June 29, 2007

Blog vs. Diary

I have always been a Diary person.. or so I thought. In fact one of my very first posts here began with a Dear Di.. Its been about 2 years since then (or maybe a year and a half.. I can't remember and I m too lazy to go back n check). But I've come a long way in terms of blogging. From being the person who thought - how can someone blog their innermost thoughts to blogging 5 times a day - I HAVE come a long way.

But as I have entailed this journey, there are a few things I have noticed (as must a million others) - there are key differences between a diary and a blog. They are mutually exclusive for one - I can't imagine writing all of these blog posts in a diary and I can't imagine writing what I do in a diary as a blog. I guess the blog has your outer-most thoughts and the diary the innermost. The blog is what you WANT to share while it is unimaginable with your diary. Maintaining both may one day drive me crazy.. yet, here I am with my second entry of the day!

Cheers to both form for helping me keep my sanity as I drive others insane!

Movies on my mind

Being summer, there's always looooooads to expect in terms of movies... Here are some of which you as readers are definitely going to get my visesh tippani on...

1) Sivaji - The BOSS (I finally get to see it tomorrow)
2) Ratatouille - Have been waiting for this movie ever since I saw the first trailers back when Shrek III came out- This is going to be one of Disney-Pixar's bests... I can just feel it.
3) Live Free or Die Hard - I hear Bruce Willis is absolutely smashing in this sequel of the Die Hard movies and whats more - its PG-13? So no swearing I guess, unlike its predecessors.
4) Transformers - The next Spielberg movie and anyone who is someone in the ad industry is using the Transformers idea to make catchy ads. I especially like the Mountain Dew's ad. See it here.
5) 1408 - The Stephen King novel based horror thriller. I have been a fan of horror movies though I watch it through a window my fingers create over my eyes. But this title is especially intriguing coz it has the magic numbers - 14's my Bday and 8's my bro's. So its a must-see.
6) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - I don't think anyone who has ever read my blog will need an expansion to this title - this remains one of the movies I am DYING to watch.
7) Being Jane - Its Jane Austen's life story. Being a big Jane Austen fan, it will be fascinating to see how her life is and supposedly a clandestine love story in her own life inspired many of her great classic stories.

And many many more to come... Coming soon.

June 28, 2007

The Wonder Years

As time has passed, I have realized that the 20s in most people's lives is the Golden Era. In many ways. Its the time when you pass out of your bachelors, having hopefully collected a handful of very keep-able friends, a time you may pursue higher study, your first job.. Sooner than later, your wedding that ushers in an entirely different era... The birth of a baby, not necessarily your own (could be a sibling's), lavishing presents on the little one, being pampered by your own special someone, giving back your parents what they undoubtedly deserve, facing challenge after challenge at work, traveling like crazy, new places, new people, new things all the time, your first car, your own first home and a million other things. This realization truly makes me wanna celebrate and cherish the golden era of my life forever.

June 27, 2007

I could be rich?!

I have a copy of 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' somewhere in my bookshelf in India. What I have could potentially be a gold mine.


Talk about weird people willing to fling huge sums of money for virtually nothing!

June 25, 2007

My Legacy.. My roots.. My grandpa

Here is the link to the sequence of posts my bro has written. Its a brilliantly written bunch of posts which carve out the life of my paternal grandfather (I barely remember him. I was a year old when he passed away). I could never have written anything like this for lack of knowledge. But I am proud of my roots. Here's the link to the last post on my grandfather which links to the first 3.


June 24, 2007

A Mighty Heart

I saw the Larry King show sometime last week. Angelina Jolie was on it talking about her latest movie, 'A Mighty Heart' which is based on true-life incidents that happened to the journalist, Daniel Pearl (who was beheaded by the Pakistan terrorists) in 2002. I remember it creating a huge splash. I even remember vaguely that the actual video of the beheading was aired on the internet before it was banned and a few million people had already seen it. The movie is based on the book by the same name written by Mariane Pearl, the wife of Daniel Pearl. I was intrigued as I watched the LK show and immediately bought the book online, knowing that the movie was releasing on Friday. I am a strict believer of reading the book before seeing the movie. The book got here on Thursday evening and without further ado I delved into it. This post is a review of both the book and the movie.

