Wednesday, August 30, 2006

"if you do not milk the cow fully, it falls sick"

so says Laloo Prasad Yadav, India's Minister for Railways. His credentials are:
1. Installed and run a kitchen cabinet in his home state of Bihar for a rather long time. His wife cooks for him, and runs the state government for him while Laloo relaxes on a swing.
2. A seeming lover of home cooked food, his wife and children are more often than not named after yummy Indian sweets: Rabdi, Jalebi, Ladoo, Firni etc etc. I also think he does things by the dozen. Interestingly, they are all milk based sweets.
3. Inexplicably makes the forever loss making Indian Railways a cash cow.
4. Will begin to deliver bull-ish lectures at eager and trend-conscious management schools - you know IIM-A, Harvard and their like....
5. Butters no one, creams them instead. However, never one to pay heed to expiration dates, ultimately leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

bla sequence launched

Monday, August 28, 2006

good job, fellas!

Awestruck and Besotted! This is my homage.
As if our obsession with the pair wasn't evident enough...
Kneel Before Your God, Babylon!

the anti-postmodernists?

okay... experts at "faking it" present best Reality Series at the Emmys. Touche!

now that he's an emmy winner, for the umpteenth time...

..."He's genial, good-looking and, most importantly, has a palpable, well-tuned moral compass, despite his protestations to the contrary." Kenneth Nguyen, reviewer,
and just for kicks: desperate soundbites

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Aim high, and you will get high....

A tribute to Api's industriousness on the blog...
(as in please go. as in, please go to watch the movie even though Amitabh maynot be in it)

word of the day: mess

mess [mes] –noun
1. a dirty, untidy, or disordered condition:
World in big ecological mess.
2. an unpleasant or difficult situation:
The world is a mess.
3. A clumsy person who has no control over his body (with the help of alchohol or drugs): Did you trip up your heels AGAIN? You're such a mess!!
4. a dish of soft or liquid food:
The Iraq mess is no surprise.
5. a state of embarrassing confusion:
Urban life: No mess, no fuss... no cigarettes.
6. a dirty or untidy mass, litter, or jumble:
SUDDENLY Afghanistan is a mess.
7. a group regularly taking their meals together, military personnel:
Mess dress.
8. A word that is used in the place of s**t. I just took a mess. G8 summit: ... stop doing this 'mess' and its over!
9. To define having a large quantity off: Man, that guy has a mess load of stuff.
10. a sloppy or unappetizing preparation of food: George Dubya, the
Eton mess.
–verb (used with object)
11. to make dirty or untidy (often fol. by up): If you mess up my hair again, I'm going to kill you.
12. to make a mess or muddle of (affairs, responsibilities, etc.):
Don't mess with my flight plans.
13. to fool around with, make out:
Did you and Joe mess last night?
14. to treat roughly; beat up (usually followed by up): The gang messed him up.
15. to engage in an act of self pleasure: Look at that dirty man messing with himself.
16. obscure abbreviation of MSN Messenger: Chap A: "I'll speak to you about it on mess"; Chap B: "On what?"; Chap A: "MSN Messenger, idiot".
17. gorgeous: das isch eeländ mess.
—Verb phrases
18. mess around or about, mess in or with: Messing around in Middle-East - Don't mess with me, girl.
19. mess up, to make dirty, untidy, or disordered; to make muddled, confused, etc.; make a mess of; spoil; botch; to perform poorly; bungle: Messed up Middle-East - Summary of the I/P conflict in normal language.
—Synonyms muddle, farrago, hodgepodge, predicament, plight, pickle, confuse, mix up.
—Antonyms tidiness, order, arrange.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

I am Karan's hero, says SRK

"Some other clime... some fairer land...where love shall bloom immortal!
Open, then, the golden gate! And let the god of Love come in; And
the old story
shall become the new song..."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The sky is still blue

Shahrukh Khan at Buckingham Mall, Denver. Pictures taken by our blog correspondent Gollum. Mr. Egg was nowhere in sight.

