Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Where the hell is Matt?

This is most brilliant video I have seen! P sent it to me and I what a joy it is :)

I wish I had made the video!

See the video here it says it took 14 months in the making, 42 countries, and a cast of thousands.

For more about Matt the guy behind the video (and in front of the camera) go here

Monday, July 28, 2008

More blasts - this time in Ahmedabad

I have no words to describe the anger and frustration I feel about the Ahmedabad blasts. As of this morning 46 people have been killed! What on earth is the logic behind this mindlessness?

Only sane thing I did was to stay away from the damned news channels. I cannot be angry at more than one thing at a time!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A day amidst energy, enthusiasm and efficiency

I spent one full day 8am to 8 pm watching 17 stage plays! I was the judge along with two others at the Chirst College festival "Darpan 2008" of which theatre is one category. BOY, was I impressed. These days kids get so many opportunities and they sure make use of it very well. There was class in all the performances. There was absolutely no slapstick comedy and the production quality was very good. I just did not expect PUC and under graduate students to come with such a fascinating show.

Even the themes were very interesting. None were frivolous. There were 4 comedies and the rest were all very serious topics. - rape, communal problems, seven sins, media madness, war, partition, romance, underworld...it was all there.

The underworld play was based on Ram Gopal Varma's Sarkar. Like a sequel to Sarkar Raj, they did a very slick job, I tell you! RGV should get the script from these kids :) I had agreed to be the judge very reluctantly, but I think it was a day well spent.

Of course we had trouble agreeing on who wins and who doesn't. The results will be announced in August. May be I'll write a review of the prize winning plays after that.

I also watched 3 street play performances (there were totally 10). Very good performances.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The blasts and the blasted TV

13 phone calls, 32 sms and 5 emails later, I know that all the people I was worried about are safe and sound. But the fact that V is still not home (stuck in traffic jam) and I can't reach his mobile at all is freaking me out.

My heart goes out to those caught in it all...9 blasts in a couple of hours. It killed 3 and injured about 15. They can call it low intensity but it is scary, nevertheless.

And I am mad at television channels because they don't seem to get the facts right. All the English channels didn't even get the names of the places right till 3 hours after...Audugidi & Sarjipura for Audugodi & Sarjapura. Since most people in Bangalore aren't localites, I have been getting questions about these locations!

The Kannada channel TV9's anchor was worth being lynched with his inane questions. Sample this, he's questioning some eyewitness on phone and he asks "Bangaloreans are not used to such things so how was it to hear the blast?" What the????

Then he also says that the bomb doesn't look like it was made by professionals (HUH???). And goes on to spew his theories...if they were professionals he says, they wouldn't put the bomb near the naala (this is near audugodi) where no one is bound to get injured. I wonder if he worked with the bomb squad before shifting to this glamorous profession of news reading!

Then they went off to Mallya hospital to question one of the guys who got injured. The guy's obviously shaken, he hasn't been bandaged fully yet, he's pressing cotton on to his right arm and there are 3 mikes thrust in his face!

All channels without exception were quite happy to speculate as to who put the bombs there. And all the usual suspects were named. Of course by evening they said this was not an international action but someone local was involved.

I agree there is a need to get the information, but why jump the gun when you have no clear information? And really please can you not think before you speak / ask questions? There are people watching you on live TV and hoping you know your jobs for godsake!

And what's wrong with the aam junta? Minutes after the blast, one would think that they would stay put at homes / offices where it is relatively safer. But there were 100s of people out to see what happened. Curiousity has brought them out, one reporter said. I don't get it.

Then of course the clincher, someone from the centre said, the last 2 blasts (now Bangalore and Jaipur 2 months ago) have happened in BJP led states! Apparently indicating the ineptitude of the party. Nice time to take potshots and the opposition.


Correction: Only 1 was killed and 8 injured in yesterday's blasts!

Friday, July 18, 2008


This is fresh, just an hour old...I am incapable of doing one thing at a time! See, I always have been doing more than one thing at a time. Like reading 2 books together (no in a very logical way don't imagine crazy), or doing my job and studying, or having a huge fight with my other and at the same time writing long love notes. I've always done things like that. But now I fiddle with my phone when I am talking to people. I browse when I am watching TV. I read when I am watching TV. I am listening to music when I am cooking. I am constantly multi-tasking. Not a good thing eh!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Across the Vindhyas

This is something that I have long wanted to write. But I was very sure that I will not be able to give a "balanced" view. But I came across Truly Indian's post and I thought he put it across really well.

He says in his post "The first thing I have observed over these years is that the people* born and brought up in Northern India have no idea about the geography or the culture of the states located to the south of the tropic of cancer. We shall exclude Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Orissa from the debate since they lie on both sides of the tropic of cancer." Does that sound familiar? Read the rest here

I don't mean to spark off ill-feelings here. But this is something that does bother me.

