June 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Boo

My nephew Tarun turns 1 today. It's a mighty big deal. I remember this day last year. I was at Bioforce (on the way to work actually) and bcoz of my i-pod didn't hear the phone ring. I got a voicemail and I heard it in the sanctity of the coffee place at work. Tarun was born... My excitement had known no bounds and I was all jumping to plan my first trip to see the little boy... the little Boo. And now, all of a sudden, the year has rushed by... I nomad-ed to more places and have finally found my footing with my husband here at Paris. Things have changed and yet a lot remains to be seen, especially for Baby Boo. Here's wishing Tarun a fantastically Happy Birthday and a lifetime more of joys to come.

June 23, 2008

Imagination @ work

If this won't make you want to work at Google, nothing will - http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/technology/7292600.stm

The culinary weekend.......

And so it was... I made puri n chole and aloo parathas n chutney.. And we were out entire Saturday to enjoy the fête de la musique in Paris.. and so we dined at Sher-e-Punjab and the fête de la musique was more like the fête de la bar as we bar-hopped and caught snatches of some of the phenomenal quarter final lineups of the Euro Cup... The chole backed up as a spread for the baguette as well and all in all, I just spent a delightful weekend.. Back to the grind now.

June 20, 2008


Well I suppose if it happened to inanimate objects, you would call them dents or scratches... But I've always considered My Darling Notebook as a living thing... I speak to him, coax him, chide him, cajole him and at times scream curses at him... Before you start imagining a vividly sad life for me, let me clarify that speaking to my computer makes me feel like it'll make him boot faster. For the unitiated, here's who we're talking about- http://jollyjaya.blogspot.com/search?q=my+darling+notebook. The beauty of this whole thing is that he responds just like a living thing would. I discovered this sad piece of truth when one day he accidentally fell off from a chair while I was cleaning around the dining table. I gingerly picked him up and hit the power button half expecting no lights to turn on. Surprisingly all seemed well... till I took a closer look that is. The upper row of lights were swelled up and elevated, almost like a real person's bruise. And try as I might, I couldn't push the bulge back in... Not just that.. Some particles had gotten under some keys and were creating havoc. I had to individually pry out those keys and clean them. Talk about a fussy computer... But the real message? He's as human as its safe to be.

June 19, 2008


I truly didn't know what the fuss was about... not when I bought S the ipod touch... not when he used it and was fascinated and told me so.. not until I found it in the dresser drawer last night begging to be used. And I granted it it's wish and it granted me... pure fascination. It is something to see the device respond to the smallest touch... The pinching action to view photos bigger or read text better... the music is ofcourse ipod quality and definitely superior to my cute little shuffle... But what had me enraptured was the WiFi. I fussed about it for half an hour trying to get it detect our network at home. While it detected it, it didn't seem to have connected to it. Until S helped me out and had it connected. And then... the magic began. I didn't have to open the laptop just to check email. A flick and I could view it right there on my palm... I saw youtube videos, checked the weather... tried signing into IMs and what not. Throw in a phone and a camera and you know why the iPhone is soo popular. Its most definitely a complete system for travel entertainment or otherwise, though I know S secretly prefers his PSP which lets him play games as well (without the touch factor in every nuance of course).

June 17, 2008

Happy Feet - the sequel

Yes red shoes... yes they're a fashion statement in Paris and needless to say, they ooze comfort (and no color yet on the socks!)... The clincher? They cost 10% of what the boots did... But you know what? They can't be compared...

June 15, 2008

Childhood Dreams

I had the great fortune of finally getting down to it and watching this video of Randy Pausch that my friend Ram sent to me about 6 months ago. I know that a lot of you would have probably seen it. The ones that didn't, please set aside 1hr and 16 min of your time -its totally worth it. And all of you must be admiring him just the way I did. The sheer spirit he channelized throughout the talk was most important for more than just the basic bottom line of the talk of how to live one's life, but also for the fact that he tried to put a positive spin on his entire life by showing that he had mostly accomplished is dreams. I read in Wiki that the NFL had him come and play for the Pittsburgh Steelers for one day or something to fulfill that half-baked dream of his. What it importantly did was to ensure that I put my childhood dreams down in writing... for me, for my future reference. So what are they?

(In no particular order)
1. Find a cure for AIDS - I think I first heard about AIDS when I was about 10 and finding a cure for something as gargantuan as that meant only one thing - eternal glory. This dream is sort of akin to winning a Nobel Prize or something - As I grew older and in the last minute favored Engineering to Biology, I now realize that this at least is going to remain a pipe dream. Unless I interpret it bizarrely that I wanted to become a Scientist and with this PhD on its way, I am well on my way to fulfill that one... Heck, yeah.. since its my dream, am going to say that in some askew manner this one is getting fulfillment!

2. Visit the Louvre - When I was about 9, I had this encyclopedia-collecting phase. I bought this book called 'The Giant Book of Facts' and to date it remains one of my favorite references. It had a piece on the Mona Lisa and it mentioned that she was housed in the Louvre - The Louvre- so fascinatingly un-pronunciable... I thought to myself that I would anyway want to visit Paris in life... so the Louvre would totally make my to-see list. - I am happy to announce that this dream has been entirely fulfilled... I have been to the Louvre multiple times. Thank God for that!