Monday, August 21, 2006

sunday forum - ask gollum

Gollum, wasn't that you standing in the line for KJ's new movie 'Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna' at the Buckingham Mall theatre?
Gollum: Ticket prices was 10 bucks my Preciousss... Thieves. Filttthy little thieves! We hates them. And the line was loooong... And when we go in, there's no coming out. The movie Sméagol hates, nasty hobbitses! Sméagol wants to see them... dead!

Gollum, looks like you have met Mr. Egg at the theatre?
Gollum: He was an egg-case, Preciousss. A complete goose egg! Selling tickets! But, he swears to serve the Master of the Precious. He ssswears!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

pointlessly poignant

"Ever seen a man lurching down your street
babbling away to himself
While those little brats swoon down on him, pelting stones

Like each one of us he too is in search of a red
Sky or perhaps a yellow one
And each time he looks up with that sad spastic smile
He finds the sky to be still blue... ... "

Lost Horizon

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I am a lonely man, says KJ

top pics: Karan Johar (left) pensive at work with star of his movie 'kabhi alvida na kehna'
"We began by asking Karan to relax his muscles, close his eyes and concentrate on his toes. Karan began his soul-searching by moving his life force from the tip of his toes, past his knees, waist, and heart. And then rested his inner vision in the centre of his brows... in deep, pensive thought. Moments from Karan’s meditation."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

DIVA, New Face in Fashion

It’s really big, glitzy, and glamorous and its editor-in-chief is none other than Rhea Saran.
Under her expert guidance, DIVA has grown into America's No.2 fashion magazine, outselling such national titles as Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and GQ on local news stands.

Savvy and articulate, Rhea, with questionable indeterminable years of experience in the industry, frequently speaks at local
events about the virtues of “hard work”, and is heavily involved with civic activities, related to singing and dancing.

When she's not hard at work or dodging advances from her only male co-worker, Rhea enjoys her outdoor lifestyle, including jogging, dancing at parties, and playing mom with her only son. She has perfected the 'balancing act' between career and family by ignoring her bitter, insecure husband's nagging presence, and feels dance-clubs can be therapeutic.

left to right:
1. dancing
2. only male co-worker
3. female subordinates
kabhi alvida na kehna

Sunday, August 13, 2006

its KJ time!

Reacting to the reports that The Film is a departure from typical Karan Johar movies, Karan protested,
"Hey hold it! Enough of this departure theory.
['cuz we believe in never-saying-goodbye]
Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna will be a typical KJ film.
[more star power than a moonless sky. and more tears than...umm... the previous KJ film. by the way, notice the use of the third person - very suave]
It will be large in canvas and scope and hopefully in emotions.
[with the intention to try and please everyone, as usual.]
It will be the Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (K3G) located in the heart and other intangible regions of the human being.
[h-uh? lol!!!]
Yes, it's different from my other films.
[never mind the previous claim to the contrary.]
But was K3G anything like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai?
[yesss. can't believe he missed that!]
And did Kaal resemble Kal Ho Na Ho in any detail?
[no, but that was only because tigers are endangered, and also petulant actors. it would take a superhuman to work with them twice. wait - even that is impossible, because the superhuman powers are only applicable to wind, eagles and lions]
Have I made my point? Then let's move on."
[sigh...yes, please let's. goodbye.]

Saturday, August 12, 2006

more chu-ha stories

Be warned!! Be very very warned!!!
The chu-has are are human-proofing themselves!

Be warned!! Be very very warned!!!
The chu-has are are human-proofing themselves!
Meet prickly pooch Spikedawg, urff Bastardino...

oh those firemen...

Saturday, 6:30 am. It's the second time that the fire alarm goes off. Groggy and disoriented, I run downstairs to discover someone pulled a nasty prank on us residents. The icing of the cake? I have locked myself out of my apartment. A happy start of a weekend.

And then come those firemen... aaah, thank life for those wonderful creations of nature. And thank me for goofing up. Packaged just as ordered. Yes, a happy start of a weekend indeed.