Book review - A Mighty Heart - By Mariane Pearl

I expected it to be a poignant, heart-wrenching story of sorts but was taken aback by how objectively it was written. It was a narration of events for most part and has admirable details of dates, events and names. After a while, all the names start melding into one another because they are all Islamic names with 2-3 names to one person (eg. Omar Saeed Sheikh). Mariane Pearl was obviously not fascinated by the Indian subcontinent as her book continually indicates spoke much about the "filthy" conditions, begging children and what not. Writing about how she would need to experience a place like India would completely negate the point of the review. So, sweeping right past, the book does its work in making you feel her apprehensions, her pain , her anxiety as an expectant mom waiting for any news from her kidnapped husband day after day after day. She and her Indian-born, US-raised Muslim friend, Asra are the highlights of the home-based involvement in finding Danny. They set up fort at Asra's home in Karachi as they wire telephones, comb Dannys computer for information, colloborate with the FBI, the Pakistani police force and what not. It also conveys the horror on the day she finds out that he "didnt make it" and how she is so dignified in the way she copes with it. Amid all this is Captain, the Pakistani CID chief, who is almost waging a one-man battle to help find Danny. His involvement in the case is spectacular and he does everything in his might to try and find the man.. alive. The book is for her son Adam, who was born a few months later. So he can know that is father was not a hero, just an ordinary man who tried to fight and survive what happened to him under extra ordinary circumstances. The book concludes with a collection of letters written by people world-over to Mariane and her son, Adam about how brave Danny must've been to how brave Mariane is.

Reading the book most certainly paves way to understand the movie, which otherwise might be just a wee-bit confusing.

The movie

I must hand it over to director, Winterbottom for making what is the most dedicated version of the book as a movie. This is the movie that has stuck most to the book from what I have seen. From the way Jolie's (who plays Mariane) wedding costume actually matches Mariane's (found on the jacket of the book), to the French-accented English to the very dialogues, it does justice to the book all the way. Mariane Pearl couldnt have asked for more. Angelina Jolie has performed her class and is sure as hell to receive atleast an Oscar nomination for her performance. I think she peaks when she portrays Mariane's reaction to the news of Danny's death. She screams agonizingly loud and pained and you can feel her pain. The other actors in the movie have also to be commended. Dan Futterman (who plays Daniel Pearl) is a close fit and does a great job. But more commendable is Irfan Khan (who plays Captain). he has done a wonderful job of portraying the character just as Mariane portrays him in her book. All in all, I think the movie is certainly worth a watch though the first half, which is a lead up to the actual sequence of events is a bit of a drag, the second half makes up for it. Can watch.. surely atleast once.

June 23, 2007

Funny Google

I randomly tried getting directions from Ames, IA to Europe. Look what Google thought I should do to get there. Its funny. :)

June 22, 2007


The Japanese have made a device that sits like a crown on your head. This wirelessly connects to a toy train and by merely thinking about something, you can move the train! Welcome to the technology that's going to make remote controls obsolete. Apparently, the "crown" detects changes in blood flow or something up in your brain. So blood rushes to certain parts of your brain when you try to say mentally calculate something and rushes out when you stop. As enticing as all of this sounds and as successful as the demonstrations have been, makes me wonder - what happens if a people have many different thoughts at once. What if whiole you compute 1235 x 12, you think that you have to buy a carton of a milk, pay your credit bill and do your laundry for instance? Who knows... I bet these guys have all the right answers.. Read all about this innovation here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070622/ap_on_hi_te/japan_brain_remote

Hilary's campaign

I havent been following the Sopranos. But I do know that they ended the 10 year series or something with a blank screen - all in suspense, much to the consternation of many and admiration of many others. So what did Hillary do here? She created a campaign based on this and the estimated viewership for this video is 500,000 people as of the day it released. Thats certainly not less. As politics takes to the internet, things are bound to get more colorful. Check the campaign video out here. Good old Bill's on it too.

June 21, 2007

Back to Square 1... Almost

Its just over a week since I resolved not to bite my nails. I looked down at them and was I imagining it? Tiny nails were starting to appear over the top of my badly abused fingernails. Out of sheer joy, I bit them. Well, not all of them.. but some. But I am getting there. In 7 months, I will be there.

~Potter Mania~

I don't know about you, but I am a huuuuge Harry Potter fan.. That means that July is the most exciting month of the summer, hell, maybe even the year! Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the 5th installment of the movies is all set to release on July 11th and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the 7th and last installment of the book series comes out a week later. As a prep-up to receiving these two huge additions to my already Harry-muddled brain, I started reading the HP books from the IVth one onwards (considering I know the other 3 pretty well and all the details that are going to be in the movie and the book transcend them) and I am currently in the last few pages of the Order of the Phoenix. Though I hated Half-blood prince, I am going to have a go at it again to read between lines and strengthen the theories I already have formed for what should be happening in the final book. I remember the conversation I had with my bro, the day after Half blood prince had come out and we'd both read it. Itw as our most animated discussion after many many years. For all you HP fans who want a sneak preview of anything HP-ish, visit MindBlogging right after.. you won't be disappointed!

June 20, 2007

Thalaivar - The BOSS!