Jaane Tu...What a joy!

There are movies and there are movies. This is true in all parts of the country where cinema is a such a big part of our lives. But with more than 900 films a year (in all languages on an average) that is produced, it is indeed extremely difficult find new subjects and give a unique film (a well made one at that). Bollywood isn't different from this either. But once in a while comes a movie that has a very regular love story(what else) but with intelligent people behind it in every aspect. Jaane Tu Ya Jaane na is one such film.

Let me start with the cast. I have not seen such a fantastic ensemble of talent in a Hindi film in a long long time. The friends of the protagonists are all refreshingly normal. Having the option of being characters that are real as opposed to props to boost the fantastic hero & heroine, they do the job really well. Then there are the parents. They are so real that they could be people from your own lives. Nasiruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah, Jayant Kriplani, Anooradha Patel (What a joy to see her again) have done a fabulous job. Nasiruddin as the father of Imran Khan in a portrait is finally back what he does the best - acting. No hamming up that is required of him in every other script that has come his way in the last 10 years at least! Ratna Pathak as Imran's mother is a delight. Her timing sense in delivering the lines is just superb. Her scenes with Nasiruddin and Paresh Rawal who plays inspector Wagmare are a feast to watch. Jayant & Anuradha play Genelia's parents. There is an ease with which these actors perform, which I think rubs off on the younger actors too. Imran couldn't have chosen a better movie to debut in. He's the regular guy, just like someone you know (yes he is too cute but he doesn't over do it). Genelia does a good job of being the cute, fun girl (she's proved it before in movies like Bommarillu). Then there is Manjari who plays Imran's love interest for most of the film. Oh I almost forgot Pratiek Babbar who plays Genelia's brother. He does justice his role of this recluse, but will look out for my sister. Then there is also a fleeting performance by Raja Kapoor and Kitu Gidwani and the Khan brothers do an excellent job of being the dimwits. What a fantastic ensemble.

Now for the intelligent part of the film - the script & dialogues are the king and queen of the film people. There is nothing that we have not already seen on the silver screen before and yet it so different. The biggest clincher is that the people are very real. There are no theatrics. There is drama but no theatrics. There are no overtly sentimental situations or characters! Yes Rotlu is supposed to sentimental but he's not overdoing it. Yes, there is madness that doesn't ever happen in real life like the airport sequence in the climax or guys on horse going to discos. But isn't that what cinema is about? Take bits of life, add some fantasy into it and put it on silver screen? And Abbas Tyrewala does a superb job of it. Considering this is just his first directorial venture, we know Hindi cinema is in good hands.

My favourite parts in the film

1) Mother & son relationship. They take turns to cook, diligently. They talk about things openly. They don't hide anything from each other (well there is one secret but that's the crux of the story :D)
2) The women in the film are real. Be it the mothers or girls they are all real, from this century.
3) The men too are real. No one's bring larger than life.
4) The relationship between Genelia and her brother. Something we have never seen in Hindi cinema.
5) The dialogues were awesome. sample this

Genelia: college ke paanch saal pata nahi kaha chale gaye
Ratna Pathak: Phone pe beta phone pe

The parents in the film reminded me of the characters from Kabhie Kabhie. Rakhi and Shashi Kapoor play the parents to the young Rishi Kapoor. They were so different from the utterly sentimental morons that we get to see all the time on silver screen. This was good.

A R Rehman's music is exquisite! It lacks the usual flambouyance of Rehman. But it is exactly this quality that works in favour of the film.

And then of course an old man with the placard "Mr Godot" waiting at the airport is just the right note to end the movie with!

If you've not watched this movie, then go NOW. I am looking for rerun of it :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

KQA Open Quiz on 20 July

Praveen and Manjith ( formerly of NIT-Kozhikode) will conduct a ranking Open Quiz on Sunday 20 July 2008 at the coffee-shop BrewHaHa in Koramangala.

The quiz starts at 1100hrs sharp. Please be on time–we have to wind up by 2pm.


  1. Teams of 4
  2. Open to all
  3. Entry Fee: Rs. 50/- per team
  4. Prelims: 1100hrs sharp
  5. Finals: 1145hrs sharp
  6. Prizes for all finalists

The Venue: BrewHaHa is about two doors away from Jyoti Nivas College.

http://www.brewhaha.in for more details

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I am on You tube!

Ok technically "I" am not but the film I worked on is. This is the first film I worked on (commercially speaking) way back in 2004. Now the producers of the film, NCF have put it up on you tube. So here I am showing off :)

This was also the first time I worked with P! This was the my first tryst with entrepreneurship (at that time I didn't think it was). We mostly shot in the rain and so was generally lots of fun and a great learning experience!

That is a lot of firsts there eh?

So ladies and gentlemen here it is Fixing Fragmented Forests