Sunday, December 28, 2008

I Love Test Cricket

What a match Steyn is having. Five wickets in the first dig, a maiden Test fifty, now he comes back into the attack and snaps up a couple wickets in a maiden over. He can do no wrong at the MCG. Australia are falling apart at the seams while Ponting bats excellently at one end. Steyn has nine wickets in the match. Australia lead by only 80 runs. I love Test cricket.
So do I!

signing off,

Friday, October 24, 2008

Surreal Moment

I was watching Body of Lies the other day. It is a decent movie, doesn't tell you anything that you don't already know unless you are one of those people who cannot spot Mexico on the world map. At the end Hoffman tells Ferris, "Ain't nobody likes the Middle East, buddy. There's nothing here to like."

Quite true. In the global world where the boundaries are shrinking fast, we are becoming narrower and narrower and are just thinking of ourselves. Now as Seinfeld would say, not that there is anything wrong with that. But when you try to impose your views on them without knowing their background, there is something wrong with that.

The example is of middle east, but can easily be applied for any region in India, especially with current row between so called Marathi Manus and Outsiders.

signing off,

Friday, August 08, 2008


There are few laugh out loud moments in Jaane tu ya jaane na.

{You know, spoilers alert. Blah, blah, blah.}

1. Pappu Can't Dance sala song. I don't watch any "entertainment" channel like Zee or Star (thankfully I don't have to) nor do I track latest songs or happenings in movies online. So I was potentially spared from onslaught of the clips of the song 5 hrs a day 6 days a week (That's how much I watch tv). When I watched the song in the movie for the first time, I was, too be frank, not impressed. But all that changed with that "Papa kehte hai" snippet. Very clever lyrics!

2. 12 o'clock Cindrella incident! :-)

3. Ratna Pathak's "Phone pe beta" (Btw, if you want to watch Ratna Pathak in full form, look no further than Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, the funniest comedies of recent years)

4. And of course, Naseeruddin Shah. He is splendid and plays the late father without being creepy like Chamatkar. (Remember that?)

The other thing that I liked is the music, both soundtrack and background scores. Heartwarming "Tu bole", playful "Kabhi kabhi Aditi", soft romantic "Kahin to" and very different interpretations of "Jaane Tu Meri Kya Hai" to match Aditi's and Jai's characters. (So instead of being male and female versions of the song, they become Jai and Aditi versions.) These and of course Pappu. Maybe they should have included Jai, Aditi, Meghna and Amit themes in the soundtrack. That would have made my day.

All in all, very enjoyable film. Go watch it.

signing off,

PS: I hear that Olympic opening ceremony was spectacular. I should catch it on youtube.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Indian Mythology and Andrew Stanton

Q: What did Sugreev say when he saw Vali die?

A: WALL-E!!!

Save the opportunity of this very poor joke, the movie is quite brilliant and clever. We don't see a lot of vibrant colors that we saw in Nemo land or Nemo water, but the visuals are breathtaking nevertheless. There are numerous chuckles for grown-ups while the offsprings will enjoy the cuteness of WALL-E, that indestructible cockroach and EVE. A must watch!

Besides, what a year this is turning out to be for movie buffs! Already we or I have seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Indiana Jones, Iron Man, Kung Fu Panda, WALL-E. And at least one more to come, the Batman. Woo hoo!!

signing off,

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Of Presidential Candidates

There's no doubt that /. commentators are quite impressive. Exhibit A

signing off,

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Travel Chronicles

What is it with flights and me? Does Joe Pesci want me to give up on flying and just take a walk instead? First time when I had traveled to US, the date was shortly after 26th July. For folks in Mumbai, that date is as notorious 11th September. Thus my flight got canceled and I had to reschedule. Next time there was that whole visa issue and I had to extend my vacation by two weeks. This time the flight gets canceled, I get stranded in Amsterdam (Amsterdamn seems more appropriate), and get routed to Mumbai via AMS-KWI-MCT-AMD-BOM. Four different countries, five different airport. Curses, nwa.

Then while coming back they lose my bag. Agreed it is on the way and I will get it tomorrow, but you know one gets frustrated with these kind of things.

Had it not for those wonderful 6 days between these two flights and had I not been looking forward to actually flying again in a few months time, I'd have accepted your suggestion of giving up on flying. :-) Maybe some day.

signing off,

Sunday, June 22, 2008

How to Open and Close?

If your movie begins with AC/DC and ends with Black Sabbath, it is ought to be good.

And so it is. Barring a few flaws in second half where we get reminiscence of the bore movie Transformers when two Iron Men fight, the movie is delight to watch. Very Sleek. Robert Dawney sir, if I may quote Mr President, are awesome!

