Archive for December 2009

Of Milestones and Annual Results... !!!!!

New Year in India.. :)

I have another 45 minutes to go.. here.. :)

Happy New Year to everybody who is reading this blog...

Hey in all this mele and excitement... I forgot something really important.. I've just crossed a milestone ... :)

250 posts... :)

My 200th post was about how I completed one year in Muscat. Today I am on the verge of completing another Year End for this Bank. It's a privilege or a curse, I don't know, but am leaving this place pretty soon, that I know. :) :D.. In a sense, it is indeed a milestone post for me...

Last Year End, I was going through a very tough phase, and I had had a really bad beginning to the End of the Year. I hope this year is going to be fine.

My blog also, has seen pretty good 'traffic' in the last few months.. I have not doctored any of the results.. Here are some blog - statistics...

What I can see is that My Weekly data clearly indicates that there has been more than 600% increase in the number of pageloads, and 250% increase in unique visitors and almost 2000% increase in returning visitors.. :)



QoQ - a whopping 600% increase in pageloads...



YoY - 200% increase...!!!



Been having visitors from all over the world !! And of course, I have my own fans of my series... Am seriously loving it..



Gosh does this sound like a financial statement...??? :) :D

But then, heck, what's wrong with showing off my own blog statistics.. :) :P

P.S:- As I said in my very first blog post Welcome to Euphoria !!!... It has been a wonderful journey. And i'm sure it'll continue to be.

Thursday, December 31, 2009 by Hari
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Sherlock Holmes - Riveting...

Great movie. Riveting to say the least.

The language was kind of difficult to understand, mainly due to the lower volumes. Cheeky and subtle English humor. Excellent screenplay. RD Jr. as Sherlock Holmes rocks... But Jude Law as Watson steals the thunder. He doesn't look like a side-kick at all.. :) :D

Good innovative story... Great screenplay... They could have shown Sherlock Holmes slightly more younger. It could definitely have been possible... Great costumes and settings. The Tower Bridge (No.. It's not the London Bridge.. :) :D as is commonly misunderstood..) in its starting stages.. A Great Setting there.. !!!

Climax was great.. Waiting for the 'Case to be Re-opened with Prof. Moriarty'. :) :D

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 by Hari
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Avatar - Continues ...

Went to Avatar Yesterday (again.. :) )

First row seats.. a bit painful for the neck, but worth the pain...
When I saw it for the first time, I felt that Neytiri was the character who stood out. I second that feeling. She really stands out.

There were some scenes in the movie which I felt, kind of 'defined' the movie for me.

1.) The scene where Colonel Miles Quaritch shows to Jake Sully his scars and says he got them on the first day he landed there, and the impact it had on him, and the way, he uses the motions of his hands to control the robot in which he sits.

2.) The portion where the Seeds of the mother tree (jelly like, translucent seeds) sit on Jake Sully and illuminate him.

3.) The scene where Neytiri calls him a Baby and chides him for making noise and causing the death of the wolves.

4.) The part where the cord is plugged out for Jake Sully and the Na'vi decide to kill him. Neytiri's reactions are amazing.

5.) The part where Neytiri realises that Jake Sully had betrayed her trust.

6.) The scene where the Mother Tree is destroyed and Neytiri wails. Her wailing somehow had an eerie melancholy to it. It shook me to the core.

7.) The scene where Jake Sully introduces himself as 'Turuk-Makto' to the Na'vi. The grandeur with which he walks across the crowd.

8.) The failed attempt to save Professor Grace's life. The esoteric dance and chanting.

9.) The scene where the thick nosed rhinos come charging down the forest to crush the rebel forces.

10.) The last scene where Jake Sully undergoes a consciousness transfer willingly from his normal body to Avatar. The eyes open. and then 'A V A T A R' ......

Mindblowing... I would love to go another time... :) :D

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 by Hari
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Single in the city...and Lovin' it.. !!! (2)

I've always found Qarneysh or Corniche to be wonderfully intriguing in every aspect of the word. So, when the time came for another article for the Single in the City column, in Muscat Daily, I decided that Qarneysh it would be. Muscat Daily has published the article today, on Page 5. :)

You can read my previous column Here.

You may see today's article below. Click on the picture for a readable version.



Click Here for a Hi-Res.

P.S:- Once again, many thanks to Mohana Prabhakar and Binoy, for having published the article. Thanks once again..

Sunday, December 27, 2009 by Hari
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Weekend Flies By...(2)

Well, this weekend just flew for me..

Thursday Evening - 3 Idiots...

Friday Morning - Got up late... Did some reading (Blind Faith). Then decided to watch some movies. Watched Defiance. Mindblowing... I am a fan of Daniel Craig, and he just proved why he deserves a fan like me.. :P. I thought Schindler's List was a good movie. This one is truly in defiance.
Then did some more reading...(Again Blind Faith)

Saturday Morning, had an appointment to coach a colleague's daughter in Computer Science... Did that. Returned by evening. Then watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Behind Enemy Lines - Colombia. FSH was very slow.. It was kind of romantic and funny, but, it could have been made more pacier...BEL was a typical Navy Seal movie. Racy and Fast, though kind of incredible.

Then spent the rest of the evening reading Orhan Pamuk's latest book 'A Museum of Innocence'. Very interesting read. I was hooked to it, because of the blurb, and now I am not able to let go of it. :) :D. I've just started, but am planning to finish the book by this week. Let's see.. That's a pretty long deadline... Hmmm.. Let's see...

by Hari
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Blind Faith - Sagarika Ghose - Good Read

Just finished reading Blind Faith by Sagarika Ghose... Well, I know its a late read. The book was apparently released in 2007.. nevertheless.. Here are my two cents...

The book is slightly short (as in terms of other books that I have been recently). The story is er.. excuse me... I am feeling lazy.. so I will give you the same blurb that got me hooked...

"A stunning and sumptuous tale of the boundaries between love and hate, truth and deception, set against the anticipation for the Kumbh Mela: the biggest festival in India. When Mia, acutely depressed by the suicide of her artist father, meets Karna, a young and mesmeric guru who bears a startling resemblance to a figure in her father's painting, she feels compelled to follow him all the way from London to India. And if marrying Vik, the suave businessman her mother so approves of, is the way to get there, so be it. Once in India, Mia learns about Vik's mother, Indi. She is a figure of great power, inordinately beautiful and gifted, but blind. Her rage ensnares and yet rejects anyone who tries to come close. Mia must travel to the Kumbh Mela, the festival on the banks of the Ganges, to make sense of everything: her own confused love for two men, Indi's anguish, her own family's history. And yet when she arrives, nothing is as she thought it would be; through a change in perspective, she comes to realise the limitations of vision! This is a remarkable tale of hope, destruction and ultimately of rebirth, as one young woman explores the shifting sands of illusion and truth."

It's a pretty bold plot. Amazing story.. though I felt that it could have been handled better. The character of Indi, is akin to John Galt's ... It could have been drafted more carefully to give it the 'cult classic' feel. The story meanders here and there, aimlessly in the middle, but then I suppose Sagarika has a sudden revelation, and she brings it back on track, abruptly. The characterization has been really the strong point in this novel. Indi's father, Indi, Mia, Vikram, Karna all have got their own aura in the novel. Karna stands out. His enthusiasm and silent determination, beautifully camouflage his true nature. The theme itself was different with a painting playing a pivotal role. The ego clash between Indi and her son, and the degree to which both of them are willing to go, is at times, realistic and at the same time, a little unreal too.

The Kumbh Mela has been beautifully described, and my heart simply yearns for the day, when I will be able to see the Kumbh Mela myself. The scene has been very vividly described. I presume, its an 'aankhon-dekha haal'-- To quote from a journalist. :) :P
She has very good powers of observation, and this is seen here quite evidently.

Some lines stand out in the novel. Though there are plenty, I am quoting only a few...

" The holy man and the businessman wouldn’t understand each other, but she understood them both perfectly. She understood that she would never be abandoned again, she understood that she had jumped off the lonely wall to find that love was growing at her feet like two trees slanted in two different directions. "


" This was a spreading realization from the stomach: that the universe was just an arena of vast commonsense. God was natural and ordinary. There were no final arrivals or final departures. Death was nothing but an ordinary turn of the head in another direction. The end or the abyss was spectacularly safe, it was crowded, it was cosy. There was nothing to fear.