Friday, August 11, 2006

nostalgic about nostalgia

It seems a weird timing thing to be writing posting a blog on the WTC movie (or rather a review of it) on a day when airplanes, explosives and that terror-thing are bobbing up again. But the day will be over soon.
So here is an excerpt from the NYT:
In the Sept. 11 of “World Trade Center,” feeling transcends politics, and the film’s astonishingly faithful re-creation of the emotional reality of the day produces a curious kind of nostalgia. It’s not that anyone would wish to live through such agony again, but rather that the extraordinary upsurge of fellow feeling that the attacks produced seems precious. And also very distant from the present. Mr. Stone has taken a public tragedy and turned it into something at once genuinely stirring and terribly sad. His film offers both a harrowing return to a singular, disastrous episode in the recent past and a refuge from the ugly, depressing realities of its aftermath.
And elsewhere in the same review, the reviewer, A. O. Scott says:
There are many words a critic might use to describe Mr. Stone’s films — maddening, brilliant, irresponsible, provocative, long — but subtle is unlikely to be on the list. Which makes him the right man for the job, since there was nothing subtle about the emotions of 9/11. Later there would be complications, nuances, gray areas, as the event and its aftermath were inevitably pulled into the murky, angry swirl of American politics. But that is territory Mr. Stone, somewhat uncharacteristically, avoids.
In the presence of this overwhelming emotional battering ram, I cannot help, in that nostalgic way, recall my sister's account of her encounter with an elderly lady on the day of the London bombings. Disturbingly, for me, she had been on a train from London to Coventry and justifiably so her compartment, like all others I would suspect, was filled with exhaustion, maybe confusion, panic, fear even. I don't know, since I wasn't there. However, as she got up to get off at her stop, the lady smiled at her, and simply said, "It has been a rough day for all of us, hasn't it, love?". Each n0dded at the other, and I believe that was it. Nothing but, Mr. Scott?

buying culture by the yard-2

I would love to be on the city boards that approves such public art.

...who would've thought?

seriously, who would've thought the 80's did anything that would make it into a best-ever? But once again, NY Times shows us that if nothing else, it is trendy.
The top thousand films ever made, according to NYT:
1920s: 0.2%
1930s: 8.6%
1940s: 12.5%
1950s: 14.1%
1960s: 15%
1970s: 16%
1980s: 18%
1990s: 12%
2000s: 3.6% (significantly, none since 2002)

These calculations were painstakingly made aound midnight, scrolling down the list, one movie at a time. The author could be wrong, expecially since she was distracted by thoughts on the length of the list, "what? Dumbo is a best-ever?", "yay! another one for Kubrick" etc.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

one of those days... no point to make

4 penguins perish in freak Texas truck accident: Octopus unhurt, exotic fish not as lucky en route to temporary home Yepp! They are LIVE allright... cute and cuddly too.
“The rest of the penguins kind of stayed together in the ditch... We’ve worked several wrecks involving cows, horses, pigs, even fish, but this is the first where the live animals were penguins.”

The accident could've been worse, says Texas Dept of Public Safety Trooper Richard Buchanan.
“There was another truck full of snakes and alligators that was an hour ahead of them, so luckily we didn’t have to deal with the alligators.”

In case anyone's interested, the Octopus was bound for Moody Gardens, a tourist destination in Galveston... ... nothing. Just thought it was one of those days.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

still a slow news day...

How to be an anonymous author and stay that way:
Trust no one.
Don't meet people. I conduct 99% of Belle-business through an anonymous, encrypted email account. No one meets me who doesn't have to.
Seek advice from the people who know. The aforementioned email account? Recommended by Jet Set Lara. The agent? Recommended by Mil Millington.
Guard your private details. Protect your name like you would an asset. Even now, most people associated with the book have never known my real name, and none knows my address.
Don't be afraid to cut people off. If someone smells like a rat, they are.
Keep good records. My call girl name, my writing name and the pseudonyms the people who've met me use - all unique, all unrelated.
...But don't write too much down. There really are people whose job it is to go through someone's rubbish. Consider investing in a crosscut shredder.
Ignore the hype. Parties and expensive lunches and book signings are probably great, but I'll never know. Similarly, meet people in unexpected places. Belle de Jour does not, alas, take lunch with her editor at the Ivy.
Trust no one. Worth repeating that one. Think you can keep a secret? You're going to have to keep it from everyone you know and everyone you meet, possibly forever.
Get lost. Take a holiday after your book comes out. Turn off your phone. Stop reading email.
Do interviews by email. No photos, no meetings, no voice recordings. There is no contract in the world that will convince someone to keep your secret if they really want to shop you out.
Be patient. The media lose interest eventually. Until then it's a long (and nerve-wracking) road.
Anonymity costs money. I never begrudge the fees that go to my accountant and the byzantine arrangements that mean I can be paid without the publishers knowing my name; it's just what the privilege of anonymity costs.
Build good will. If you're a writer, be an on-time and on-spec writer who says yes to everything, and delivers. I've only had one bad run-in with features for print media, and I reused the material elsewhere, so it wasn't so bad.
No, really, trust no one.
Luck is the end result of a good plan.
I got lucky, because I worked with the best in the business. Someone is only as good as his word if he has as much to lose (or gain) as you do.

