Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - Retrospect

1. Traveled by an International flight for the first time
2. Visited a foreign county for the first time
3. Saw roads of the middle east for the first time
4. Saw snow for the first time
5. Bought my first basketball shoes and converse shoes
6. Discovered nutella and chocolate flakes
7. Ate my first cup-cake (have had muffins before)
8. Got promoted
9. Made some amazing friends, mostly through Twitter
10.Followed many people, un-followed a few
11. Met a lot of Twitter folks in person
12. Attended my first real live concert
13. Discovered food street and CTR thanks to the new friend I made - Apoorva
14. Have bowled more than any other year - Thanks to another new friend, Vinay
15. Discovered the joy of oor suthifying pointlessly with a friend
16. Watched more plays/movies/shows this year than any other
17. Moved to a better house
18. Met some lovely folks in Madras
19. Been the Busiest and the laziest at work, this year
20. In one sentence - Awesome food, awesome company and an awesome time has been had.

Some things I wish to do in 2013:
1. Read more. One book every fortnight challenge of Aska has been taken up
2. Learn and work on new stuff
3. Travel more
4. Last but not definitely the keystone for doing the rest - Make more money.

Here's wishing you a very happy new year.

I'd like to hear your story. Comment away.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Growing younger

Being the ARR fan that I am, when Ranjani had made a post about Rahman's interview (http://tharkuri.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/ella-pugazhum-iraivanukke/), I was immediately interested in it. Somewhere in the video, he says that he feels younger now than when he was actually young. And that made a connect with me. Made my eyes go wide. Because that's exactly how I feel now too. The years in college in a course that I was least interested in (which I found out only after the first year) and then the passing of my father really had sucked the life out of me.
The knife of passing Engineering and earning for the family hung over my head and the impending doom if I didn't was too much to bear. Although I was strong enough to not go into depression, it wasn't easy either.
I wasn't an introvert but thanks to my conservative upbringing, I had never really enjoyed myself, in hindsight. The few things that gave me joy were a few of my friends and technology. I didn't realize then what I was losing out on.
This may sound cheesy but it is true -In the past couple of years, I've come to realize the petty joys of youth and feel younger now than in the last few years. Perhaps the reason that I find myself in the company of more and more people who are much younger than I am than people of my own age. Earning gives you that independence, the freedom to do things that you always wanted to without being naive or overtly irresponsible. Although I have my sweet memories and nostalgia, I love the present and feel this is the best part of my life and there is so much ahead of me to experience and achieve.
Do you feel the same way? Is there are period in your life that you enjoy(ed) the most? Comment and let me know.

Old and (penny) wise

I was rummaging through the long-forgotten piggy bank of mine and came across a treasure trove of antique coins. Notice the rupee coin that dates back to 1869. Let me remind you that these were not collected for collection's sake.


Do you have similar antiquities in your posession? Let me know. :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

You Never Know

There are things you want desperately at times and you don't get it. There are others that you are fine either way and those are the ones that fall into place effortlessly. Then there's the third kind that you never thought of would happen to you and they do - both good things and bad things.

Now, how one should handle these highs and lows can be answered with a single phrase - "This too shall pass" except no one knows how long it would take to pass. You aren't sure if it is a good thing for it to pass so that you can move on to higher place or if it's passing just rocks the boat and takes you to much worse position than you are in currently. So, what should one do in such circumstances?

Choice is what determines the future. Not luck, CHOICE. At your death-bed if you recount the path that you had treaded, you'll see the choices that you made. You'll see that even if one small such choice was made differently, your life could've taken a whole new course. Things wouldn't have turned out the way they did. Hind-sight is twenty-20 they say, but you'd never know even at your death bed, if you made the right choices. You never know if you made your choices differently, if it would have been for the better or for worse. That's life.

YOU NEVER KNOW! 

