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Monthly Archives: June 2010

UB City : A Pretentious Place For The Nouveau Riche

I was in UB City this Sunday, just wanted to visit the place as I had heard a lot about it and wanted to see for myself what the big deal was.

My first reaction was ‘Oh my God, this place is boring and it sucks’. I would have any day preferred whiling away my time in Central or Forum Mall than this over-hyped place.

The first corner that we checked out was Art-Chutney where Puja Bahri’s collection was in display. I am not an art critique but I do have taste for photography, sketches and paintings. I can appreciate Tyabji Mehta, MF Hussain, Mario Miranda etc. Keeping that in mind, Puja Bahri’s collection seemed drab. She has her limitations and seems to be obsessed with kettle and teapots; almost all her paintings were unidimensional with the same kind of facial structure replicated in all paintings. And the price of the painting ranged from 80k to 5lacs, depending on size of the canvas.

We moved out of this place as all I could spot was mish-mash chutney but no art. We next entered Good Earth, another ostentatious place where people were being looted right under our nose. The unassuming phirangis were being taken for a ride as they were busy buying saucers and cups for 2k and dining table-cloth for 4.5k. The entire place was tacky with smells of aromatic oil being sprinkled all round to bring in some kind of charm. Spellbinding it was, I couldn’t utter a word. We made our way out in a tizzy before we would faint.

I thought it would be prudent to visit some stores like Louis Vuitton or Diesel, at least it would be a better timepass. But the stores were filled with overblown and heavily priced stuff. Diesel jacket for 37k and LV bags for 45k, shoes for 15k, watches worth 1lac. After walking around a few more stores like Burberry etc, we were done. The place was extremely nauseatic and unwelcoming.

We finally landed in the foodcourt. Yes, a whole lot of people like us were at the FC. That was probably the only place that seemed to have affordable items. Since it was snack time, we sat in the Cafe Noir and ordered three different flavors of coffee for the three of us. Three coffees cost us Rs.325/- and I was left wondering that people complain about Cafe Coffee Day and Barista being costly. The coffee was good, nice warm and smooth taste. That was the only good and enjoyable thing.

Finally, back in the parking lot we paid Rs.30/- for 2 hour parking and I was really glad. I was expecting the charges to be Rs.50/- an hour, but thank God for small mercies like this. Unless I am in MG Road and with no better work to do, I don’t think I will be visiting UB City. Its a fake place with fake people having fake accents and fake sense of dressing. Visiting such places tells us precisely why we have toy-boys and gold-diggers around us, because there are people faking relationships for such materialistic life. Its a pretentious place for the nouveau riche!

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2010 in lifestyle, personal

 

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Kung-fu Panda : The Wisdom Of Oogway

  • There are no accidents
  • My friend, the panda will never fulfill his destiny, nor you yours until you let go of the illusion of control.
  • Look at this tree, Shifu. I cannot make it blossom when it suits me nor make it bear fruit before its time.
  • One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it.
  • Quit, don’t quit? Noodles, don’t noodles? You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the “present.”
  • Ah, Shifu. There is just news. There is no good or bad.
 
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Posted by on June 24, 2010 in hollywood, movies, quotes

 

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available in flashy colors : sony viao & kareena kapoor

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2010 in bollywood, lifestyle

 

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Alice In Blunderland

There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger! Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter

The above was, of course, said by Mad Hatter character in the movie. But I believe, it applies to the movie itself if you just replace the likeness for Earth with likeness for Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. You have to be a true fan of both these master of their arts, to like the movie.

The movie released in Delhi and Mumbai quite sometime back. But it came to Bangalore only last week, 4th June to be precise. I did not find time over the weekend, so I caught up with the movie on a Tuesday(8th June). And let me say it upfront, the movie disappointed me big time. Every minute of the movie I kept feeling that I’d rather watch Pans Labyrinth again or re-read the book . Don’t get me wrong, the movie is visually brilliant but the problem lies in the script. The script and story seems like a tired effort of unimaginative souls. The only creativity was in characterisation where they brought-in Twiddle-Dee, Twiddle-Dum (whom I mistook for Humpty-Dumpty), Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat etc. But the characters themselves played out bland and predictably.