Madness drained away, leaving her limp. She was many different people living at the same time. What was there to fear? If one of her existences died out, another would live somewhere else in another space and time. She was an old lady, a young girl, an old man, she was everyone and everyone was her.

And death? Simply walking along a highway and turning down a familiar alley. That was all there was to it.

She was in a protected place.

God was irrelevant here, belief or unbelief didn’t matter. What mattered was this, this human crowd, reaching upwards into a greying sky, lifting off into a greater understanding of themselves for a few seconds. This grave, serious crowd, not celebratory, not festive, yet dignified with tragedy and forgiveness, was whatever god was. In the embrace of this crowd, for thousands of years, at this very spot, lay the realization that death was the safest thing on earth."


"This was their moment, this sheepish moment. The spectacle they had helped to create. The water was meaningless in itself. It was they, the pilgrims, who raised it to godliness. No wonder they looked on at the river with possessive pride."


There are several passages that I would like to quote verbatim.. :) But then Sagarika might not feel good about it...

For the uninitated... Sagarika Ghose attended St. Stephen’s College in New Delhi before winning a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University. A journalist for seventeen years, she lives in New Delhi and is the senior editor and prime-time news anchor on channel CNN-IBN. She is married to Rajdeep Sardesai.

P.S:- Yet to start Nine Lives by Dalrymple.. Got hold of Museum of Innocence by Pamuk,Also Snow by Pamuk .. So right now confusion, as to which one to start... :) :P

Saturday, December 26, 2009 by Hari
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Now this is what I call as Going Places... :)

If you remember, I had posted an article on 'You Changed my Life' in behindwoods.com.
You can read the article Here.

I was just browsing some forums, when it linked me to a Filipino Forum, and here is what I saw. They had quoted my article, in FULL... :) And then commented that it was wonderfully written...:)

Here are some comments..

(The article was posted by one sweet person called Amy.)

"SOMETHING VERY INTERESTING TO READ..... "

"5 stars for you aimy and 5 stars for the article!! "

"it's nice to know that someone is suggesting that a foreign film outfit sets its sights on a local film ... that's something to be proud of..well, in case the plan pushes through, I want to watch it. (to) see how they adapt to a (Pinoy) film. will the foreign leading lady do justice to the role of Laida Magtalas the way our very own Sarah Geronimo did with flying colors? "

"Yes, it is interesting how this reviewer got a hold of You Changed My Life. "

"it crossed language barriers to deliver fun and entertainment. and that's (cool) to the truest sense of the word. "

"Thanks for sharing aimy..It's nice to know that the movie AVSL and YCML is receiving excellent recognition from the international scene..I'm sure it would be great if this movies would be remake in a credible way.."


One interesting thing here, is that the folks in the forum are more worried that the character of Laida Magtalas should be taken seriously and the actress who takes it up must be serious about it and do justice to it..

I would like to mention here, that Trisha would do absolute justice to the role and anybody else in her role, would only look mediocre.. :) :D

I never even in my dreams thought that my article would be discussed so much ,in a place, that is hundreds of thousands of miles away. Thanks Folks...Love you all...

I am planning to watch some more Filipino Movies.. Any pointers ?? Romantic ones please... :)
P.S:-
After Shakthi of Alaipayuthey fame, Laida Magtalas from YCML is my favorite on-screen character. :P


You may read the original movie review on my blog, here.

Edit :- I am still open to writing the screenplay and dialogues for this movie... :) :D
S Pictures ... Are you listening ??? :) :D

Friday, December 25, 2009 by Hari
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3 Idiots - Wholesome Entertainer... Aaal izz Well !!!

Back after watching 3 Idiots at Star Cinema. Very good entertainer. Very predictable, if you've read FPS, but otherwise, a decently shot movie. I am not going to comment on the story. It's a well-known story. Subtle changes to the story, here and there...Mind you, that these changes suited the course of the story. Hence very much acceptable.

Songs, except for 'Aaaal iz well...',and 'Zoobi Doobi' , didn't quite live up to the expectations.

Humor is great,though not prevalent completely in the movie, is present in enough quantities. Great editing touches. Especially switching to Black and White while showing Alok er.. sorry Raju Rastogi's house. The ultimate twist in the end, when he declares that he is Wangdu... is amazing.. :) I was expecting that to happen. Ladakh has been beautifully captured.

Some of the humor was kind of crass and not quite up to Aamir's mark. Still, could have done better without it.

Overall a good, funfilled watch.

P.S:- Alert Alert Alert - Spoiler Warnings....

The screenplay almost religiously follows the book. Almost scene by scene, except for subtle changes, already mentioned. Hari's girl in the movie is picked up by Ryan here. :) Personally i liked Hari's character in the movie.. :P

Thursday, December 24, 2009 by Hari
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Of Quizzes, Answers and Destiny ... Part 3

P.S: Read Here
Of Quizzes, Answers and Destiny - Part 1

Of Quizzes, Answers and Destiny - Part 2


This one is turning out to be the most popular of my series, with requests pouring in from all over the world (well, that's a slight exaggeration, nevermind, 'swalpa adjust maadi' ) for the next part. So, obligingly, Here I go.

So where we last time ?
Ah ha.. The last quiz of 9th standard. I did attend many quizzes in 10th standard. I am going to ignore all of them for the time being. They will be, of course be posted, albeit later.

After this quiz, I was the object of ridicule.
'Haricharan lost the quiz. Haricharan ?? Are you sure ??'
'OMG .. Isse behtar woh toh chullu bhar pani main doob mare...'
I am sure, I heard 'S who knows M' say to his friends,
'Look.. Hari's lost.. Hi Hi Hi... Serves him right.. '

Thankfully, this incident happened towards the fag end of the term, so no-one actually kept it in their mind for long. At least, that's what I thought.

2 years later, when +1 just started, there were some quizzes that were being organised. Again Dhanalakshmi Ma'm was organising the quiz !!! (We seem to share some kind of strange bonding.)

For the science quiz, Dhanalakshmi ma'm wanted teams of four. One 8th std, one 9th std, and two +1's. So that everybody got an equal chance.. I was teamed with K. :) A jolly-go-lucky guy, with an absolutely fantastic sense of humor. He kept saying, 'Dai.. I am not a pro-quizzer like you.. So if you don't know the answer, please don't pass the mike to me.' (This was with reference to the fact that, whenever I do not know the answer to a question, I usually hand over the mike to the other person in my team. Always. That is a habit that I haven't been able to break, till date. :))

So, K and me and the 9th and 8th standard 'kids' it was. V, M, S (the other one) and myself were now facing each other, in perhaps the most eagerly awaited quiz competition of the year. Mind you, this was the first quiz of the year 2001, and it was expected to set the tone for the other events that were scheduled.

In a couple of rounds, it became very clear, that this one was going to be very fiercely fought. For one, I thought that everybody had forgotten the last 9th quiz, but to my dismay I found that even the teachers remembered the quiz very clearly.
'You like grapes hunh ?' --- was the common refrain of many of my teachers after the last big quiz.

Then it started.

M's team answered a couple of sitters wrong, and they were passed on to our team. We answered them hands down. V's team passed a couple of sitters on to S' team and soon S and me were battling it out for the final showdown.

There were three questions that changed the fate of the quiz that day.

What is the weight of the standard cricket Ball ?

- It was a question intended for V's team. V answered it as 250 gms. S answered something like 300 gms. M passed it. And Dhanalakshmi Ma'm was about to give out the answer, without taking our answer into consideration, when the scorer of the quiz, Revathi Ma'm, promptly intervened and passed the question to us. Actually it was not a revelation or something. But I knew instinctively it was between 150 gms to 175 gms. So I had to make a gamble. I just had to guess close enough to be awarded the points, as was the normal case those days.:) :D . I took a deep breath.

'Approximately 160 gms'.

Dhanalakshmi Ma'm looked at me, incredibly. I couldn't possibly have guessed that ! She didn't expect me to answer that question. Then she smiled and said,

'We'll give it to you team C. It is the right answer.'

The entire school cheered for me,(as they normally do for any correct answer :P) and for one moment, I felt, I was back on top. Then again, some idiotic passes by me, went to the strategically located S's team.

(Strategically located is a term that I use when the other team, note, only the other team, is able to get many of the passes, which I would kill to get. :) )

The quiz was building steam. Everybody could sense it. It was actually running late for the next quiz that was scheduled, right after this one. S was sweating slightly. V and M knew that this was already sealed off for both of them. So both were playing the parts of spectators now.

