Wednesday, August 30, 2006

...and why does everything have to be so f*#$ing hard?

"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands.You seek problems because you need their gifts."

 - from Richard Bach's "Illusions

Monday, August 28, 2006

Change is good...

I changed the layout of the blog since it wasn't rendering well on PocketPCs (Special thanks to Shailu) . I've been playing with the template code as well. Please leave comments if it won't render well on your browser. Browser name,version and monitor resolution information would be useful as well.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Blog, meet world

Somehow, my blogging and physical spaces have always had a disconnect. I've never really lived in the same area or frequently met many of the people who read my blog, and people around me haven't really read my blog much (they've never cared for that sort of thing, I guess). It's been changing over the past few months.

I re-use observations and insights that I've blogged about pretty often in regular conversation. It makes me look more well-read than I really am, since people don't realize that these are things I've given careful thought and time to. They (probably) assume this stuff is off the cuff.

However, I'm getting caught now - "I read that on your blog" is something I've heard a couple of times from a friend over the past few months. Another complained that he couldn't read my blog on his Pocket PC.

Yes, I'm pleased. I consider my blogging to be an important part of who I am (this was an exercise to try my writing skills, and I've realized I enjoy it a lot), and if people I consider good friends are taking the effort to visit my blog, that means a lot to me. The converse is also true - I am truly thankful for the acquaintances I've made and re-kindled over the Web since I started blogging. Some of these have spilled over to IM and email and have been rewarding to varying degrees.

In keeping with the fact that people blog for various reasons, I welcome a couple of new blogging friends (these are people I meet regularly in meatspace) - Brad and Shailu. Brad chronicles a very active lifestyle - hiking, sports and (here I hope to join him more often this winter) snowboarding. Shailu and I go back four years - the first time we met was at a CMU tradition - painting "The Fence" in the Indian tricolor on the eve of the 15th of August. Shailu's blog is kind of like mine -varied topics and life chronicles, though he is less into navel-gazing than I am.

Edit: Fixed grammatical errors and formatting.

Snarky. Very Snarky. But, oh so very true.

The blogerati's favorite whipping boy is back. K-Jo (man, I love that nick) makes his grand comeback with "the love that broke all relationships". KANK (the neatest film abbreviation I've heard in a while BTW) made its ways to theatres a few weeks back. Slick production values, great clothes ( makes even a very casual and nonchalant dresser like me stare agape) and overblown emotions come to set the box-office on fire.

So, what's new, you ask? What is new this time is the blogosphere (I never hated a word more). When K3G came out (the last time K-Jo directed a movie), there weren't that many bloggers. At least, there weren't very many who'd heard of K-Jo. The world has changed much since then, and it seems that "It's all about loving your parents" K-Jo (I can't get enough of that name. K-Jo. Has a certain ring to it) is the blogerati's b*&$% for the next few months or so.

Why, you ask? Ooooh, nothing succeeds like success. See, when Ed Wood made his films, he got anointed the worst film-maker of all time. But that was it. Of course, Tim Burton decided to make a film with Johnny Depp as him, and he gained a certain notoriety after that. But because his films were bad and they flopped, I'm sure that he has a small fan club somewhere. He is endearing because he is a failure. He tried something, was bad at it, and failed.

Unfortunately, K-Jo isn't like that. He's wildly successful. He's a manipulative film-maker, and he's good at what he does. Considering all that and the fact that so much of his filmography is vacuous (Disclosure: I loved KHNH and not because SRK dies in the end), it's easy pickings, innit? Irrespective of how annoying Mitwaa can get after half-a-dozen listenings and how smug and irritating K-Jo is, what really gets our goat about him (and Himesh Reshammiya, for that matter) is the fact that we are in the minority. The majority of the people out there like them. We can congratulate ourselves on being the intellectual, Omkara-loving, Indian Ocean-listening cognoscenti, but we count zilch when it comes to what works.