One of the issues with the movie is Alice herself, the 20 yr old Alice. It’s quite odd for a 20 yr old girl to be enthusiastic about these fantasy characters or curious about the ‘Underland’, and that’s why in the movie she is never amused about being there. Its her wonderland and she fails to recognize the characters as they appear one after another, although she keeps saying “It’s my dream, It’s my dream”. The innocence of a pre-teen and the look of surprise and engima, the overwhelming feeling of being in the wonderland is totally absent.

The cinematography and CGI is fabulous, the creatures come alive on-screen; the dormouse, the rabbit in a cloak, pigs at work, all very well done. The feel of being in a wonderland is very much there, but the disconnect with the characters is evident. They remain mere characters, none enchanting.

The story is as old as the hills. A mission is what differentiates the book from the movie. While the book was a jaywalk into a fantasy land, the movie is mission-based where Alice is led to the Underland for a reason. The entire Underland has been waiting for Alice to arrive and save them from the treacherous Red Queen. But Alice has no clue as to how to go about the business. In her wantonness she drinks potions, eats magical food that shrinks and enlarges her. After this Arabian Nights affair, its time for some Narnia to creep in. I mean, some action and fights between good v/s evil. Strange creatures, talking animals surround you but its all visual charm. There is no soul. You enjoy it while its played out, but it doesn’t stay with you once you walk out of the theatre.

Johnny Depp has worked a lot on his portrayal as Mad Hatter, full marks for that. His association with Tim Burton has always brought great stuff to light, like Sleepy Hollow, Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood. But this time, they have failed to nail the character.

Burton has done a great job with the setup and the direction, but the weak script lets him down. Things happen too easily for Alice, almost simplistic. She does not have to struggle much or use her brains, she is spoon-fed with every little detail. Whereas, she should have been the driving force, she should have taken charge as she has weaved the entire story in her imagination. But here, she is found wanting.

What put me totally off was the fact that Alice’s journey into the Underland is a one-time affair. There are no images to capture delusion/hallucination effect or the fact that its a figment of her own imagination. She should have slipped in and out of her dream/consciousness a few times before she succeeds in her mission.

Anne Hathway’s guest appearance as White Queen, metaphorical for purity and bliss, is actually quite the opposite. She prepares a vicious potion consisting of fingers and animal flesh/blood and calls herself peace-loving, quite an oxymoron. In fact, Red Queen, although loud in her portrayal,  makes a nice remark something to the effect that ‘its better to be hated/feared for what you are, than to be loved for what you are not’.

I still like Tim Burton and Johnny Depp for making this attempt; thats the only thing to be applauded, everything else is passe.

This post was first published on PFC

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2010 in hollywood, movie review, movies

 

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Schedule : FIFA World Cup

All timings in IST

June 11
19.30 Group A South Africa Vs Mexico Johannesburg (SC)

June 12
00.00 Group A Uruguay Vs France Cape Town
17.00 Group B South Korea Vs Greece Johannesburg (SC)
19.30 Group B Argentina Vs Nigeria Port Elizabeth (Ellis)

June 13
00.00 Group C England Vs USA Rustenburg
17.00 Group C Algeria Vs Slovenia Polokwane
19.30 Group D Serbia Vs Ghana Pretoria

June 14
00.00 Group D Germany Vs Australia Durban
17.00 Group E Netherlands Vs Denmark Johannesburg (SC)
19.30 Group E Japan Vs Cameroon Bloemfontein

June 15
00.00 Group F Italy Vs Paraguay Cape Town
17.00 Group F New Zealand Vs Slovakia Rustenburg
19.30 Group G Ivory Coast Vs Portugal Port Elizabeth