Go with the flow. Make the choices when you have to. Give your mind the maximum time for it to come to a decision. This can be contrary to being decisive but creative people are not decisive. So, consider yourself one. Your mind will make the choice for the most creative/original solution to a problem. Or will it just delay the decision making and you could lose the window of opportunity that you were presented to make the decision to take the path that appeared so easily in front you. That's it.

YOU NEVER KNOW!

Why is everything so complicated? I sit and ponder... to make my next immediate decision that's going to change my LIFE!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mugamoodi(Mask) - Review

Never seeming to learn from our past experiences, myself and a few of my twitter buddies decided to go for the interestingly named Jiiva starrer - Mugamoodi (Mask).
Spoiler Alert: If you are planning to watch the movie, stop reading... or don't... the movie is predictable anyway.

After his previous outing - Yudham sei which was, I must admit, a formidable thriller, Mysskin tries out his hand at another genre - Superheroes. He must be given due credit to bring such a genre to Indian or rather Tamil Cinema (I don't consider mythology based movies in this genre). This is true new fiction. Having said that, the movie falls flat when it comes to screenplay.

The movie seems to be heavily influenced by Christopher Nolan's Batman series. This can be seen straight away from the posters to the trailer. Damn! Even the background score seems to be heavily influenced by the Dark Knight series' Hans Zimmer composition. Even the characterization seems to have been heavily influenced by Batman movies. Commissioner Gordon - Assistant Commissioner Gaurav, NYPD - TNPD, Batman - Mugamoodi, Lucius Fox - Girish Karnad, Alfred - the other "Thatha".

Portraying the jobless, aimless, angry young man (especially at his always-scolding-father) seems to be some kind of an allergy that Tamil cinema, in the recent days, has caught. Bruce Lee (Jiiva) wanting to be like the original Bruce Lee trains with a fairly less known Kung-Fu master in the suburbs of Chennai. The movie moves slowly where the director tries to set the stage for the story later. The first half is a la Billa 2 to Billa 1. Jiiva tries to bring in some students who can pay the fee to learn Kung-fu from his master, so that he can pay up the rent to his master's landlord, and prevent him from becoming homeless. He does this by intimidating a few so-called low class uneducated fish market vendors at the market. Here's where the heorin is introduced, the face of whom is not shown until the end of the next scene.

The story moves on...Jiiva trying to impress his new found love - Shakthi (Pooja Hegde) by lying that he's working at some company in a good post and gets his nose cut when his father yells at him revealing his true status right in front of the heroine. The build-up given to the heroine's intro is unwarranted considering that we have seen prettier ones.

Are you bored already? Yes, we were too! Looking at the watch, it was almost an hour and half and nothing yet. Then, in order to propose, Jiiva finally tries to reveal who Mugamoodi is to Pooja Hegde. That's when the story tries to become more interesting but in vain. The villain's men try to kill the Assistant commissioner (who's also Pooja's father) - played by Nazar - unimaginatively  or unnaturally named Gaurav. Jiiva being on the spot is handed the gun by the miscreant who escapes and Jiiva is framed. Nazar manages to recover from his Gunshot wound in the hospital during which the villain tries to kill him. The police officer who was Nazar's assistant is caught red handed while trying to kill a conscious Nazar who acts to be sleeping.

The worst portrayal of a villain is done by Narain, again unimaginatively named Angusamy, who, later is revealed to be the a fellow-inmate of Jiiva's Kung-fu master 22 years ago, yet looks much younger than the Kung-fu master. Most of his scenes he tries to mock his opponent, be it his fellow inmate or Jiiva. His movements, perhaps made to resemble some niche Kung-fu move, unintentionally becomes quite GAYish. Especially the way he repeats all the Superhero names - "Batman, Spiderman, Superman" is extremely annoying. The Villain is more comical than intimidating. There's a touch of Joker being tried out here but fails terribly.