Check out these dual interviews by Thalaivar on Sivaji - the BOSS. All in dass-buss englees.. Check it out!!!


June 18, 2007

Winds of change?

I found a link to this article in Aravind's blog. As I read through it, I realized how true it was. I am one of these new generation Indians who definitely wants to return and soon at that. Whenever I read such articles or see something thats so heart-wrenchingly patriotic, only one song comes to my mind, the one in Swades - Yeh Jo des hai mera. No other song has captured the Indian spirit better. Go India!!!

Knocked Up

This is the second movie from the same guy who made 40-year-old virgin that shot Steve Carrel into the limelight. The plot is typical.. Rich, sophisticated girl, Allison (Katherine Heigl of Grey's Anatomy fame) gets together with rogue and drinking-time-away wastrel, Ben (Seth Rogen). Its a typical story of one-night-stand gone bad and Allison ends up pregnant. But whats different is that she amazingly decides to keep the baby. And the rest of the movie is a comic relief as to how a wasted man shirks his drinking, pot etc and rises to the moment - to becomea DAD.

The humor is much on the same lines as 40 year old.. a bit adult, a bit weird, a bit uncomfortable, but all time-pass nevertheless. Overall, the movie was just a normal flick, something a guy could watch and be happy too (sort of a chick-slick) but with more guy-like humor in it. There were a couple of gross scenes up in the end and a few gross dialogues... but then we've come to expect that from this director. The verdict: The perfect solution to melt away 2 hours when you have absolutely nothing else to do on a Sunday Afternoon.

June 17, 2007

Nancy Drew

This is going to be my shortest movie review ever. In one short sentence - I don't think the makers of the movie read even ONE of the Nancy Drew books. Its a pretty bad movie and I wouldn't recommend anyone who even had free tickets to watch it. A total let-down, very incongruous, pretty dumb, totally unworthy movie... If anyone needs elaborations, watch it for yourself :)

June 14, 2007

The Solitary Reaper

Next to Glove and the Lions, this is my favorite poem.

Behold her, single in the field
Yon solitary highland lass!
Reaping and singing by herself
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
and sings a meloncholy strain;
O listen! for the vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

No nightingale did ever chaunt
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
Among arabian sands.
A voice so thrilling ne'er heard
in springtime from the cuckoo bird.
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest hebrides.

Will no one tell me what she sings?
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago.
Or is it some more humble lay
Familiar matter of today?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain
That has been or may be again?

Whate'er the theme, the maiden sang
As if her song could have noending;
I saw her singing at work
And o'er the sickle bending.
I listened, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill.
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.

-- William Wordsworth

June 12, 2007

There's something about Paris

Honestly... whats with this place? Every newscast I have tuned into the past week, every news page I have opened, everywhere and anywhere, there's Paris Hilton splashed across the pages, either in full made-up glory at some high profile red-carpet event or tear-stained inside the sheriff's car. Whats the big deal? If you are one of those people who dont live around the US (and I'd be amazed if it still didnt make your local papers), all you need to do is google it!. Surely there are bigger crimes, definitely more important things happening in the world, a lot more major occurences - congolomerates coming together, a homicide, hell, even a genocide. So, why's everyone hung up on Paris? Why is everyone soo hell-bent that she serve her sentence in the propriety blah blah. How does this affect anyone on a personal level? I would be enraged if I had been given a harsher sentence for the exact same crime - the people with that much give and take on this can be forgiven. But I bet that they form less than 0.05% of the whole uproar thats been on. Whats soo fascinating about the rich n famous? And why is it that if she so much as glances somewhere its news? And every channel or page that remotely has news has capatilized on this with tons of photographers lined up so they can splash one of the gazillion pics of Paris behind bars and sell it to the public that apparently has nothing better to do. Grow up, people.

June 11, 2007

Nail it.

Today I have finally decided that this is it. This is where I stop biting my nails. I want to have very pretty nails 8 months from now and I am the only person who can do anything about it. So far, I have grown my nails 4 times overall in my life and each time I have ended up biting out far more than I grew. But I am a mature, responsible adult and I have the necessary will-power to give this filthy habit up. This blog will remind me of the public oath I am taking to keep the biting away. I have quit. I am a fighter. :)

The iPhone

Unless you've been locked away in Mars, you have probably by now heard all about the iPhone.. All about Apple's battle with Cisco for the name, blah blah. And if you haven't already checked out the pretty cool ad campaign for the iPhone check out a sample here. Sure.. this is the next best thing to hit the cell phone industry. Ever. Its unbelievable as to what all features have been included in a handheld device and with such magnificent colour and splendour. Its a first and it will be spoken about a long long time. But finally, above all it is a phone. How many normal people who are not gizmo-gadget freaks or of the younger generation or both and are reasonably rich (its minimum $499) are going to get this? I don't know. But I am sure that Apple will make back everything it wanted. There are enough of us techno-maniacs in the world for that. I read this article which compared an iPod to the iPhone (thats the title of the article though it really doesn't dwell too much on the comparison) and thought it was worth the read. The only thing I didnt get was why they were comparing a mere function of the iPhone to the whole purpose of existance of the iPod. People have been talking with whatever knowledge they have all over the place about it. And so the world waits with bated breath. Coming soon on June 29th. The iPhone.