June 16
00.00 Group G Brazil Vs North Korea Johannesburg (Ellis)
17.00 Group H Honduras Vs Chile Nelspruit
19.30 Group H Spain Vs Switzerland Durban

June 17
00.00 Group A South Africa Vs Uruguay Pretoria
17.00 Group B Argentina Vs South Korea Johannesburg (SC)
19.30 Group B Greece Vs Nigeria Bloemfontein

June 18
00.00 Group A France Vs Mexico Polokwane
17.00 Group D Germany Vs Serbia Port Elizabeth
19.30 Group C Slovenia Vs USA Johannesburg (Ellis)

June 19
00.00 Group C England Vs Algeria Cape Town
17.00 Group E Netherlands Vs Japan Durban
19.30 Group D Ghana Vs Australia Rustenburg

June 20
00.00 Group E Cameroon Vs Denmark Pretoria
17.00 Group F Slovakia Vs Paraguay Bloemfontein
19.30 Group F Italy Vs New Zealand Nelspruit

June 21
00.00 Group G Brazil Vs Ivory Coast Johannesburg (SC)
17.00 Group G Portugal Vs North Korea Cape Town
19.30 Group H Chile Vs Switzerland Port Elizabeth

June 22
00.00 Group H Spain Vs Honduras Johannesburg (Ellis)
17.00 Group A Mexico Vs Uruguay Rustenburg
19.30 Group A France Vs South Africa Bloemfontein

June 23
00.00 Group B Nigeria Vs South Korea Durban
00.00 Group B Greece Vs Argentina Polokwane
19.30 Group C Slovenia Vs England Port Elizabeth
19.30 Group C USA Vs Algeria Pretoria

June 24
00.00 Group D Ghana Vs Germany Johannesburg (SC)
00.00 Group D Australia Vs Serbia Nelspruit
19.30 Group F Slovakia Vs Italy Johannesburg (Ellis)
19.30 Group F Paraguay Vs New Zealand Polokwane

June 25
00.00 Group E Denmark Vs Japan Rustenburg
00.00 Group E Cameroon Vs Netherlands Cape Town
19.30 Group G Portugal Vs Brazil Durban
19.30 Group G North Korea Vs Ivory Coast Nelspruit

June 26
00.00 Group H Chile Vs Spain Pretoria
00.00 Group H Switzerland Vs Honduras Bloemfontein

Second Round – ROUND OF 16
June 26
19.30 – Group A winner Vs Group B 2nd place Port Elizabeth

June 27
00.00 – Group C winner Vs Group D 2nd place Rustenburg
19.30 – Group D winner Vs Group C 2nd place Bloemfontein

June 28
00.00 – Group B winner Vs Group A 2nd place Johannesburg (SC)
19.30 – Group E winner Vs Group F 2nd place Durban

June 29
00.00 – Group G winner Vs Group H 2nd place Johannesburg (Ellis)
19.30 – Group F winner Vs Group E 2nd place Pretoria

June 30
00.00 – Group H winner Vs Group G 2nd place Cape Town

Quarter-finals
July 2
19.30 – 1st Quarter-final Port Elizabeth

July 3
00.00 – 2nd Quarter-final Johannesburg (SC)
19.30 – 3rd Quarter-final Cape Town

July 4
00.00 – 4th Quarter-final Johannesburg (Ellis)

Semi-finals
July 7
00.00 – 1st Semi-final Cape Town

July 8
00.00 – 2nd Semi-final Durban

Third Place (July 11)
00.00 – Semi-final losers Port Elizabeth

Final (July 12)
00.00 – Semi-final winners Johannesburg (SC)

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2010 in sports

 

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Repulsion : Polanski’s Best In B/W

Moving on, lets talk about a movie which has a schizophrenic woman who irons her clothes with the power chord not plugged-in; who cuts off the telephone wires of the apartment, who cleans the blood spots on the floors while humming a song; who looks into the door’s peep-hole and refuses to open the door out of fear. Much as this sounds like RGV’s Kaun, it was a movie that came 30 years before Kaun. The movie I am talking about is Repulsion which was made in 1965 and was definitely one of the many inspirations for Kaun.