Earlier: The anti-populism brigade 

Update: Masochism comes. I saw the film, cringing at the absolute lack of insight into human relations the man has. I'm not married (or attached, for that matter), but some parts of the film related to relationships, marriage and the like rang so false that I was hiding my face in embarrassment. I forgot that KHNH ( which I really liked) wasn't directed by K-Jo, and that I've never really liked a movie directed by him. Technically, Nikhil Advani brought something to KHNH which K-Jo fails to bring to this (or to any of his earlier editions of candy-floss FWIW). Where's the party tonight was It's the time to disco all over, and Mitwaa is only  redeemed by some reasonably good singing. Even indulgent shots of my favorite metropolis didn't redeem the overblown nature of it all. SRK is at his worst ( also see: Ram Jaane or Chaahat), proving once again why he's a director's actor (see: Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na, Swades and Yes Boss ) and Abhishek Bachchan is most definitely a chip off two old blocks. AB Sr gets the best lines and has the most fun. He even dies, which is something the movie should've done. Slowly and painfully.

But it's running to full houses all over. *Sigh*. Such is life.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Once in a blue moon...

My favorite actor in Hollywood decides he wants to act in a movie. The Illusionist is out to wide release this week. Review, no review or bad review, a viewing is in order. Soon.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I came, I saw, I conquered...

From record sales, to sold out concerts
So muh'f*$%er if you want this encore
I need you to scream, 'til your lungs get sore

- Jay-Z "Encore"

Indian Ocean took over and rocked the bejesus out of a 500-strong audience yesterday night. Sore from all the dancing, hoarse from singing along and generally overwhelmed by the coolness of Rahul, Asheem, Susmit and Amit, I'm at a bit of a loss right now. More details will follow...

Indian Ocean - live in concert. Benefit for Child Relief and You, America.

August 11th, 2006 - Neumos, 925 E Pike St., Seattle, WA.


1. From the Ruins
2. Kya Maloom
3. Melancholic Ecstasy
4. Jhini
5. Leaving Home
6. Hille Re


7. Bandeh
8. Bhor
9. New Song- As yet untitled from the soundtrack of the movie "Shoonya"
10. Boll Weevil
11. Maa Rewa
12. Kandisa
Encore - Kaun

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Naam hai Bond

The new James Bond movie is shaping up to be interesting in more ways than one. First was the unusual choice of Daniel Craig - he is blonde, has blue eyes and a rugged face probably more suited to a Bond villain side-kick than 007. He looks quite unlike the suave Brosnan or Roger Moore, but IMO he's closer to the iconic Sean Connery than any of the previous Bonds.

Then, there's the soundtrack. Bond theme songs have always had a unique sensibility - evolving from Shirley Bassey and Frank Sinatra to Duran Duran and Madonna. Interesting segues along the way included Sheryl Crow, Garbage and Tina Turner ( Goldeneye,  a personal favorite). The songs vary in style, but they retain a certain feel to them which makes them stand out. This time it's rock superstar Chris Cornell (he of Soundgarden and Audioslave fame) penning the lyrics and singing the title song to Casino Royale.

While Bond has always been about guns,babes and bombs, its significance as a cultural phenomenon cannot be underestimated. Every movie release from the Broccoli stable is an event, and the search for the new Bond occupied the news by itself. When this baby hits the marquee, add one more to the list of the curious who'll be there to catch the movie.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Aap ka Suroo(n)r

To Himesh

Sing, sing, sing through your nose
And wear a stupid cap
All the autos play your stuff
But you mostly sound like crap

by Sidin .

*Desperately trying to get annoying nasal sounds heard at local desi chaat joint out of head

Find your way to me

"kimi raikkonen rotten luck" - tell me about it. Hungaroring was no better.
"internet intermediary disintermediary" - ah, favorite topic, tech + econ.
"Shiny Ahuja biography" - HKA was great, but what next?
"opinion of becoming pm of india for one day" - WTF?
"proven world does revolve around me t shirt" - OK, I own up. I own this narcissistic tee. I blogged about it too.
"Life's song by SLB" WTF?
"hazaaron khwaishein aisi buy audio CD" - Do so, please.
"Dosas Uttappams" - aijo, what?! Not on my blog.
"I remember someone old once said to me that lies will lock you up with truth the only key.." - Missy Higgins, a spare Aussie with a beautiful voice
"mera chain vain sab ujra" - yay for Kajra re!
"ripping afterglow live" - DRM sucks, methinks. Don't try this at home. Sarah rules though.

These are selected Google search strings that lead people to yours truly's blog over the past few days.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It's happening...

Finally, India's finest make it to the Pacific Northwest. Indian Ocean perform in Seattle on the 11th of August.

Proceeds go to support CRY.