But now the scores were not equal. S was leading us by 5 points.On M's face was a smug file. He glanced towards S and both of them shared a gleeful smile. It was time for a repeat of the infamous 'Last 9th Standard quiz'. Deja vu.

I felt as if, the whole universe was somehow plotting against me. I even felt that maybe Dhanalakshmi ma'm, was asking easy questions for M and S. It was a very well known fact that Dhanalakshmi Ma'm liked all four of us equally. There were no partialities between the four of us. But there was no doubt, that she also contributed a lot to the childish rivalry, by singing praises of the other 3 in the 4th one's class. :) . It was done without any intent, I can see through it now. But then, it used to be very infuriating.

We needed a pass question somehow. K was already blabbering.

'Hari, please win this quiz for me da. My sister is watching. She will go and damage my name in my house. Please da.'
'Dai.. Keep quiet da. Let me listen to the next question'.
'Dai... Puthu class da. Neraya ponnuga ellam irrukaanga da. Maanatha kaapathuda...'
'Dai...'


Then suddenly it was all Silent. We had reached the last round and literally the last question of the day.

Then the second turning point came.

'What is the scientific term for open sores that do not heal, or heal with delay'

'Team D ?' - 'Pass'. (This was V's team)
'Team A ?' - 'Pass'. (This was S's team)
'Team B ?' - 'Pass'. (This was M's team)
'Team C ?' - Silence.

Again, I was in a trance. Deja vu. I recalled reading this word somewhere.

'Team C.. You have very little time...'

'Dai.. Ennada yosikira..Dai.. Bathil solluda...Miss wait panranga...' - K

'Sorry Team C...'

'Ulcer ?? '

'Pardon Team C ?'

'Ulcer ??'

'Are you telling me, or asking me ?'

'Telling you. Ulcer.'


Silence.
Then a smile on Dhanalakshmi Ma'm face.

'Team C gets 5 points. It's ulcer.'

The cheer after that, is something that I can never ever forget (among other things.)
The look on M, S and V's face after nailing this question was the best take-away from the quiz. It now looked like as if the elusive win was just within my grasp, if only I kept my cool, and played S at his own game.

'Well, At the end of the 8th round, Team C and Team A are tied at x points. We are now going into the tie-breaker mode to decide the winner of this Science Quiz. The Tie Break is going to be negatively marked. So please be doubly sure of what you answer.'

Tie Breaker was more nerve wracking for me. As was usually the case with me. I do not know what S and I have in common with respect to Tie Breakers, but almost always there is a showdown at the finale, between me and him. Well, in this case too, there looked like as if there was going to be.

'Who invented the Atom Bomb ?'

Now this one was a slightly twisted question. Most of the text books quoted Otto Hahn as the father of Atomic bomb, but there were discrepancies. This confusion was so clear in S's answer. He opened his mouth to 'O...' and then said 'Otto Hahn'.
I think that perhaps it was the first time, he opened his mouth to give a wrong answer.

'I'm sorry Team A, but I cannot give it to you. Team C, You have won this quiz. If you know the answer please go ahead.'

'Oppenheimer'.

'That's correct. Team C. Haricharan and his team have won this science quiz. Congratulations to the winners. Prizes will be distributed later.'

'Dai.. Namma Jeyichittom da.. Haiyya.. Dai.. inikkyu ennakku veetla raja mariyatha thaan... thanks da...Hari.. antha ponnu ennayae paarkira mathiri oru feeling.. Nee enna solra... '

I just laughed at his innocence. I was laughing or rather smiling for the first time after 24 hours. I was very relieved.

To tell the truth. I had the same confusion as S that day. Otto Hahn or Oppenheimer. If the question was targeted at us first, then probably S would have won. He was pretty pissed off at the fact that there was negative marking in the final round. But heck, what could I do ? He came close, He fought well. But that day, belonged to me. That day, I was invincible. That day, I felt akin to Arjuna in Mahabharata who single handedly annihilated one akshauhini, on a single day. It was my day. I had to make the kill.

If you thought the excitement died there.. You are mistaken... :) :D
There was more Drama, just after this quiz ... Watch out for Part 4...

P.S:- I had once and for all vanquished the Ghost of my Past.
P.P.S :- The questions were all taken from Addone Super Quiz Book. Its one big fat GK Book that would probably take 5 years to complete reading, even for a guy with 170 IQ. :)

by Hari
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Kutty - Old Wine in New Bottle ??

Listened to Kutty's songs.. (No ... not some pen - kutti.. I mean the Dhanush*** Kutty).
They look like a rehash of Telugu Aarya's songs. I did some googling and found that the movie itself is a remake of Aarya.. :) :D

Feel My Love solo disappoints. The normal one is delivered perfectly.
Kannu Rendum - Priya Hemesh sounds great.. :) Mukesh too does a good job. The song is sure to become a hit with Dhanush fans.
Life a Jolly thaan, starts with great beats, building up the expectation, then finally disappoints.
Nee Kathalikkum Ponnu... Sounds more like 'Kavalapadatha Sagothara'.. May be the scenario is same.. :P.. Potential hit.
Yaro En Nenjai is of course, the superhit - Aeno Priya Ragam ... sung by Sagar and Sumangali. This one is a sure hit.

So what is DSP doing, bringing together all his superhits in Telugu into Tamizh.??
Either way, Tamizh Cinema is gaining... So no worries there.

by Hari
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This day ... That Year...

Well, this is a recollection of a very painful incident that happened last year, the same day.... 22nd and 23rd December 2008. These are two days that I will never ever forget all my life.

What happened last year was on 22nd December, due to a goof-up of mine, the EOD (End of Day) was run twice in the Production Environment (Live!!!). So the system date had moved ahead one more day. So on 23rd morning, system date was 24 !!! What followed next, was perhaps the most bitter experience of my life, and it is something that I shall never ever forget, all my life.

It took us a full 24 hours to restore the system back to original state, and that too, after many hiccups. There were folks who spoke of my incompetence, some of the carelessness, and some of, sending me back. When this whole incident happened, actually It was like working under a trance. I knew what I had done. I knew the impact, and using the best of our abilities, We brought up the system once again. It was a very painful incident for me in many ways.

It taught me the villainies of people. What you see is not what you get.
Folks who smile and appear to help you, can actually screw you big time. No matter what happens, never let it all go. Irony was that, 22nd december was the second day of my taking over Live Support, and this had to happen. The first call/ticket that I raised after coming to onsite was a Severity 1 call..!!!

Ah.. The Irony..

P.S:- No one escapes their Past. No one escapes Judgement....
Today, of course, is an altogether different picture. The client doesn't want me to go at all. They are quite comfortable,with me. I have completed my handover and am now doing only the utmost necessary work. They even offered me a post in the Bank, that I've 'respectfully' declined. This is what I call a turnaround of fortunes. I pray that nothing goes wrong.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 by Hari
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Hey.. Another one .. :)

I had mailed behindwoods.com the Avatar review that was due for Muscat Daily. They have put it online a couple of hours ago.. :)



Feeling great actually.. The link appears on the front page too.. :) Circled it in Red.. I know that sounds childish.. :) But heck.. who cares... I'm back.. !!! :) :D


Here is the actual article..


P.S:- I know this too much of a bombardment.. But come on.. you can put up with that.. :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 by Hari
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Avatar - Part 2

Part 1 of Avatar is Here.
Actually I wrote this for Muscat Daily, but they got back saying that someone had sent them the review earlier.. Sent them another review of another movie.. :)

But here is the Avatar Part 2 ...

Here are 7 good reasons to watch the movie.

Reason#1:- This is James Cameron’s first movie after his epic Titanic!
Well that’s the first reason/excuse that I can give for watching this movie. James Cameron’s written the scripts for some of Hollywood’s best blockbusters, like, Terminator (I & II.), Aliens, True Lies, and there always has been high expectations from him. More so, after his penultimate magnum opus – Titanic. The movie, sort of, raised the bar for all the other movies, and very soon, Hollywood was divided into two eras, Pre-Titanic and Post-Titanic. Well, to say the least Avatar outshines the Titanic in every technical aspect.

Reason#2:- The screenplay!
Cameron’s movies are known to have real taut screenplays. This one’s no exception. 161 minutes of non-stop entertainment from one of the masters in the art. What else can you ask for?