by the way...

...yup, slow news day. somebody needs to invent the transporter, pronto. Partly so that I can be where I want to when I want to, but mostly to avoid watching Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, Firewall, Eight Below, that Amanda Bynes As You Like It "inspired" chick-flick, Failure to Launch, Iqbal, some Pacific-Island indie, Jodie Foster at the Actor's Studio...TWICE! On the inbound and outbound flights. The total journey was 1275.4km [792.4968mi...but you knew that] greater than the earth's equator. Talk about getting jipped.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

sunday forum - ask gollum

Gollum, how does Karan make his koffee?
Gollum: Nice Karrran. Nice Karrraaan... He swears to do what you wants... Precioussss. He ssswears!!!
He makes Amitabh talk and Abhishek listen... brings Shahrukh and Kajol together again... makes Kareena deny... and Rani defy... makes Preity spill the beans... and Saif the coffee!
He hungers for sweeter meats... ... And when he throws away the bones and empty clothes, then we will find It! [Sméagol:] And take It for meeeee!!! [Gollum:] For ussss. [Sméagol:] Yes, we meant, we meant for us.

Gollum, what is section 31? Is it Heidegger's VERSTEHEN of Dasein? (see post 07/28/06)
Gollum: While the ancients were careful observers of nature, their knowledge of human anatomy was deeply flawed, and their scientific treatises survive only as text - no figures. Shown here is a print from Heidegger's Section 31. With this "precisely shaded" and "carefully labeled" drawings, he revolutionized both the study of humans and the art of scientific illustration.
Flay them, preciousss. Flay them all, yes, if we gets chances...

Me-times and Me-spaces

My 'chu-ha' has asked me to give her some space. She needs her privacy she said. She said she wishes she could choose her own goddamn owner. That were her exact words... "goddamn owner"!! What the f**k is that all about??

Chu-ha! I can squish you like a bug! Do you know that?! Silly dog! Yes, I said it! Silly DOG!

Friday, August 04, 2006

So, do you want some coffee?

Recently Overheard at a Yale Architecture Student Design Jury:
Kenneth Frampton: ...I could tell you to cut six more slots into this thing, and it wouldn't make a difference. It's a negative critique of the project, but it's also a critique of the whole god damn situation. You have to have a principle, otherwise you can not communicate anything to anybody. Why should I invest my money in this, as opposed to some other project? You have to have a reason; otherwise the architects don't even talk to the society. Don't you see that predicament? These computer renderings produce aesthetic effects very well, seamless, very seductive, but they are not about anything. They are delusions! They are mirages! I'm sorry, it's very aggressive to say this, but aren't we going to start talking? It's just ridiculous to say, "Ok -- individual interpretations," "So on and so forth." One has to talk about something fundamental, otherwise we're never going to talk about anything anymore.
Demitri Porphyrios: I'm not sure what you're talking about.
Frampton: I'm talking about the fact that there is a total degeneration...
Porphyrios: Do you want some coffee?
Frampton: No, I don't. Sorry, I don't...
Porphyrios: Look, look, look. This is a disgusting situation. It's not right to get upset...
Frampton: It's something to get upset about. We always have polite discussions; we have to sometimes get upset, because otherwise we just don't talk about the things that matter.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

heat, sweat and sea breeze

day 0.5:
My over-enthusiastic buddy frowns at me suspiciously and wonders if I am sick. I flash an apologetic smile and wonder in amazement at the Samuel Adams statue next to me. She doesn't look too convinced.