Now to next big superhero release of summer. I am sure Mr Nolan and Mr Bale will not disappoint me :-)

signing off,

Monday, June 02, 2008

Kingdom of What?

Sure, Temple of Doom was one thing, Georgy and Stevie. I know I should be taking this with a handful serving of Sodium Chloride, but just what were you smoking this time?

Although the ants scene and the bike were kind of cool, only two notable things in the movie were Karen Allen (Is she always like that?) and Cate Blanchett. Now is there anything that babe can't do right?

Maybe I am harsh and nostalgic. But give me the Indy of Raiders of Lost Ark anytime. They don't make movies like those anymore. :Sigh:

signing off,

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Business Communication

Using incorrect grammar is considered sign of progression these days. One thing that I have observed is the managers in my organization tend to drop "I" or "We" from all sentences. And the sentences will invariably end with "ASAP". Their email would read something like this,
Request you to go through the LLD and revert back ASAP. Request you to fill the timesheet ASAP. [sic]
The bad usage of English language is not limited to the PHBs though. The other day I received this email from the developer who shall remain anonymous,
Access give only on *** database servers. *** DB and VSS yet to provide access. I will let you know about this.

No one have access to *** servers, Cannot logon *** servers, its just given for information.

Hope you able to logon all *** database servers. Please confirm. [sic]
Believe it or not, this guy has about 8-9 years of experience in my organization. I bet he knows a lot more stuff than many of us do; I cannot help but wonder why he is just a developer. I think I know why.

signing off,

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Daddy's Better than Yours

If you follow the Indian music industry overall (not just one particular regional songs), you tend to observe a thing. Usually when a song is "dubbed" from "the other language", there are comparisons made by the music zealots and people sitting on bench outside the saloon alike about which version is better. Most of the times it leads to nothing but a feverish regional debate and accusing each other of "stealing" the stuff. I thought, in the Western World, having the concept of "covering the song", the bickering would be minimal. But every now and then I am proved wrong.

Case in point, the song "Bringin' on the Heartbreak" by Def Leppard and its cover by Mariah Carey. Now I understand that each person has their own music taste and entitled for an opinion, but the comments on youtube video on both songs were getting pretty nasty. There was a gentleman (or a lady, no way to tell from the user name), who was calling a Carey fan by names that shall not get airtime on this blog. Then there was one lady (or might have been Chris Crocker) who was defending Carey by calling a Leppard fan "mean hearted" and asked him to leave Carey alone. Pretty amusing :-) If you ask my opinion, Def Leppard's version simply rocked. Man! What riffs!! What vocals!!! I have never liked Mariah Carey anyways, and this does not make me start liking her anymore than I should have liked Celine Dion after the whole "You shook me all night long" incident :-)

And for the record, I will not listen a single bad word against a song cover called "The Man Who Sold the World" by a certain someone named Kurt Cobain and his little known band Nirvana. If you are a big Bowie fan, go back to your mom's basement and listen to him. My dad is way better than yours.

signing off,

Friday, April 11, 2008

I Have a Dream

Ladies and gentlemen, your very special moment of Zen for today:

"From the beginning, George W Bush has been frequently ridiculed for his speaking style", The narrator says. "Now seven years later he's credited with some of the most eloquent and visionary speeches ever delivered by an American President." [Video 1 2]

signing off,

Thursday, April 03, 2008

भरलं वांगं

वांगं खूप लोकांना अावडत नाही म्हणे!! पण लहानपणी त्यांनी बैंगन राजा नावाचं कॅरेक्टर बघितलं नसेल, किंवा त्यांची जीभ निव्वळ दगड असेल, अजून काय?

येतो मग,

Monday, March 31, 2008

Of God and the Tax Season

I had a meeting with my tax consultant last week. He asked me a whole lot of questions about my earnings, savings, stocks, medical expenses, educational expenses etc. Routine stuff, in other words you hear in the tax office. He asked me how much I had spent towards religious activities last year. I asked him to clarify. He said, "You know, how many miles did you travel to go to the temple?"

Boy! A tough question. I made a quick calculation and told him, "About 60 mi".

He seemed excited. "Good. So how much for the whole year?"

I should mention that this tax consultant was Indian, calling me from Bangalore I guess.

"Actually that's about it." I clarified.

He was speechless for a few moments. Or maybe it was the phone connection. "What?? How many times did you go to the temple?"

"About two-three times."

"Shouldn't you be going more regularly?" He asked.

"To get more tax rebate?" I quipped.

He seemed aghast. Perhaps a little disappointed. "No you know, aren't you a Hindu? You should."

I have not been so much patronized by even my parents since I was 12. Why do people seem so surprised to hear something like this?

signing off,

Friday, March 28, 2008

Bhaiyya Sehwag!