Reason #3:- The story and the concept.
We’ve heard of aliens taking over humans, and then making them slaves. Well, Avatar goes a step further. Humans want to evict aliens from their home, so that they can mine there. Also, the Gaia concept described in the movie is akin to viewing the planet as a single organism that has receptive properties. Though, the theory is yet to get scientific ground, it has been beautifully hypothesized in the movie.

Reason #4:- The cast.
Sam Worthington proves clearly that he is worth it. Cameron makes him work for the role and he does it in style. As the physically challenged Jake Sully and as the Avatar Jake Sully, there is a world of difference, which is portrayed in a brilliant manner on-screen. The subtle change in body language and intonation clearly demarcates the Avatar from the Real. Be it Jake Sully, Zoe Saldana, or Sigourney Weaver, every single character in the movie, has been well thought out, and given adequate importance.

Reason #5:- The Background Score.
James Horner does a wonderful job. His music as well as his silence at certain places in the movie, makes you aware of his genius. The scores manage to keep the excitement ticking throughout the movie, and is definitely a very big plus.

Reason #6:- The most expensive movie ever made.
Well, it’s been the most hyped movie of the decade, according to me. US$300 million plus into it. State of the art technology. Mind blowing action sequences. 3 Dimensional view of the Na’vi World is every Nature lover’s delight.

Reason #7:- Special effects.
Well, this is the biggest reason why you should watch this movie. If you thought, Titanic, Independence Day, Matrix, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Spider Man, Pirates of the Caribbean contained the best special effects, think again. Watch Avatar and then your opinion would be that Hollywood movies can now be classified as ‘Pre-Avatar’ and ‘Post-Avatar’. Every frame of this movie has been carefully crafted by the master craftsman James Cameron. Cameron goes the extra mile, and proves that, it is possible to attain what is thought and conceived in the visages of the mind, and can definitely be lauded for it.

Bottom line: - Its’ the ultimate show down between Good and Evil, told in a crisp format, in style. Must Watch... Don’t Miss it!!!!

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The Gaia Hypothesis is something, that not every scientist agrees to, as it has very little scientific proof, but if you are a Captain Planet Fan, then you must be aware of the beautiful lady who comes at the end of each episode to give some gyaan on how to save the planet, well she is the personification of Gaia, or the life force that intuitively drives the earth. This is one of my favorite theories, as it clearly shows how nature controls and conquers.

Another interesting aspect of this movie, is for its resemblance to Ramayana. I know it may sound a little too far fetched, even crazily 'conspiracy theory', or simply stupid, but there are somethings that I couldn't avoid.

First things first. It nothing but Ramayana, told differently.

What if Ravana took the battle to Ayodhya, for Sita ?

Size of the Na'vi people. Clearly documented fact that Aryans were much well built than most of the other races.

Blue skin ?? Krishna/Rama/All 'avatars' of Vishnu were blue...

Bows and Arrows ?? Krishna was an ace archer, Rama was the best.

The Namam on the forehead ?? Dai.. ithukku mela ennada proof ?? Jake Sully wears the holy namam on his head, which is simply a direct lift from the Iyengar/SriVaishnava Thiruman (SriChoornam - Sricharanam)...

The control of objects using mind. Come on, this one takes the cake. They are able to bond/connect with their horses and flying carriers using their tail, and then control using the mind. This is exactly how the Astras in Warfare work. Also, it is a well known fact that Rama used the Pushpaka Vimana on his final sojourn from Lanka to Ayodhya.

Pushpaka Vimana was a flying vehicle in the shape of a swan, and was controlled by the mind, and could travel at the speed of thought.

Someone please tell me, that all this was not researched, and it is simply a coincidence. :)

Anybody with more coincidences, please mail me. Would love to post them..:)

As for me, it was akin to An Athiest coming face to face with God. Reason, all the theories that I had merely believed in blindly all these years, I could see them fructify in front of my eyes. I really must appreciate the vision of the director here.

Monday, December 21, 2009 by Hari
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This is mindblowing... !!!

I simply can’t believe it..

It was here all the while, and I simply could not see it..

If only I had know about it earlier… It would have made my life a lot more easier.. J

I still can’t believe it… J

P.S:- The excitement is because, this has been posted directly from a mail. J

Yes.. Can you believe it ?? J

by Hari
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Of Rapidshare, Captchas and Frustration....

The other day, I was trying to register for some site... and I kept gettting irritating CAPTCHA's...

(For the uninitiated, CAPTCHA is the short form of "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart". You can read the wiki article Here. )

I was then reminded of this forward, which I sent to all of my friends, who used rapidshare, which was too hilarious, and very aptly portrays my frustration..







Well, Well, All I can say, is that those days are not far away... :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009 by Hari
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18 more days to go..!!!

by Hari
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Excellent lyrics...

As I had mentioned in my earlier post... Walk the Line songs really rock.. Feel bad that I missed out the songs.. anyway, I am catching up..ain't I ? :)

Here are lyrics of the some of the best songs in the movie..

My favorite one is 'Cry-Cry-Cry' and 'I Walk the Line'

Cry Cry Cry

Everybody knows where you go when the sun goes down.
I think you only live to see the lights of town.
I wasted my time when I would try, try, try.
Cause when the lights have lost their glow, you're gonna cry, cry, cry.

Soon your sugar-daddies will all be gone.
You'll wake up some cold day and find you're alone.
You'll call for me but I'm gonna tell you: "Bye, bye, bye,"
When I turn around and walk away, you'll cry, cry, cry,

You're gonna cry, cry, cry and you'll cry alone,
When everyone's forgotten and you're left on your own.
You're gonna cry, cry, cry.

I lie awake at night and wait 'til you come in.
You stay a little while and then you're gone again.
Every question that I ask, I get a lie, lie, lie.
For every lie you tell, you're gonna cry, cry, cry.

When your fickle little love gets old, no one will care for you.
Then you'll come back to me for a little love that's true.
I'll tell you no and then you ask me why, why, why?
When I remind you of all of this, you'll cry, cry, cry.

You're gonna cry, cry, cry and you'll cry alone,
When everyone's forgotten and you're left on your own.
You're gonna cry, cry, cry.

I Walk the Line

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time.
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you're mine,
I walk the line
I find it very, very easy to be true
I find myself alone when each day is through
Yes, I'll admit that I'm a fool for you
Because you're mine,
I walk the line
As sure as night is dark and day is light
I keep you on my mind both day and night
And happiness I've known proves that it's right
Because you're mine,
I walk the line
You've got a way to keep me on your side
You give me cause for love that I can't hide
For you I know I'd even try to turn the tide
Because you're mine,
I walk the line
I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time.
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you're mine,
I walk the line

Get a Rhythm

Hey get rhythm when you get the blues
C'mon get rhythm when you get the blues
Get a rock and roll feelin' in your bones
Get taps on your toes and get gone
Get rhythm when you get the blues

A little shoeshine boy he never gets lowdown
But he's got the dirtiest job in town
Bendin' low at the people's feet
On a windy corner of a dirty street
Well I asked him while he shined my shoes
How'd he keep from gettin' the blues
He grinned as he raised his little head
He popped his shoeshine rag and then he said

Get rhythm when you get the blues
C'mon get rhythm when you get the blues
Yes a jumpy rhythm makes you feel so fine
It'll shake all your troubles from your worried mind
Get rhythm when you get the blues

Get rhythm when you get the blues...

Get rhythm when you get the blues
C'mon get rhythm when you get the blues
Get a rock and roll feelin' in your bones
Get taps on your toes and get gone
Get rhythm when you get the blues

Well I sat and listened to the sunshine boy
I thought I was gonna jump with joy
He slapped on the shoe polish left and right
He took his shoeshine rag and he held it tight
He stopped once to wipe the sweat away
I said you mighty little boy to be a workin' that way
He said I like it with a big wide grin
Kept on a poppin' and he'd say it again

Get rhythm when you get the blues
C'mon get rhythm when you get the blues
It only cost a dime just a nickel a shoe
It does a million dollars worth of good for you
Get rhythm when you get the blues

Folsom Prison Blues

I hear the train a comin'
It's rollin' 'round the bend,
And I ain't seen the sunshine,
Since, I don't know when,
I'm stuck in Folsom Prison,
And time keeps draggin' on,
But that train keeps a-rollin',
On down to San Antone.