I won't go into any more details, you ask is there more? Yes... sadly. This is a looong movie. I'll just get to the gist. The villain continues his childhood traits of being a thief and learns Kung-fu from his foster father who was a Kung-Fu master himself. He kills his foster father when he finds out that he was the one to inform the police about his thievery. Grows up to start a Kung-fu school with his partners in crime and continues stealing jewelry from houses and killing every single soul who comes in their way. Mugamoodi unintentionally comes in their way during one of their heists. The next thing you know, he's framed for shooting the ACP. After a lot of running around and kidnapping and hostage and ransom calls, the story lands at the Ennur port for the climax... which was again, very predictable. The hero's hands are tied up, the villain tries to kill him, after some confusing scene sans logic, it ends with the villain giving up holding on to his trademark hammer (a la "Yaavarum Nalam"?) and falling into the sea and hitting his head on to a metal jutting out from one of the cranes (perhaps to justify that he actually dies from the fall), after losing to Jiiva in his fight where Mugamoodi uses the last technique that his master had taught him but the villain not knowing it.

Are you a bit ticked off? Yes, that's what the movie does. Songs are forgettable. Music Director named "K", has done some interesting background score, as said earlier, heavily inspired by the Dark Knight series. The Title credits does a Marvel comics/DC comics style animation that we have so loved in the recent superhero movies, which is nice.

Overall - Very mediocre.

This character, however, has tremendous potential to be greatly developed. Perhaps someone could get some great writers and come up with a more captivating story and make a sequel. We could then, forget this annoying intro and move on, creating a home-bred superhero who could be out friendly neighbourhood superhero!

Monday, July 16, 2012

My take on Billa 2

Following up with a post from my friend Rajagopalan's review of the movie, which you can find here:

http://opinionsoftheraja.blogspot.in/2012/07/scarface-meets-godfather-and-other.html

Here's my take on it:

Slight disagreement about the music part, with Raja's review. Yuvan has had better ones. Also, the punch dialogue English translation loses its punch. Can't help that, of course. Just saying. The cinematography is breath-taking, indeed. Especially the scenes in so-called "Boravia" if such a country exists. The guy playing the Russian arms dealer was a perfect fit, except that he didn't "look" Russian.

Also, lot of logic misses. e.g. The scene where the villain calls Ajith on the phone and says that if he doesn't show up, Jasmine would die. Only one problem. He doesn't say where to come, but still the hero being a hero lands up at the right place. And the commandos having Jasmine at gun point, don't waste a single bullet on seeing the hero's envoy.
Showing NSG/army/navy/air-force commandos helpless, with just a shotgun in the hero's hand is a bit unnerving to me.


As for glam, Bruna sizzles indeed. Parvathy (Jasmine) was just wasted!

Looks like the producers wanted another prequel to be made. Probably Billa 3. So many questions still unanswered and more that came up with Billa 2! The song shot like a graphic novel leaves out a lot of detail, showing only certain aspects of the past. The scene where Ajith says "They didn't understand me then, I don't know if they will now" and then his sister saying "Will you never learn?" says there's more to come.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Life

 

This is an old gem that I found while cleaning my room the other day – A poem written (I’m guessing) by my Dad called “Life”.

“We do not see the life that lives,
we only see the forms it gives.
We do not see the soul that wakes,
we only see the course it takes.

 

And yet we know that life is here.
To regulate the day and year,
To register through joy & pain,
To take the loss & count the gain.”

 

In his own Handwriting:

Dad's Poem

P.S. There’s a name scribbled on top in a different handwriting. It spells “M. Borha”. I don’t know if this was presented to that person or was composed (not written, obviously, because the handwriting is my Dad’s) by that person. If you are that person, enjoy reminiscing this. Open-mouthed smile 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Who moved my house?