Repulsion came at a time when soft romantic movies ruled the BO and nobody would have thought of such paranoid movie theme of a woman who is a misandrist and at the same time she has fantasies of rape and sexual assault. Catherine Deneuve who played the character of Carol who tries her hardest to refuse a handsome guy for a date so she can join her sister for dinner. Carol lives in an apartment with her sister and boyfriend of her sister. She is repulsed by men and her sister’s boyfriend falls into the same category. Although she fears the company of men, she gets turned on by seeing her sister’s undone bed. Although she abhors the orgasmic noises coming from her sister’s room, she hallucinates sexual assaults.

She works in a parlour and is extremely beautiful and desirable. Men want to date her, but she is always lost in her own world of paranoia. She has weird imaginations about the cracks in the walls widening. And all hell breaks loose when her sister goes off on a trip with her boyfriend and she is left alone in the apartment.

Too many noises in her head and too much fantasy thoughts keep her occupied. So much so that she ends up cutting off her client’s skin along with the nails and gets fired from the job. She returns to her apartment and suddenly the cracks on the wall start seeming huge, hands start creeping out the sidewalls and she gets chased down in her dreams. Carol’s mental disintegration is symbolically shown by the rotting of rabbit meat which lies near the kitchen sink. Her sister was supposed to prepare the meat for a fine dinner, but that never happened. Instead, the meat decays and attracts flies just as Carol sinks into her own mental putrification.

Carol turns totally silent and stops emoting. When the landlord comes home to collect the rent, he is charmed by her beauty and tries to take advantage of her loneliness and vulnerability. She gives him the treatment he deserved and something more, a death certificate. The movie is filled with scenes which seem way ahead of times, a character which may seem tame now [in the light of Hostel, Irreversible etc] but back then in 1965 it must have evoked a lot of shock. The bleakness behind the beauty of Catherine was superbly done. The fear factor and the anxiety of the unknown, the lethal actions of an innocent looking face was incredible.

So, what actually happens of Carol? How does her sister react when she returns home? Does she be greeted home at all? Watch the movie to know it. Although its shot in b&w, blood never ever looked so red! Even with all the technology and special effects, we cannot scare the audience the way this movie does. Reason being that, the movie plays in your mind and not on the screen. It does not merely scare you, but horrifies you.

This movie was the first English movie that Polanski directed. Language was never a barrier to him, his camera did the talking. Be it KITW in Polish or Repulsion in English, his touch is evident in every frame. His attention to detail and the innovative characterisation still remains as a reference for every director. Be it the emotional strain between the 3 people in the boat or a single woman in an apartment, the camera captures it all very well. His direction was top-notch and even his black and white movies have a lot of grey. One of the best directors, ever, Polanski is extraordinary in story telling and distinctive behind the camera. A true master of the art.

This is part of a post that was first published on PFC

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2010 in movies, world cinema

 

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nissan micra to hit indian roads soon

A car from Nissan will finally be hitting the Inidan roads from July onwards. The launch on their new Micra 1.2L engine has been announced.

New Nissan Micra-full details, specs, features and pics-d-2-.jpg

The three variants XE, XL and XV are priced competitevly at about 3.75lacs, 4.25lacs and 4.65lacs respectively.

New Nissan Micra-full details, specs, features and pics-d-3-.jpg

The boot is about 225litre and its gonna compete with Swift and i20. This segment of hatchbacks will also see some fierce competition from ford figo and fiat punto.

New Nissan Micra-full details, specs, features and pics-d-4-.jpg

For more info, checkout TEAM-BHP

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2010 in cars 'n' bikes

 

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