When I was just a baby,
My Mama told me, "Son,
Always be a good boy,
Don't ever play with guns,"
But I shot a man in Reno,
Just to watch him die,
When I hear that whistle blowin',
I hang my head and cry.

I bet there's rich folks eatin',
In a fancy dining car,
They're probably drinkin' coffee,
And smokin' big cigars,
But I know I had it comin',
I know I can't be free,
But those people keep a-movin',
And that's what tortures me.

Well, if they freed me from this prison,
If that railroad train was mine,
I bet I'd move out over a little,
Farther down the line,
Far from Folsom Prison,
That's where I want to stay,
And I'd let that lonesome whistle,
Blow my Blues away.

Cocaine Blues

Early one mornin' while makin' the rounds
I took a shot of cocaine and I shot my woman down
I went right home and I went to bed
I stuck that lovin' .44 beneath my head

Got up next mornin' and I grabbed that gun
Took a shot of cocaine and away I run
Made a good run but I ran too slow
They overtook me down in Juarez, Mexico

Late in the hot joints takin' the pills
In walked the sheriff from Jericho Hill
He said Willy Lee your name is not Jack Brown
You're the dirty heck that shot your woman down

Said yes, oh yes my name is Willy Lee
If you've got the warrant just a-read it to me
Shot her down because she made me sore
I thought I was her daddy but she had five more

When I was arrested I was dressed in black
They put me on a train and they took me back
Had no friend for to go my bail
They slapped my dried up carcass in that county jail

Early next mornin' bout a half past nine
I spied the sheriff coming down the line
Ah, and he coughed as he cleared his throat
He said come on you dirty heck into that district court

Into the courtroom my trial began
Where I was handled by twelve honest men
Just before the jury started out
I saw the little judge commence to look about

In about five minutes in walked the man
Holding the verdict in his right hand
The verdict read murder in the first degree
I hollered Lawdy Lawdy, have a mercy on me

The judge he smiled as he picked up his pen
99 years in the Folsom pen
99 years underneath that ground
I can't forget the day I shot that bad bitch down

Come on you've gotta listen unto me
Lay off that whiskey and let that cocaine be

Home of the Blues

Just around the corner there's heartache
Down the street that losers use
If you can wade in through the teardrops
You'll find me at the Home of the Blues

I walk and cry while my heartbeat
Keeps time with the drag of my shoes
The sun never shines through this window of mine
It's dark at the Home of the Blues

Oh, but the place is filled with the sweetest mem'ries
Mem'ries so sweet that I cry
Dreams that I've had left me feeling so bad
I just want to give up and lay down and die

So if you've just lost your sweetheart
And it seems there's no good way to choose
Come along with me, misery loves company
You're welcome at the Home of the Blues

Just around the corner there's heartache
Down the street that losers use
If you can wade in through the teardrops
You'll find me at the Home of the Blues
Yeah, you're gonna find me at the Home of the Blues

Jackson

We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout,
We've been talkin' 'bout Jackson, ever since the fire went out.
I'm goin' to Jackson, I'm gonna mess around,
Yeah, I'm goin' to Jackson,
Look out Jackson town.

Well, go on down to Jackson; go ahead and wreck your health.
Go play your hand you big-talkin' man, make a big fool of yourself,
Yeah, go to Jackson; go comb your hair!
Honey, I'm gonna snowball Jackson.
See if I care.

When I breeze into that city, people gonna stoop and bow. (Hah!)
All them women gonna make me, teach 'em what they don't know how,
I'm goin' to Jackson, you turn-a loose-a my coat.
'Cos I'm goin' to Jackson.
"Goodbye," that's all she wrote.

But they'll laugh at you in Jackson, and I'll be dancin' on a Pony Keg.
They'll lead you 'round town like a scalded hound,
With your tail tucked between your legs,
Yeah, go to Jackson, you big-talkin' man.
And I'll be waitin' in Jackson, behind my Jaypan Fan,

Well now, we got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper Sprout,
We've been talkin' 'bout Jackson, ever since the fire went.
I'm goin' to Jackson, and that's a fact.
Yeah, we're goin' to Jackson, ain't never comin' back.

Well, we got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout'
And we've been talkin' 'bout Jackson, ever since the fire went...

It ain't me babe

Go away from my window
Leave at your own chosen speed
I'm not the one you want, babe
I'm not the one you need
You say you're lookin' for someone
Who's never weak but always strong
To protect you and defend you
Whether you are right or wrong
Someone to open each and every door

But it ain't me babe
No, no, no, it ain't me babe
It ain't me you're lookin' for, babe

Go lightly from the ledge, babe
Go lightly on the ground
I'm not the one you want, babe
I'll only let you down
You say you're lookin' for someone
Who'll promise never to part
Someone to close his eyes to you
Someone to close his heart
Someone to die for you and more

You say you're lookin' for someone
To pick you up each time you fall
To gather flowers constantly
And to come each time you call
And will love you for your life
And nothin' more

Ring of Fire

Love is a burning thing..
And it makes a fiery ring
Bound by wild desire
I fell in to a ring of fire...

I fell in to a burning ring of fire
I went down,down,down
And the flames went higher.
And it burns,burns,burns
The ring of fire
The ring of fire.

The taste of love is sweet
When hearts like ours meet
I fell for you like a child
Oh, but the fire went wild..


Phew... Quite some lyrics eh ?

Saturday, December 19, 2009 by Hari
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The One with No Title...

No.. !! Don't be surprised.. This post does not have a title.. :P

Wanted a change.. :)

Watched this movie called Walk the Line... Mindblowing Music. Listening to it as I am typing this out... Almost all tracks stand out... The story is about a wannabe musician making it big, but in the process, it costs him his personal life. Amazing acting by Aquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. I really recommend it.. Take it from me, a person, who does not like listening to English Songs.

The next post on Avatar, is being drafted, in my head. It's all filling up.. so please be patient for some more time.

Did you get a chance to look at this website called Pomegranate ?

Don't forget to check out the video on their website... :) Amazing.. :) Apart from the normal phone features such as phone,email, video, full internet browsing, built in camera, mp3 player, GPS Navigation, It also contains features like
an inbuilt projector,which can project onto a screen 70 inches wide.. !!!
an electric Shaver.. Yes.. !! You read it right.. Electric Shaver..!!!
a Coffee Stirrer. You drop in the sachet. Suck in Hot water and viola, there's your coffee for you.. Hot !!!
There is,also this Harmonica. Yes.. !! :) :) It's a Harmonica.
And of course, the best part is, it comes with the global voice translator. You can translate your voice into any language in the world.. (well.. I guess, it can't be any.. But it is worth a try..:) )


Well, if you thought, all of this is true and nice.. :)
Wait... It's a fake phone.. :) ....

You can find more information on the wiki page, here.

But here are the credits..

The campaign was produced by Bristol Group, Egg Films/Hatch, and Breathe Media.

* Art Director: Dan Couto
* Copy writer/creative director: Albert Ianni
* Production Manager: Collette Snow
* Designers: Andrew Grantham, Michael Gatto
* Internal Programmer: Melissa Castle
* External programmers/designers: Breathe Media
* Production/Post: Egg Films/Hatch Post
* Actors/Models: Christopher Killam, Lita Lewellen, John Beale, Laura Bleasdale, Andrea Wilson, Pasha, and others


Well, it looks like it was an advertisement for Nova Scotia, for people to come and invest there.. :)

Great work there... :)

P.S:- This came to me by mail. Frankly if you've already seen this, ignore it.. But this is a fantastic example of viral marketing... :)

P.P.S:- I know, there are way too many smileys in my posts there days...

P.P.P.S:- But, What to do.. I can't stop smiling...

Friday, December 18, 2009 by Hari
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New Music Player !!!

Bought a new music player for myself, earlier this week.. :)

4 GB...
It can play mp3,record your voice,play videos,slideshow pictures, play radio (FM), record FM Live... :) I've already loaded it with 3 GB songs and about 200 MB Videos... Looking forward to using it.. :)

I was earlier using an iPod Shuffle clone, 2 GB that has given me its due.. It is still in working condition, just that, there is something wrong with its headset pin... that is causing a lot of problems.. Well, I'm trying to fix it...

by Hari
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Avatar - MindBlowing !!!!

AVATAR is The Movie of this Year for me...