I am a Tendulkar guy. Contrary to what I say, I tend to get disappointed, however little it might be, when he gets out. Now I know this person who is undoubtedly Sehwag guy. He has unabashedly supported Sehwag throughout the years I have known him. I remember when we were in Chennai earlier this decade (boy, the time has surely flown) and cricket and pay-raises were the only things that brought our otherwise diverse group of folks from all over India to the passionate round tables; he used to be the only one supporting Sehwag. Now I don't mean that rest of us did not enjoy his huge six over the midwicket or cracking square cut backwards of point. But he was the one who said big things about Sehwag where rest of us just more or less agreed that probably Sehwag was a one-match wonder.

Today I cannot help but remember him and how he must be content with himself. I can almost hear him boisterously cheer Sehwag in his own typically Delhite accent, "Sehwag, bhaiyya, Sehwag! $%#$ di South Africa $%@#*@$%^!!"

Cheers to that mate! Cheers!!

signing off!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Silver Spamming

Sorry Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT). I know your Silverlight technology is bright and shiny. But I am on my office network and you know, "not supposed" to install anything unless thoroughly tested and approved. I bet you have a similar policy on your desktops too, where "the developers" will be "frowned upon" if they install unauthorized software, say (*gasp*) Thunderbird to read their (*gasp*^2) Gmails or (*gasp*^3) Firefox!

So please let me know if you have any brighter and shinier button which kills these "Install Silverlight" "Install Silverlight" windows once and for all till my IT department decides otherwise. You know, some might even call it a "popup window". Heh. Their nerves.

signing off,

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

With Sugar on Top

As Colbert would say, "WE DID IT!" With all shouting, sound effects and whistling!

To Mr Ponting and his minions, please treat this as a personal offensive gesture to derive that we are not gracious winners. Frankly, who's listening to you?

signing off,

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Fallen Warrier

Q: What happens when a human face hits the ice surface and skids for about 10 yards at about 40 mph?

A: This.

And oh by the way, skiing totally rocks! I am going there again next Saturday :-)

signing off,

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sizable Minority

From the news report on primaries in Virgina and Maryland:

There is a sizable minority population in those states.

My doubt: If it is a sizable minority, why not call it a majority?

signing off,

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Previous posts on birthdays: '05 '06 '07

signing off,

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Best Things in Life Are Free

Or at least are the ones you aren't required to spend a fortune on. I am a firm believer in this philosophy, when I consider eating outside. When I was in Mumbai, I had been to this local McD where I ate this veggie burger for about Rs 60. Then I had this tangy vada-pav on streets of Kurla for Rs 5. The burger was presented to me with perfectly round slices of onion and tomato with a leaf of lettuce. Vada-pav came with a fried green chilly and a mixture of tamarind and mint chutney. Burger was given in a clean white plate. Vada-pav was handed over to me by the boy directly. Burger was good enough. Vada-pav was smashingly delicious. I did not order second burger. But I had two more vada-pav.

Then there was a case of that famous gol-gappa in Delhi. I have heard this a lot - man you should go to Delhi and eat the gol-gappa there. What you get in Mumbai/Bangalore is a cheap imitation. So when I was in Delhi, I did try my hand at this 2 (or was it 4 I don't remember) pieces for Rs 10 variation. People around me, seemingly local, were enjoying it. But I did not like it a bit. It did not have the trademark peas, the water was tasteless and the potato mixture it had was totally bland. Again compared that to 6 pieces for Rs 5 at my local Pani-Puri-wala, whose smashed peas mixture and spicy water makes your eyes and nose water besides your mouth; I'd have chosen the cheaper but much better version any day. Don't ask me about Bangalore pani puri though. :-)

There are a lot of examples to support this. Like Rs 50 Shivsagar Pav-bhaji (which in my opinion is simply riding on Madhuri Dixit's name) or Rs 20-30 Pav Bhaji at any other place. Like Chinese restaurant serving you expensive but boring chop-suey and a roadside Chinese gadi wala giving you much better version of that. Like Rs 50 for two pieces of idlis at the food mall at Bombay-Puna Expressway or a complete package of idli-dosa-chuney for two at the same price on roads of Chennai. Simply heaven!

Clearly this philosophy is not for the weak hearted and weak stomached. One must go against all the rules of cleanliness and health risks associated while having such food. But once you overcome that, roadside food trumps, beats the heck out of, kicks that snooty butt of any 'clean' restaurant food.

signing off,

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Arranged Marriage

"I have heard arranged marriages are big in India." My colleague (American) had said just a few weeks prior to my vacation. "I find it interesting. Your parents choose your match and you simply follow. Does is not sound like you are taking risk with your life?" I began formulating the answer even I did not know and have always dreaded. "But then even here our marriages can and do fail after people choose their life partner themselves. So I guess it all depends on each person and his or her ability to adjust in life", she had answered herself after contemplating for a few minutes.