~Officially done~

It was truly fun.. Meeting friends, taking that last walk across the podium - THE WALK, for all those photo opportunities that freeze a frame of time in eternity, for moving that tassle from the right to the left... for throwing that hat up in the air... for all our efforts that have paid off.. Congrats Class of 2007 at the University of Cincinnati. We did it!!! :)

June 7, 2007

Something to cheer about..

Those AIDS figures in India were all wrong! We aren't that high up the ladder.. Yoo hoo!


Interesting business reads

I am shocked at myself.. Me n business are at opposite poles of the world. But I chanced on this article and it was good. Give it a shot:


And having read that, here is a follow-up article which pretty much says what all comebacks you came up with.


He did push the "buy used things" bit way too much.. But still.. the rest of it is worthwhile. :)


A matter of perspective:

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go” - Oscar Wilde

June 5, 2007

Hell's Kitchen

So its on again, one of my favourite reality shows - Hell's Kitchen. And like anyone else who likes the show I like it because of the acerbic hero of television, the badshah of boorishness, Gordan Ramsey. Its shockingly caustic the way he treats his "probables". But thats what makes an otherwise normal cookery show very interesting. It was the season premiere last night and the chef already had a huge man called Aaron weeping like a baby. When the show began, in 'lone-time' with Chef Ramsey, he promised that he wouldn't shout, scream or verbally abuse people. I almost fell off my chair. That would ruin the whole show (for people like me). And then he said "Who am i kidding? Welcome to Hell's Kitchen". It almost put a wry smile on my face. Hell has just begun for these people. Now there's something to look forward to Mondays (talk about a mundane existence!)

Now running...

With an hour's bus travel each way, there's a lot of music in my life. The i-pod is not overrated. Its every bit as good or so I think. Thanks da :)

June 4, 2007

My first road trip

Finally, I had done it.. My longest drive ever... all by myself. I drove from Ames, Iowa to Waukesha, Wisconsin... Its not much; its the next state; its barely 365 miles. But it was my first and it was memorable. I'd asked for a bright car to beat the gloomy day.. here's what I got.. bright alright... But somewhere within the first 50 miles, I wished I'd asked for a better equipped car.. this one has roll-down windows and non-key-less entry.. But it was still memorable... Fighting with the FM transmitter while driving, listening to some clueless radio, hoping the next 50 miles would just melt away, it was all an experience that I'll forever remember. My first road trip.

The classic "bulb"

How long has it been since we've heard the phrase "bulb adichuten", the Madras lingo for "mera popat ho gaya" or simply put, an ungloriously "dumb" moment (I am not able to find the right words to describe it!)

It happened to me over the weekend.. It wasn't embarassing. It was just funny. We were at a glorious buffet lunch in Milwaukee downtown. Nithya and I were analyzing the delicacies in front of us and I am not going to go into how yumm the food was. But there was Pani Puri and after a few failed attaempts, I located the "meeta chutney" or the tamarind sauce which according to me defines the taste of the pani puri. I had already held up the growing queue behind me, having fussed over many things. Nithya was standing in front of me and was attempting to pour the chutney into each of 3 puris. And I could sense the glare of the giril behind me. I looked at Nithya hurriedly and said - "Freeyavidu, Moraikara." loosely translated as "Forget it, she's glaring." Imagine my shock when the girl chirps in pure ABCD accent "Moraikalai." = "Nope, I m not glaring." Shocked as we were, Nithya and I laughed it away and practically dropped the ladle and ran for our table! It was hilarious. You should've been there.

The rest of lunch was ofcourse spent skirting around the girl's table and running a marathon past it, etc. And they happened to leave at the same time as we did. We were so tickled that we had to get Ram to bring the car from the parking lot to us coz we couldnt keep a straight face. An ode to the classic "bulb" I say!

June 1, 2007


How many of you have heard about Blackle? Its a google search engine.. yes I know thats redundant.. (Black + Google = Blackle) But the interface is in black as opposed to the white screen that google has. When you visit Blackle, don't forget to check out the About Blackle link which gives the simple story that led to its creation. And a black screen apparently saves power... Makes me wonder.. Should I change my blog pages to a darker shade? I would appreciate suggestions.