-3 which Akshay might have fleeced from their director coz he did not cast him for the movie.

2.    Relevant Ones
Magician trying to make a palace invisible is astonished to see that though the palace is gone the paint still remains. Thumbs up Asian Paints.

From an irritating DOCOMO, DOCOMO, A-AA-A-O, DOCOMO to “friends share everything” is a huge leap forward for the Japanese-Indian joint establishment. Way to go dear, Vodafone and Airtel are way ahead in putting the best Adds forward.
Idea and Aircel have taken to saving the environment, great and noble idea. One can save trees so that tigers can leave peacefully for other, why don’t they merge…just a suggestion :-). The new entry by Spice is welcomed too; I am sure that it will give run for the money to discovery and animal planet. It is nice to see healthy competition between these service providers. Good for all of us:-). Expect SMS rates to come down as the call rates are already stagnant.

Although the service providers are coming out with brilliant ADDs the equipment makers are degrading the standards. Lava, Lemon, Onida(don’t try again), what not….at least could have chosen better names.

3.    In the middle
Volkswagen could have done better. Being such a huge brand, was expecting to come up with something new and one which appeal to Indian crowd.

“Why play akele”, join iBibo, again it is an OK OK Add, could have done better. By the way I created an account in iBibo, it looks a replica of facebook.

Looking for your suggestions and any other ADDs that come to your “zaham” 🙂

Missed my first BILLI!!!

January 31, 2010

Here we go:
This was for the first time that I was going to appear for the CAT exams. So here I was, all prepared for tomorrow and by preparation I mean the following:

Date: 4th December 2009
Venue: Thakur College (Management), Kandiwali(E)
Time: 10:00 AM
Only thing apart from this which comes under my ambit of preparedness is the CAT – 2008 Question Paper (with solution) that I had solved (by looking at the solutions) couple of days back. That’s all!!! There was obviously no chance for me to crack the CAT but still I was positive for tomorrow, you never know, as I always say that Luck can be sometimes very cruel (for others I mean). So assuming that others might mess up the paper I was all ready to roar and crack.

Anyway this year the exam pattern was changed from written, to computer based exam. Being very familiar with the computer based exams; my confidence was just about the overflow mark (OoOZing). Little more of it and IIM-A would come running after me.

Just before going to the bed I ran through the events that would occur the next day (I call it planning ahead). I had put an alarm for 7:30 AM, would be leaving home at around 8:35 AM on my flying rani (bike – CT100), reach there by 9:00, will come out of the exam room by 12:30 PM or so and  leave for my office (ya right, afternoon shit…I mean shift). Being all clear for tomorrow, along with the admit card I lied on the bed and soon went into the world of my own…kkhhrrrr khhhrrr….(just the background effect as I don’t snore ;)).

Snoooooooooze…..Snoooooooooze…..Sno!!! not this time!! wake up Nilesh, look at the time (voice from inside me). I obliged and woke up…..OMG, its 7:45 AM, already 15mins late….have to cover up for the lost time….took my brush and started thinking of how can I save 15mins from my routine now….anyways I managed some time by adjusting my usual time I spend for bath, wash!!!, and breakfast. It was 8:40 in the clock and I was ready to leave, Mom wished me luck and I left on my flying rani.

There wasn’t much of traffic but it still took me around 20mins to reach the venue. On reaching the college, I parked my bike near the main gate and started walking inside. Suddenly a watchman emerged from nowhere and asked me for my I-Card. At first moment I wondered do I have to show my office I-Card!!!…..and then realized it’s a college dude. I politely said that I have come for the Cat exam, he directed me to the gate number 5, I obliged. Left my bike there itself as the gate wasn’t that far. On my way few memories of engineering college freshened up, babes, dudes; ishtyle, immaturity, miStakes and of course exams….

At gate number five I was told by another watchman that it is actually the next gate, no problem I said and marched ahead. Finally came to the proper gate. I was expecting some crowd there, but to my surprise there were just two other guys like me with paper (admit card) in there hands and shouting something to the watchman there. As I went close I asked them what the matter was and why were they not going in, don’t they fear that they might get late for exam…..careless chaps. One of the guy told me that the gate is actually locked from inside and the authorities are not letting people inside anymore because it was already time and that they were LATE!! LATE!! LATE!! (imagine the word zooming in and out)…..did I hear correct….no this can not be true…there was indeed a pumpkin sized lock on the gate from inside and a watchman there oblivious of the abuses being hurled at him from the outside, was coolly taking a stroll.