I am on one of the fancy-schmancy tourist "trolleys" to kill 3 hours before my hotel check-in. The pictorial maps with handsomely drawn landmarks, the thick red, green and blue route lines do not look too promising after a whole night of flight, 95 deg of heat and 110% humidity. 3 days, 4 nights, 30 landmarks, 10 landmarks per day, 3 overlapping circles to conquer, X marks the coffee places as bases for attack. I start doing the math fast, as I would on exam nights. Must see historical sites, must see Harvard, must see Trinity Church, must take pictures, the voice in my head nags. Shut up! I don my shades to doze-off as the over-friendly tourist guide in his garish costume flashes his nice dentures, and drones on in heavy superlatives. Zzzz... mall, John Hancock... zzzz... hardrock cafe, Ben Franklin.... zzzz... graveyards, Beacon street... zzzz... finally a tap on my shoulder, we have reached back to the hotel.

day 01:
Quick peek into the Convention Center, quick registration, Exhibitions, Animation theatres... Not one to live in guilt, I decide to assure my over-enthusiastic buddy that I am still pursuing "the cause". I flip the bird at the screen midway and walk out of the animation theatre... a rare act on my side I should admit... to my over-enthusiastic buddy's dismay. Run, run, run while there's still time... run for the sake of humanity...

X marks the spot. Starbucks. Probably the most wonderful place on earth. Arched passageway with vines. Blue port with white boats. Downtown view. And sea wind. And the gulls. Yes, indeed the most wonderful place on earth. I snug in a chair, with an iced mocha, my ciggies, and a book. No, not one to live in guilt. A boy on roller skates sneaks up, leaves a card on my table and flees. The card shows a new line of underwear... WowUnderwear, the W taking the shape of a curvy hip and thong. Aaah... found my bookmark. I look at the pesky tourists on trolleys, loud tourist guides, and snigger at their helplessness. Get out, save yourselves... I want to say to a guy in the trolley who gives back a blank stare and a confused smirk.

day 02:
Convention Center, old school mates, professors, lunch engagement with school advisor. I have a stupid grin on my face, that exudes from being stupidly happy. Can happiness ever be stupid? People smile back... curious about my nonchalant, non-scurring art of living? Or at my wayward perkyness?
I decide to act like a tourist for another 3 hours and visit Harvard square. I take a picture like a true tourist, touching one foot of Harvard himself... pleading my brain to erase that memory afterwards. I am ashamed to have touched someone's foot and smile gloriously. The humble courtyards calm me down. "In the presence of knowledge and greatness" I mutter to myself. My over-enthusiastic buddy, who by now has learnt to live with my idiosyncracies, looks at me with an understanding smile. She seems pleased with my placidity.

It's past noon, time to go back to my "watering hole". I sit near a deck this time, next to my coffee-place, one that I've discovered losing my way the last time. An open-air Opera starts just in time. The aria wails through the sea wind... my first live Opera! I read a book on Pirates and smell the wet sea air, and look at the gulls. I laugh to myself. The book is really funny.

day 03:
A friend accompanies me to my watering hole this time. I have successfully established a ritual, marked a sense of belonging in a strange city. We talk about life in general. A dark tan on my already brown skin displays my glory days in the sun. I look like a layered chocolate cake, a punishment for wearing clothes. My plane leaves soon. I say proper goodbyes to the people, to the hustle and bustle, to the heat, the dampness of the sea breeze, and to my lazy two afternoons... time to go back home, where other rituals await.


KJ is struggling to let go.
It was hard work to say goodbye after working at how never to.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Traces of subtlety?

Harold and Kumar go to White Castle

Nerds are only nerds, unless they are geeks.

Downward mobility is the upward trend.

Yellow comes in different shades.

Fun is always to be had at the other’s expense. The Other, of course, is interchangeable.

In the end it is fashionable nonsense, albeit a zero-sum game.