I am not sure, if it will be considered for the Oscars... Maybe the timing was wrong...
Either way... It is going to do the movie no harm. It is well on its way to become the highest grosser of the year, probably even this decade...

Well the story is simple. The year is 2154, and the humans, specifically Army Men, and scientists are now being transported across the universe to this planet called Pandora, where there is plenty of this mineral called 'unobtainium' - which sells at about 20 million a kilo. Jake Sully is a Marine, who loses the use of his legs in War time, and is one among the new batch that has been transported. At the Pandora Research Station, humans have built a huge research lab, where 'cultured Avatars' are being 'grown', with the cultured Avatar getting the DNA of humans as well as the Na'vi's (as the natives are called).

Jake Sully is thrilled by the fact that his legs work in the Avatar, and is mesmerised by the look and feel of his new body. A mission into the forest goes wrong, when their research team is attacked by the animals, and in an attempt to save the lives of his research team, Jake Sully distracts the animals and thus gets lost in the forest. In the forest, he encounters Neytiri, who saves his life from some wolves and brings him to her folks. Her folks are wary of him, and decide to stay away from him, except for her father, (who, of course, and as usual,is the King/Leader of his people). So they decide to have him for some time, for him to learn their customs and for them to learn his. And this is the beginning of a new life that Jake Sully never had. He soon becomes one among them. At the same time, he is also passing on crucial information about the Tree of Life, or Kelutrel, underneath which is a huge reserve on unobtainium, which Colonel Miles Quaritch, wants to obtain, either by hook or crook.

The day, when Jake Sully undergoes the ritual, that declares him to be one of 'their' own, Neytiri and Jake Sully are emotionally attached. The very next day, the Colonel, brings on his bulldozers and begins to advance towards the Tree of Life, which Jake Sully tries to resist as much as possible in his Avatar form. But is unable to do so. Finally when they sneak out of the Research centre to warn the Na'vi's that war is inevitable, Dr.Grace, the lead researcher gets shot by the bullets. Jake's explanation leaves Neytiti shocked, and she feels betrayed by Jake. They decide to imprison Jake and Grace and defend themselves against the Colonel. Colonel proves to be more than a handful, and soon the Tree of Life is destroyed in front of their eyes, killing Neytiri's father too.




Jake is helpless and decides to win Na'vi people's love. He goes in search of the Thanator, the invincible bird and conquers it, and brings it back to show to the people. He wants the Na'vi people to use the Tree of the Souls to cure Dr.Grace, but they are unsuccessful and Dr. Grace expires. Jake decides to take on the Colonel, with the help of other Na'vi races, and they begin their preparations. A long and bloody fight ensues and finally Jake Sully is able to thwart the human threat. Returning to the Tree of Souls, he undergoes the consciousness transfer from his human body to his avatar form, and awakens to a new life as a Na’vi.

Phew.. This is the story of Avatar. Well if this doesn't impress you, watch the visuals. Spellbound, amazing, Extraordinary are just ordinary words compared to what we could see on the screen. Every frame has been carefully shot/made. Great attention to detail. Every leaf, Every creature on Pandora, Every Na'vi, all being given a unique identity and visual effect. Pandora itself has been beautifully portrayed. The visualization of the Tree of Life, Tree of souls and the slow motion effects of the ammunition being fired are all excellently taken.

Music deserves a special mention. James Horner does a fantastic job with the Background music as well. Heard that they did some special research for the alien kind of music. Also the Na'vi language. The language itself was created !!! With about 1000 words vocabulary and 30 of them being created by James Cameroon himself.

Must Watch for any James Cameroon fan.
Must Watch for anybody who loves Great Graphics.
Must Watch for every body who thinks Slumdog is a great film.

Trust me, This movie Rocks.... !!!!!
I am going gaga over it.... !!!!

P.S:- Am planning to write another post on the other aspects of this movie.. Maybe later this week.

by Hari
Categories: , , , , , , , , | 2 comments

Of Books, Covers and Judging them...

Was trying to read - A Goddess for Hire (Sonia Singh)... Going by the title.. I thought it was going to be some really good novel... it ended up being a chick-lit.. I really thank god, today, for not giving me perseverance... I seriously could not stand the book for more than 60 pages... Not worth the effort...

Tried to read another book of hers - Ghost Interuppted... disappointed again... I had to read just 30 pages to trash it...

Got hold of two books which have been rated heavily..

One is Blind Faith (Sagarika Ghose)... The blurb itself was very fascinating..
and the other Nine Lives (William Dalrymple).. Again a very interesting blurb...

Definitely want to read them.. Already started with Blind Faith.. Let's see... :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 by Hari
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Of Actresses and Shelf life...

Was watching Simran and Jyothika songs on Sun-Music recently and my thoughts suddenly stranded on to one yesteryear heroine, without whom, most of the 30 somethings today (even the 20 somethings :) ), would have been literally impoverished, during their adolescence. It's Khushboo... :)

Ah.. Who can forget that cute face, and the slightly plump figure. She was an entire generations craze. In the decade that she ruled the roost, no-one.. Note.. NO ONE could even come close to her. Her movies definitely had a strong role for her, and there was a mass fan following for her, next only to the top heroes of her day, namely Rajini, Kamal, Satyaraj, Vijayakanth, Karthik. And of course who can forget the inimitable, Ilaya Thilagam - Prabhu.



Rumors had it that Prabhu and Khusbhoo had married secretly. It was even rumored that they were 'living in' and Prabhu's family even had a secret homam done to prevent him from getting diverted from his wife. Khushboo had been paired with Prabhu in many movies such as Chinna Thambi, Dharmathin Thalaivan, Vetri Vizha, Paandithurai, Kizhakku Karai, My Dear Marthandan etc.. Almost all of them were hits if not super hits.

At the peak of her career, there were fans who built her a temple near Trichy !! Such is the power Cinema wields over the society... Kadavule...

Also, Khushboo made one food item, damn famous. Guess what ? Khushboo Idly. My mouth waters at the mere thought. :) I think it was some caterer in Kanchipuram/Madurai who started this. It spread like wildfire and very soon, every eat-out place, five-star hotel, ordinary restaurant and kai-yendhi bhavan in the state were selling this at premium. Malli poo idli (Meaning, Idli's as soft as Jasmine Flowers) was overnight replaced by Khushboo idli. (I think this replacement was due to the fact that people related to Idlis and Khushboo's Round, soft, plumpy Cheeks. (er.. I am honest.. Trust me.. :) ) Very soon Khushboo Idli and Kothamalli chutney became a part and parcel of the common Madrasi. His day did not actually start till he had Khushboo idly and boasted about it to his colleagues and friends. And mind you, not everybody knew how to make those idlys soft. It was actually a 'trade-secret'. Only the best of chefs and of course grandmom's knew how to make it. Though her popularity suddenly faded with the advent of newer, younger faces, Khushboo Idly, according to me, is one very good reason to remember her.

After this there was a sudden lull, and then suddenly we see her on T.V. She started conducting a game show, on the lines of 'Mastercard Family Fortunes' hosted by Roshan Abbas, and called it JackPot. It was a super hit with the ladies. No !! Not for the prize money or easy questions. Then for what ?
Take a guess...
No ?
Come on.. Relax. Inhale.. Take a deep breath. Now think.
No ?

It was for her costumes Dumbo..!!!

More than the physical beauty of Khushboo, it was for her Blouse (Jacket) that ladies watched the show !! I remember very clearly.. My Mom and Sister watching the show just for Khushboo's accessories. Some statistics indicate that at the end of 6 years, her costume designer had designed for her more than 600 blouses, net worth touching close to 25-30 lakhs.!!!

Here comes the best part. I've seen a lot of her shows and I can clearly recall that there's never, note, NEVER, been a repeat of the same blouse. Some are baroque confections, studded with precious and semi-precious stones, some embroidered, some tazzled, beriboned and some even backless.. !!!! Talk about walking in a backless blouse, in TamilNadu. Now, that is something.

Later Khushboo made the show more glamorous by bringing in celebrities every other week to keep everybody hooked (Pun Intended :P). Of course, it worked in her favor because the celebs too were too fashion conscious, so the whole set looks as if it was a fashion parade. :)

Of course, though she has portrayed and has been, as much a feminist as possible, by being bold and yet being womanly, she came under fire, for her remarks on the chastity of Tamizh Woman, an incident that is clearly forgettable.