Finally we've moved out to a larger, better, cleaner, greener house after living in one for 52 years continuously.
The thought of leaving your neighbors, friends, the familiarity, the bond of staying in a particular neighbourhood for over half a century for my family and my entire life was indeed scary. I will not lie. But we've overcome it and thanks to an ex-colleague and friend Nagaraj, we've moved into this new neighbourhood and have fallen in love with it despite its woes like unmetalled roads and frequent telephone disconnections (twice in the last one week - something to do with Airtel and not the neighbourhood).
Following up with my previous post where I mentioned about Perfect packers and movers - those idiots said they're booked at three last moment despite me booking 2 weeks in advance. So, finally after enquiring a lot, decided to go with Laxmi packets & movers for 7k plus the tip of 600 to the workers - I know that wasn't necessary but the kind of hardship they went through to get one if cupboards up - you should've been there to see it.
This was quite far away from my sister's college but she had only three days of exams left when we had moved in. It has been almost a month since we moved in and we have gotten easily accustomed to the new way of life, here.
Looks like we are better than our neighbours downstairs in gathering information and getting our utilities in place.
We've transferred our gas connection, found where the post office is, the cheapest grocer, the cable TV, telephone, internet, everything's setup and running. Our neighbour, on the other hand are yet to figure out most of these things despite being here for more than two years, now. B-)
Like everywhere else, even here, electricians, carpenters and plumbers all act like they are Lords and getting their appointment must be harder than meeting the CM.
After a lot of haggling we've got the plug points and the plumbing ready for the fridge and washing machine but yet to get some nails nailed onto the walls. Life is very difficult without those wall clocks and clothes hangers.
So, apart from these few hiccups, we've begun to call this new house, our home. That's it for now. See you next time. Until then, happy reading.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Walking the clouds


Remember Morgan Freeman in "Bruce Almighty"? Yes. He played God!






Now check this video out:




Yeah! That's me in the plane, on the way back to India. Felt like God was talking to me!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Perfect Packers & Movers

My landlord has asked me to vacate and while I have finally, after a long and tiring search have found a nice house of a suitable size within my budget. Thanks, Nagaraj  :-).

While this is done, the hard work begins now. Clearing out junk that had accumulated in the last 50 years that we've been in this house. Yeah, you read it right. It is 50 years. Not a typo!

While my sweet sister has done a brilliant job and cleaned up most of the and has left very little remaining to be done, I enquired with one of the well known names in the packing space - Agarwal packers and movers. The sum quoted was quite staggering at 10k+tax!! for a 12km move of a typical 2BHK house within the city.

On advice from my colleague Amit and few other friends, while I was contemplating getting it all done by myself, hiring just the transport, I also tried looking for another option as doing everything on my own is going to be quite arduous and cumbersome.

I stumbled upon this "Perfect packets & movers" in RT Nagar on JustDial. Called them up. Some lady with a very sweet voice answered and asked me to call another mobile number that she dictated. On calling that, the person who answered, driving at the moment, offered to call back. I said fine, sceptical about the return call. After a few minutes, to my surprise, I get my call returned. Even greater surprise was the price quoted: 3.5k which includes transport; packaging material; packing; loading; unloading: unpacking and arranging! That seemed super awesome. Looks like I'm going to use their services after all.

Look forward to a follow up post about the move itself. Don't forget to leave your "Move story" in the comments below. So, until next time, "Happy moving"!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Pack bazaar - One stop packaging shop!

On scouring the internet to locate a place that sells bubble wrap, I stumbled upon the website of what looks like a one stop shop for all your packaging material needs.

I had called the toll free number yesterday but nobody had answered. I just thought that everyone must've called it a day. Didn't really expect anything else to happen. Had completely forgotten about it. To my pleasant surprise they called me back today. That was impressive.

Seems like they're located in Koramangala 1st block. Should check them out sometime.

If you are interested too... Check out http://www.packbazaar.com


Monday, March 26, 2012

Shifting Home? Check this checklist

Have you decided to move homes? Is it far off? Nearby or the distance don't matter because of the Awesome place that you have been lucky enough to call your crib. Whatever the case may be, the race just begins... with the umpteen things that needs to be updated with the new address. 






Here's a checklist on a spreadsheet that can help you start.
I've tried to make it as comprehensive as possible, but if you find any glaring omissions, please feel free to let me know. I shall update it for everyone's benefit. 

So, until next time, Happy moving! And don't forget to share you story with me.