3. Write a book(s) - I have many amateur efforts sitting at home in India, many of them neatly typed and printed and bound in folders... But what I am shooting for is an actual book with an actual spine... something that people actually buy. As of now, I am working on a manuscript. Though technically no publisher is going to be paying me, I can say this dream is far easier to fulfill with the current self-publishing options. Besides, who knows... with a moderate success, I maybe able to interest a publisher! (Fingers crossed!)

4. Live in the Europe - While people all around me raved about the USA, I was always a Europe girl. No doubt, I followed the gazillion footsteps into the land of opportunity with higher study in mind, fate had different plans for me. I currently live in Paris - Score!

5. Part II of No.4 - Go backpacking across the continent - It must've been a movie that affected this dream... I am yet to do it.. But with the ideal scenario on hand, I can only hope nothing goes wrong!

6. Take an award-winning photograph - Pictures have been a huge part of my family and my growing up. Indeed you can find pictures of my childhood aplenty were you to visit my family home. Thanks to my dad, I have always been camera-savvy and my brother gifted my first digicam. From that Cybershot of 2.1MP to the current Canon EOS Rebel SLR, I have come a long way in digital photography. Though my shot of the Eiffel Tower just won a special mention at K, this isn't the kind of 'award' that I am expecting to win. I am thinking more in terms of National Geographic, etc. - Good luck to me, I know! At least I am on the right track!!

7. Win soft-toys at funfairs- I actually share this one with Randy Pausch - Childish as it may seem, I have always wanted to win the cuddlies.... I haven't succeeded in winning a whole lot... or anything BIG, but I have won many small ones (check this blog) - So yeaay... partly done!

8. Act in something - something on TV!! - Good luck to me for that one too.. hahahha

Thats all I can recollect at this point of time... I may consider adding more eventually. But as I was telling S about al of this, I suddenly remembered an inspiring childhood moment. I must've been around 9-10 at the time... And because I was going to be singing on stage with a bunch of classmates, I was looking for a specific kind of bindi - yes, apparently it was that important. I dragged my mom up and down many potti kadais in TNagar with no success... So I decided to make them myself... After actually finding biocompatible glue (yes, I was that particular and that aware), I fashioned my own bindis. And they turned out great... or so they seemed to the child's eye. And so, I proceeded to make 2 whole packets of these bindis. And then guess what? I actually walked to the parallel road to the Rani Fancy Store and offered them to the owner for sale. He didn't laugh me away or chide me off... instead he actually bought them at Rs 5 each... the going rate for the fancy bindis. I am grateful for that. It was indeed a sparkling experience. Thankfully, I didn't make anymore bindis to maybe be eventually turned away and hence heartbroken. So... my hope to accomplish the rest of my childhood dreams lives on...

I take this opportunity to invite all you readers to share a few of your own childhood dreams and where you stand at at accomplishing them. Cheers!

June 10, 2008

Sex and the City - Review

*************Spoiler Alert***************
So, I finally got to seeing SATC -the movie. Having been a total fan of the entire series, my expectations were pretty high for the movie version. Having intially assumed that it was going to be a synopsis of the entire 6 seasons, I was pleasantly surprised to see the trailer where it became obvious that the movie took off where the series left, i.e with Carrie n Big still together and a with a wedding plan, nonetheless. Watch the trailer here.

The movie begins with Carrie at her apartment as usual typing away on her Mac. And she gives a very rapid gist of the 6 seasons, basically how each gal ended up with her current beau... so she rapidly summarizes Charlotte's 2 marriages and an adoption, Miranda's 'lawyer' role (seldom shown and hard to believe), her having Brady with Steve and marrying him finally and Samantha's trillion sex positions before settling (almost) with actor Smith Jerrad.
The plot for most part is simple and begins with Big and Carrie looking for an apartment to move into, settling for a gorgeous penthouse (with a teensy closet and a promise from Big to remodel it for her). The scene where he reveals her brand new closet to her almost takes everyone's breath away at the theatre. And Carrie marks her territory by symbolically placing her brand-new Manolo Blahniks on the shoe-rack. And soon they decide to get married. The small-scale wedding planned at first blows out of proportion and scares the groom away breaking Carrie's heart once more. How she recuperates and how they get together forms the main plot of the movie. However it is sidelined by new events surrounding it... Charlotte gets pregnant against all odds, Steve cheats on Miranda (just the once) and loses her trust for a better part of the movie, and Samantha now lives in Hollywood with Smith. Bored out of her wits, eating to satisfy her sexual craving, she packs away some pounds and does the noble thing of not cheating on Smith. The rest of the movie has the SATC typicals - tonnes of brand names strewn around, a photo-shoot, a fashion show, the girls brunches, etc. The scenes of Carrie with her new assistant, Louise are particularly good too.

The movie is long (2 hr and 20 min) but makes up for it by being fast-paced. For the fans, it was a treat just to see the four gals back in action. Indeed most people in the theatre were a band of girlfriends (and I sorely missed my own). For the others, it is still enjoyable, providing laughs, unnecessary nudity and time-pass. Mr Big's role is vastly reduced and though his scenes with Carrie are great, there's a little too few of them. Being a big star has its perks as is seen by the disproportionally large screen time that Kim Catrall (Samantha) gets in favour of the others other than SJP (Carrie).

All in all, a definite must-watch for the fans and not a total waste for the rest.
Fan rating- ****
The others- **1/2

June 8, 2008

Happy Feet

Brown.... beautiful... brilliant. I finally found my pair of boots. And branded, nonetheless :)
For all about the search of my perfect pair, read this.