Khushboo is one actress who's made a name for herself and has maintained it. I doubt if any actress in Tamilnadu will be able to reach the levels of Khushboo. no.. not Simran, not Jyothika... not even Trisha, Asin or Nayanthara. Khushboo is miles ahead of them.

P.S:- Wanted to post something on Khushboo for a long long time.. :) :D

by Hari
Categories: , , , , , | 6 comments

Of conversations and exuberance...

Been a long time since I've had some serious talking on religious matters. I got one bakra today, and here is how our conversation went... I was actually quite pleased to find someone very well versed with Mahabharata, as usually the folks are ignorant about many small facts about Mahabharata.

Here is the conversation..edited in parts... I think this suffices to be more than enough for a small wiki.. :)

Note :- My Gtalk status today was - Bheeshma speaks about how Amba loves him...

"Amba hates me and she loves me, after all these years, the two are hardly apart. Only the Passion remains. Love and Hate are different faces of the same obsession. Is it her hatred or her love that brings her inexorably to me. ?"


Read on..

X: wow good status

me: thanks.. :)

X: but initially too did she love him?

me: do u know that Amba finally kills him :)

X: she never loved him at all

me: of course she did

X: of course i know sikandi
dei bharatham theriyama yaravadu irupala?

me: intha mathiri neryaa peru irrukaanga
ok here is a question for you - who is the father of pandu and dhristashtra
X: actually in the bharatham i heard bheeshma will go to win the hands of kasi rajas daughter.. vyasar

me: hey.. :) Cool...

X: okay listen

me: i never expected u to answer it.. :) shoot

X: i also know the myth y dhirudhrashtrar is blind


We digress here for quite some time.. discussing some censored stuff...


X: anyways listen...
the version of story i heard is bheeshma will go to win brides for his brothers

me: yes

X: vichithraveryan and the other fellow
wat s his name

me: yeah correct

X: appo adu suyamvaram
and he will win three women

me: chitrangada... he is killed in war yeah...

X: but he will tell the raja i can take only two

me: u complete the story.. i will tell u the actual one

X: they r from my brothers
those two will choose ambalica and ambiga
dunno who chooses who though
amba will say u won me so u have to marry me
but he will say it is not possible because of my sabadam and so h will take him to kasi rajas palace
anga kasi raja will deny her entrance
i think he wont like bheeshmar
or some thing
and since he won her she can do watever she likes but no entry to palace
ava anda vasallaye agni mooti kudihiduva
where does love come in this story?
its a pure matter of revenge

me: finish ?

X: yes

me: listen...

chitrangada..will die without getting married..
and they will want some children for vichitraveeryan
so what will happen is that ... bheeshma will go for that swayamvar on behalf of his brother..
now amba ambica and ambalica are the three sisters..
amba is already in love with salva...

X: ahh yes
i forgot this

me: when people will make fun of bheeshma saying that he is coming to swyamvar even though he has taken a oath of brahmacharyam... he gets tensed up
he abducts all the three girls and takes them with him...

X: abducts??

me: salva gives him a good chase and fights with him like hell..

X: not win?

me: yes ..abducts..not win
but finally he succums to bheeshma..that time.. amba tells bheeshma that she loves salva and he should let her go with him..

X: i remember tis part
ahh yes

me: but what happens is that bheeshma tells her that he has won her by force and that too.. not for himself but for his brother.. since he is only doing it fro vichitra..
she must ask him..
so when they reach hastinapur and ask vichitra
he says .. a girl who already covets another man.is of no use to me..
so..he lets her..go..

X: ada pavi

me: amba runs back to salva..
salva says i cannot take you back..as i was clearly defeated as a man..fair and square in battle... by bheeshma.. hence i cannot accept you
she goes back to vichitra..
he says no..

X: ada pavi
ippo adanala enna

me: vichitra suggests go to bheeshma..

X: too bad

me: she begs bheeshma to make salva agree...
salva does not agree..

X: its god tht she kills bheeshma

me: finally she asks bheeshma to marry her...
she says..she liked his bravery.. his brahmacharyam.. his penance... his grace..

X: but naana irundrunda salva and vichita will also die

me: and feels that he is the right choice for her...

X: ayyo

me: but bheeshma says that he is bound by the oath of celibacy
she threatens him..

X: she really is screwed up
:)

me: but to no avail..
she wants to fight with bheeshma..
ah.. listen...then what happens is that ... amba wants revenge right.
she goes to bhargava..ie parashurama.. bheeshma's guru...
and says she wants bheeshma to die..
because he refused to marry her..
parashurama knows that bheeshma is his shishya.. so he tries to advise him...
but then he refuses point blank..
this is then followed by a long and lenght fight involving all rare astras..for over 9 days.. (this portion is omitted in many books)
then finally the gods make bheeshma realise that bhargava is his guru and invincible..similarly bhargava realises that bheeshma has iccha mrityu and cannot be killed on battlefield..
finally parashurama also disappoints amba

X: ohhh
okay

me: wait.. there is still more to come.. :)

X: of course bharatham is like a kadal
:)
i love it

me: then what happens is that amba goes on a penance..

X: if we were to follow all the lessons learnt from it u would lead a happy peaceful and contented life

me: rudra appears and she asks for bheeshma's death...
rudra says that i cannot give..
he gives her a boon stating that she will be the root cause of bheeshma's death..and she will be born in Drupada's house...
she jumps into her pyre...
she gets born into Drupada's house..
rudra tells drupada that this will be a girl first.. then a man...
the girl that gets born is treated like a boy.. by making it wear all teh accessories that a man wears..
when she comes of age.. they want to get 'him' married off.. and get hiranyavarman;s daughter as bride...

X: draupadi anna peru enna?

me: dhristadyuman

X: okay

me: one who's borm out of fire..
to kill Drona.
ok.. lets continue..

X: yeah

me: this lady in man's clothers goes into forest.. and ecounters a yakshya.. who agrees to lend her his manhood and take her woman hood for a small period of time...

X: ohhh
i dunno all this
can u send me this version of bharatham?

me: actually this is not from just one version..
this accumulation from different sources.. :(

X: i felt so much at peace when i was reading rajagopalacharis book of bharatham
me: his version is good..

X: ohh okay
yes but it has gaps

me: but then u must read... Ramesh Menon's modern rendering..
it rocks..

X: send me the book if uve got it

me: semma semma book...
not available online.. :(
am reading it off from Google books..
limited preview..
whenever and how much ever pages are available..

X: ohh
i will try

me: and since bheeshma will not raise his bow against a woman in war..
pandavas use shikhandi as a screen to counter bheeshma...
and since as long as shikhandi is in front of bheeshma...
pandavas keep shooting arrows on bheeshma..and finally bring him down..
thus ends the story of amba .. :)
in this also.. there are many variations.. keeping it as simple as possible..


Been a long time since I actually shared some useful information with anybody.... :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 by Hari
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23 Days more to go...

Ah.. been a long time since I posted it...
Counting days .. whether I posted them here or not .. :)

by Hari
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Of Deserts and Rains ...

Well, I was away to Wahiba Sands last weekend, and it was a damn good trip. Wadi Bani Khalid was cool, no crowds (unlike the last time I went there). Clean roads. No traffic. The desert was really very very cold. A beautiful sunset and an equally beautiful sunrise. A feast in the middle of the desert at Al-Raha camp. Some Desert Biking, Dune Riding. Well Well, If it would be any better, it would be a sin.. :)

I came back to Muscat, just in time, to see the rains. Yes !!! Can you believe it. It rained for three days here. The last time it rained here was in march. But those were due to the excessive heat. This one looked like a seasonal one.. The skies are clear today...

by Hari
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Of Quizzes, Answers and Destiny ... Part 2

P.S:- Read Here 'Of Quizzes, Answers and Destiny - Part 1'

This is one interesting incident.

This happened in 1999. During my Ninth standard. I was a very good student in my student days and hence very soon I had become every teacher's pet. Now, that had ruffled a lot of feathers the wrong way, and a lot of people were baying for my blood. They were just waiting for an opportunity to blow me off. What happened was that there was a quiz competition organised by (the same) Dhanalakshmi Ma'm. This time (again) it was a Science Quiz.