Believe me I have never been late to any exams in my life till now, how could this happen. It was around 9:10 that time and the gate was closed. I was shocked actually that how on earth they could close the gate so early, as there was still 50mins for the exam. Shortly three of us were joined by two more latecomers, together we thought of doing something, as the gate was closed from inside and the watchman was not ready to listen a word. We first thought of climbing up the gate and jump on to other side but soon realized that coming bit late doesn’t mean that we lose our senses; this was indeed a bad option as we could run the risk of being thrown off the campus like dogs, and CATs. After five minutes or so when we saw that things are not going anywhere, I told those guys that we can enter from the previous gate (from which I was directed to this one), I told them that we would not ask anything at the gate and will just enter as if we were from the same college. That was a risk worth taking; coz even if we are caught we could very well tell them that we didn’t knew that we need to have the ICards. Plan was a major success :-), no one stopped us at the gate and soon we were outside the exam hall at the 2nd floor.

There were couple of attendants at the corner who actually got aghast at seeing us entering the floor. They asked us, who we were. We politely told them that we have come there for CAT exams. They thundered back at us, as how were we allowed to enter inside. We didn’t lie, and told them that we came by gate (that strolling watchman is now screwed), how else could we have reached here, by jumping over the gate!!! (idiots…). One of the attendants went up and called someone, may be the supervisor. In a minute or so he arrived and blasted at us and told us to leave the college ASAP. How could that *&%$*#$ talk to us in that way. We were very calm and polite and asked for apologies for being bit late. The gate was actually closed at 9:05AM and we were just 3-4 minutes late. The supervisor cooled down a bit and told us that the initial process is complete and students have already started taking exams and they were not allowed to entertain latecomers and there has been strict warning from the management. There were also cameras installed at various places in order to track all the process, so there was no way we could give exam now!!!! All our hopes were dashed at that very moment. We tried our best to convince him but all in vain, and when we refused to budge from there he got angry and warned us that if we didn’t leave now he would be calling the securities to throw us out.

I was the first one to take stairs downwards, others reluctantly followed. One of them in anger asked me why did I leave, I calmed him down and told him about the rules and all, in short all those crap things that the supervisor was telling us (but actually I was afraid of imagining my self being thrown out by the security guards). Coming out of the building, few other officials had gathered may be after listening to the arguments between that supervisor and us. Everyone took turns in making us understand their predicaments. During the discussions we came to know that the supervisor was actually the Principal of that college!!! (I and all faces which has slightest of resemblance to that of mine can be assured of not getting admission there). I asked one of the officials that we need to talk to the PROMETRICS (name should be very famous by now) officer who was in charge of the management there. They told us that there was no one from PROMETRIC but they do have left BIG BOSS (cameras) spread across the college\floors\rooms and perhaps inside loos too. Official present there were kind enough to suggest that we talk to the IIM center through there helpline number and let them know about the situation, which we had already tried but could not get to them as the lines were busy. We finally accepted the fact that we have screwed ourselves and we will not be writing the exam this year.

To be very honest I felt sorry for couple of those guys who were on verge of crying (who says Men don’t cry) coz they had given everything for the past one year. I had come there just to experience my first time luck in CAT, but still it felt like a big failure, perhaps bigger failure than getting zero percentile (I don’t think it is possible though).

It was a big learning lesson for me. I was aware that for the exam we were supposed to reach two hours before the actual time, but took it lightly as I thought its waste of time, reaching so early and might just be a cautious note from their side. I was seriously not aware of process like biometric, photos etc that happens before you write your exams. Really should have asked some one before hand, but as I said before….i took it lightly. I promised to myself that this kind of situation is not gonna repeat in my life again. Rarely do I think that I failed my self, today I did.

/* Gyaan Sagar  begins*/
Actual thing is that if you really have put your time and effort for something, you would never commit blunders like this, but when your mind don’t support your action, when you yourself is not 100% confident and dedicated you are bound to commit mistakes or take it lightly, just because you wont mind much if things turn sour afterwards.
/* Gyaan Sagar ends */

Post events were even more embarrassing; imagine answering your friends, parents, etc when they ask you HOW WAS THE CAT??
To which I politely say I MISSED THE BILLI!!!

Hello world!

January 24, 2010

Folks,

After leading a rather boring and monotonous life I have decided to change the things a bit….we come across many instances where we find something really interesting and think of sharing the experience with others, collect their thoughts and have a discussion over them. Many a time we come across unique incidences\coincidences, few other times some thought provoking subject refreshes our minds. So just in order to pin them down on a common portal and share with like minded people I thought of writing blogs. Hope that I don’t leave my newly found passion in midst and may I get your valuable comments\suggestions.

Special thanks to WORDPRESS for being host to all my nonsenses. 🙂 Enjoyyyyy……..