Yes. Adjust. Compromise. It did sound scary initially. What if she does not like rock music? What if she does not like sandwiches? What if she does not enjoy rain? What if she does everything by consulting her astrologer? What if she is sick of traveling? What if she makes me watch 'Kyon ki saans bhi kabhi bahu thi' type serials? What if she does not like kids? What if she is not flexible? What if she does not like Ducktales? Horror!!

Jokes apart, for 99% of us mortals, marriage is the single biggest decision in our life, and thus one of the most difficult decisions. I mean, if one has to stay with her for about 40-50 years (clearly I am not being pessimistic, just realistic), share nitty-gritty of his life, raise a family, manage emotions in good and bad times, maintain good relations between all stakeholders without sacrificing too many of his personal interests, how in the world does finding the correct life partner sound like an easy task which can be achieved over a four week vacation? And then how can I be so sure that my elders know the best for me? I mean, they are my elders and all that. But to add to complications I am here across the seven seas. How well do they know my conditions to make an informed decision? Or would they rely on outdated memories and telephonic conversations to arrive at hasty judgment that I will be forced to follow for rest of my life? Furthermore, marriage is not just between her and I, but it will be union of our entire families. How can I know that I or for that matter she will be accepted in the 'other' family as readily? There are hundreds of such questions. How and where does one search for the answers?

I didn't know answer to a single question posed. But maybe I was not required to. So in that moment so unlike me, I said yes and I got engaged a couple of days later to P. And when I look back and think about it now just after a week, I feel I am so ready for my arranged marriage. :-)

signing off,

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


तुम्हाला पडवळाचा मुरंबा करता येतो? म्हणजे, पुलंच्या शब्दांत, एक पडवळ घ्यावं, ते उभं चिरावं, वगैरे वगैरे. माझी (खरं सांगायचं तर आमच्या बाबांची) एक पाककृती, जी मी पुढे लिहिणार आहे, तिचं नावंच ऐकून लोक तो मुरंबा खाल्ल्यासारखं तोंड करतात. साबुदाण्याची खिचडी? कांदा घालून?? पावनं, बरं वाटत नाही का काय?

आपल्याकडे साबुदाण्याला एक स्थान आहे, ते म्हणजे फक्त उपवासाच्या खाण्यात. नाही म्हणलं तरी, वड्यांनी साबुदाण्याला थोडंसं "चमचमीत खाणं" या सदरात आणण्याचा एक क्षीण प्रयत्न केला पण तोही फसला. आता तर अशी अवस्था आहे की साबुदाणा म्हणलं की डोळ्यासमोर एखादी मूर्ती, नाकासमोर उदबत्तीचा वास (ज्याने मला खोकला येतो) यायलाच पाहीजे. अशा वातावरणात, तुम्हीच सांगा, कांदा अश्या अत्यंत अधार्मिक प्रवृत्तीच्या मुलाशी साबुदाण्याच्या खिचडीसारख्या सुशील मुलीचं कोणता बाबा लग्न लावून देईल? (मी सध्या "मार्केट"मध्ये असल्याने माझ्या उपमाही तशाच)

पण जर तुम्ही असल्या पुरोगामी विचारांचे नसाल आणि नुसते पोहे उपमा खाउन कावले असाल तर कधीतरी एखाद्या रविवारी कु़टुंब माहेरी किंवा किटी पार्टीला गेल्याची संधी साधून ही खिचडी ट्राय मारा.

एक वाटी साबुदाणा - दोन-अडीच वाटी पाण्यात धुउन दीड-दोन तास भिजवून ठेवा.ते भिजले की त्यातलं जास्तीचं पाणी काढून त्यात चवीनुसार दाण्याचा कूट, मीठ, थोडंसं तिखट आणि चिमूटभर साखर टाकून बाजूला ठेवा.एक कांदा आणि एक हिरवी मिरची बारीक चिरा. कढईत तेल गरम करून त्यात जिरे तडतडू द्या. ते झालेले वाटले की मिरची नि कांदा परतून घ्या. कांदा "मस्त तेल मैं फ्राय" करून झाला की त्यामध्ये साबुदाणा व इतर जिन्नस मिसळा व झाकण ठेउन शिजू द्या. साधारण १५/२० मिनिटांनी ते उतरवा व वर ओला खवलेला नारळ आणि "बारीक कटा हुआ हरा धनिया" भुरभुरवून गरम गरम खा.

आणि ती खाऊन "अजि मी आज ब्रम्हांड पाहिले" असे वाटले नाही तर सांगा.

येतो मग,