This quiz was open to +11 and 9th standard. Probably the two most care-free batches in the whole school. As 9th standard, we were enjoying the freedom before our board exams and as for the +1, they were enjoying the freedom after the board exams. Hence it was, in some sorts, a battle of the equals. I don't exactly remember the four teams completely. But there were two +1 teams and two 9th standard teams. In the 9th standard team, there were M (Yes, the same M from my Previous Quizzes and Destiny Post) and S (No, this is not the S who knows M from the comments section.. :P .. This is an altogether different S..) and I was in the other team.

This was the last quiz that was to be organized for the academic year 1999-2000. Last quiz for me, in the sense that, once I entered tenth, I was not allowed/encouraged to take part in extra-curricular activities. Hence this quiz was all the more important, as I wanted to end the year on a winning note.

The quiz started. I opened the score for the round by answering 'Capillary Action' as the phenomenon that lets a lamp burn at its wick. My confidence was running high. But so was at the other end. Soon the two 9th standard teams raced out the +1 teams. They were no-where near our scores. It was clearly beginning to be the battle of the year, that was so openly fought. Dhanalakshmi ma'm was clearly enjoying the whole show, as three of her best students were battling it out, for glory. What else could she ask for, as the quiz master. The quiz went on and on for 8rounds. Now I was beginning to get tensed up. I could also, see, where this quiz was heading. Probably for a photo finish. S and M were hell-bent to see me bite the dust, and I was resolute that I will not give them that pleasure.

We had come to the penultimate round. Scores levelled here again. I was beginning to panic. S and M were great Quizzers, without a doubt. On their day, any Tom-Dick and Hari, can be reduced to nothing. All this and more was running at the back of my mind, as my quiz partner was actually an ordinary guy with no interest in quizzing. He joined as my partner because I had requested him.

Final Round. Rapid Fire. Negative Scoring. Shit !!! This was beginning to get more and more edgy. I hate edgy quizzes, especially when victory and defeat are both, just an edge away. I sat down at the edge of my seat. We were the first to take the Rapid Fire. My palms were already sweaty. I am not afraid of quizzes. Just nervous to prove a point. Especially to M.

Questions started flowing. It was an 'answer-as-much-as-you-can-in-a-minute'. Butterflies were already flying around in my stomach. I think the pressure was getting to me. I was answering questions in a trance. Then it came.

'Where is the National Research Centre for Grapes ?'

Now in my mind, I always had this image that linked Grapes to Hyderabad.
So without a doubt, I said, 'Hyderabad'.

'I'm sorry. I cannot give it to you. You lose 5 points. Its...'

I couldn't listen to the actual answer. Due to the audience, that was clapping for my wrong answer and also because of the animated excitement that S and M displayed.

(Till, at the moment of writing this post, I have not bothered to check the answer for this question. The answer is, the National Research Centre for Grapes is in Pune.)

'With that we come to the end of your 60 seconds, Team C... It's now Team D.'
M and S had already figured out, how much they had to answer correctly and how careful they had to be, so as to not to give a wrong answer.

I lost that day's quiz.
The last official quiz of 1999.
The last quiz where M and S came together.

(Note that I said, I, not We.. For me, any quiz, that I participated was mine. It was my responsibility. It was my forte)

It was a landmark quiz in many ways. It showed me my place. It made me sit straight and have a look at what was going on. It made me realise the power of having a good partner. It also made me realise the power you can wield over your opponent, if you have a good partner.

But.. I did get back, in style. Wanna know more ?
Wait for my next post... :)

P.S:- I seriously appreciate M and S for that day's quiz. It was a great work by them. If I can remember the questions in a quiz that happened 10 years back, I am sure you can imagine, what sort of impact these two might have created on me, as well as the audience. Kudos to the be-spectacled gentleman and the Little Master.

Sunday, December 13, 2009 by Hari
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An Essay on The Individual, The Internet and The Metaverse - Part 2

Note:- I am planning to make this into a series of serious posts on
An Essay on The Individual, The Internet and the Metaverse.

I am hoping that I will be able to continue the series into a long and fruitful discussion of ideas.


Almost everybody these days, is complaining of Attention Disorder. We are not able to concentrate on any one thing, for a long period of time. Here goes.

You login to your gmail. Check Mails. See that someone has shared a Picasa Album with you. You check out their album and comment on a couple of photos. Come back to your mailbox. See that someone has commented on your blog. You go to your dashboard. Moderate the comments. Get back to your mail. You get a ping on your communicator from your Boss asking you for the presentation, that is due in another 15 minutes. You open the presentation, only to find that the youtube video that was to be embedded, has not been done. You search youtube for the specific video, and link it. In the meanwhile you realise that someone's sent you a friend request on orkut. You accept the request and check out that person's scraps and photos....

Does this sound familiar to you ? Well. Welcome to Attention Disorder. It is not a disease but a Syndrome, in my opinion. Well, there is orkut, facebook, myspace, Google News, Google Books, Twitter, Digg, Stumble, Youmint, Naukri, Monster, Times Jobs, Times of India, Hindu, and all the interesting blogs on the Superhighway and of course, those millions of hours of video on Youtube.... Apart from all of this, f you are a bookworm then We have a book getting released in English, every 30 minutes, somewhere in the world. You think you will be able to catch up with all of that ? Undivided Attention is now a thing of the past. Linda Stone rightly puts this across as Continuous Partial Attention.

"Multitasking and being a jack-of-all-trades at the proper time is fine, but having to divide your attention constantly and at the most inconvenient moments is something else entirely."

While, an overdose of fragmented thinking is harmful, and a period of multitasking
in a state of “flow” can of course be very effective and inspiring, some amount of controlled social web media is good. We can no longer say, that we are bored !!! With iTainment being the order of the day, it is time to streamline our choices...

The metaverse is now slowly beginning to control our lives... The ease with which we are able to integrate our online identities with our real lives, has now transformed all of us into Hyperegos that are Hyperlinked on the Internet. The next step would probably be the merger of IT, nanotechnology, biotechnology and intelligence. In the coming years , we may all be intimately and physically interconnected. Now that would be the ultimate mediaziation.

Undivided attention is a rarity and trust me when I say it, Me-The-Media is getting plenty of it.

by Hari
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Single in the city...and Lovin' it.. !!!

Muscat Daily keeps up the promise.. :) :D

Boy Oh Boy !! Am on cloud 9...
!!! Yippie.. !!!!

I had previously blogged about A Slice of Pakistan, and had mentioned that I had sent this article to Muscat Daily. I had also mentioned that the Muscat Daily folks had promised me a column - 'Single in the City' in my Brangelina Post, when my first movie review came.
Well, looks like they put it out for print today. I was not aware of it, until one of my colleagues told me, that my photo had come in the paper.. and guess what ? It came in the main paper itself, not in the Supplements section.. :) :D

Click here if you want to see a hi-res scan.
See below for the actual article...



Once again, many thanks to the Managing Editor - Mohana Prabhakar and her colleagues for having deciding to publish this. Thanks a lot - Once again.

P.S:- So now am officially a Columnist for Muscat Daily.. what else can I ask for ??
:) :D

by Hari
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Rocket Singh - Meets Expectations..

Back after watching Rocket Singh at Star Cinema.

Storyline is straight and simple. Harpreet is a wannabe Salesman and decides to join AYS computer assembly company. But a rash act,earns him the wrath of his superiors and he is stripped off his sales orders and refrained from making direct calls to his clients. As the situation worsens, he gets an opportunity all of a sudden, to make a personal sales call. And things pick up from there. He, with his colleague Giri, decide to make this a side business just to give AYS a run for their money. The decide to call it the Rocket Sales Corporation. Slowly the team expands, and 3 more internal employees of AYS join RSC. Whether the seniors come to know of this, How his company is countered, Whether Harpreet is stripped off his job, What happens to his existing customers, etc is the rest of the story.

The story is on expected lines. Nothing more was expected. The screenplay was good. First half was quite good. Second half was,according to me, overstretched by atleast 20 minutes. If things were kept more crispier in second half, it would have been more entertaining. Also, things were slightly more serious in the second half, which could have been done away with.

Excellent acting as the self-respecting Salesman - Harpreet. But I loved Giri's part. Played by Santosh. First as the nasty manager of Harpreet and then as the willing-to-work partner in RSC. Great skills. He looks nasty for the role. Right choice there.. (though he reminds me of Raghu of Roadies..). Hey !! Shazahn Padamsee looks cute. Though she hardly had a role in the movie..

Overall, the movie is good, and worth a watch, provided you don't mind a lengthy climax.

Saturday, December 12, 2009 by Hari
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