Monday, March 27, 2006

Birthdays come once every year and are special in more than one ways...

You are a year older, more mature, a year closer to turning completely grey/bald, a year closer to getting more wrinkles, a year away from childhood, one more year of misery...and my Birthday this year had all these ingredients and more which made it Extra Special!!!

Well it was fun because I had a complete Desi style Bday with my great friends, me darlings coming to wish me at 12.00am all the way from Irving (about 22 miles from me house)...I was touched...Girish was sick and I had just cut the cake and eaten it too when they knocked on the door...I was so excited. I am very happy for that...Thank you me Sweethearts! Hope y'all are having fun time in India!!!

The next day I had another childhood repeat experience of washing hair, wearing new clothes and feeling happy before I left for work...At work it was PF Changs for lunch. Girish was still sick so we were not sure about our evening plans...

By 6.00pm Girish had decided that he was going to celebrate my birthday irrespective of being sick and we invited some of our friends to join us at Mi Cocina for dinner...and after that we got back home and slept before it was 12.00am again...and that is how my brithday ended...

Happily older and wiser...
Anu

Monday, March 20, 2006

My Last Weekend

Total time pass...Girish and I got to do so many things that we were running short of energy and time...I think the age is finally kicking in!!!

Anyhoo...Friday evening Girish had finally decided to stay back in Dallas but was still sulking that he did not go to Manhattan, KS...My friend and I had other plans for him and by 7.30pm three of us were heading to Eiseman Center to watch singer Abhijeet live...Since my friend knew Abhijeet personally we got to meet him and got the super expensive first row seats...But we did not like sitting so close to the stage and so we moved three rows behind and sat at the third row! Close but not too close.

The show was mind boggling...amazing songs, good energy and we had fun. There was not only Abhijeet to entertain us but also another popular singer Krishna...It was totally cool...

Girish as usual got hungry and we decided to leave the show half hour before the show ended. Girish and I tried to find a restaurant but most of them were closed and we were always driving too fast to swing into an open one...Hungry we reached Al-Amir where a Desi party was being hosted and I had free passes to it...our friends joined us and we partied till we got tired...It was around 2.00pm...

The next day which was a Saturday both Giri and I woke up late...while I cooked and cleaned Girish made all his India/family calls and got ready for the gym...Meanwhile I got ready for my friend's sisters' wedding reception in Dallas...I finally had a chance to wear one of those cool skirts I had bought from India...

The wedding reception maintained ISD...an hour and half late...Girish and I were happy that we got there at 7.00pm (already an hour later than what was on the reception) and the bride/bridegroom did not arrive there till 8.30...so imagine!!Anyhoo...food, dancing and meeting friends the evening was great...incidentally the bridegroom was also known to us...He was Girish's friend from K-State...haha! Small world....Few friends came back home to spend some time with Girish and I...and we ended the night watching cricket...

Sunday was a slower day...in pouring rain we took my very good friend and his family out for lunch and then headed out to another friends house...We helped him pack for his India trip and sulked a little before we got back home to get ready for the week ahead...Little did we know that it was going to be a LOOOOOONNNGGG ONE!

(PS: Work pressure and general life tensions made me release this blog almost a week late).

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Dreams...
I am a dreamer...
be it night or day...
Asleep or awake

I like to dream...What I dream while I am awake are things I want to do, to achieve and my dreams while I am asleep are what my mind wants to explore or unfulfilled desires.

Now that scares me because I sometimes get weird dreams at night, I have punched my dad in the face once, I have kicked people sleeping next to me and have woken up screaming. In most instances I explain in gibberish what it was about and fall back to sleep unless it is a scary dream...But when I wake up the next morning I know only small peices of why of my funny behavious. And my friends/family who were asleep also forget what it was about by the time we wake up.

I remember waking up from a scary dream and trying to fall asleep only to be chased by the same scary dream again...I turn sides and most of the time they go away. I have a very bad after effects when I wake up...

When I have happy dreams I am happy the following day. For example once I dreamed that Akshay Kumar had rescued me from villains (like he does in one of his movies) and ever since Akki is one of my favorites...

I start blabbering and my best friend lying next to me tries to start a conversation and guess what? I respond with answers and the next morning she starts blackmailing me that she has some important information...Hahaha!

I have also woken up crying...I wonder why because I really don't know why or how that happens...I guess my sleep-world is not a bed of roses. As much as I am at peace with my life my other life (that is when I am asleep) seems to be full of hurdles, troubles, hardships, crying, etc...

But the final say is that I love my dreams, good, bad, or funny, I would miss them dearly if they stopped occuring. They kinda sorta shape my day...and affect me a very acute manner...

Viva la Dreams!

Thambi (2006) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 3.5/5

Cast: Madhavan, Pooja, Vadivelu
Director: Seeman
Music: Vidyasagar

This like many other movies released over the last few months follow the correct-your-society footprint...Which I must say is redundant now with so many movies...Indian, Ramana, Anniyan, etc., So let me go directly to the review...

Thambi (Maddy) stops crime from happening and brings about a change in the person committing the crime by making the criminal face reality. This does not sit well with the local don who already has a problem with Thambi for having sent his brother to the jail.

Thambi surely falls in love with the heroine a dancer and a college student and a few duets crop up which are all forward-worthy. The villain hates Thambi because Thambi was the reason his younger brother is behind the bars...and the villain has vowed to murder Thambi before his brother is released.

The villain chases Thambi but Thambi gives power-dialogue and leaves...The fighting scenes, thank god are not elaborate and boring...Thambi with his thoppai practices some form of martial art that is very powerful...

Thambi as usual has a past where his family was savagely killed by the villain and in spite of this Thambi helps the villain save his mother and daughter in a strike situation created by the villain himself...But the brother of the villain in rage hacks Thambi first thing after his release...

Does Thambi survive? What happens to the villains? What happens to the heroine? Hmm...I totally lost track of that...

Maddy should learn from Ajith and loose some weight...Really dude...You have a FAT THOPPAIS...But he still looks cute...His eyes pop out and his voice gets deep everytime he gets angry which is most of the movie...

The heroine...Cannot dance for nuts...But why is a dancer? Mystery...She cannot even act and leave alone looking cute...

I like the approach used to stop crimes from happening...I liked the logic Madhavan states...I think may be it could work...But will it be implemented??!!! Anyways as much as it is a 'message movie,' it does try to work on a slightly different path...On the whole it is not a totally bad movie...It is okay!

Kalaba Kathala (2006) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 4/5

Cast: Arya, Renuka Menon, Akshaya
Director: Igor
Music: Niru

This movie is the remake of Vali using a lady-villain or villainess...In Vali it was Ajith versus Ajith and here it is Arya versus Akshaya...Anyhoo the story...

Arya marries Renuka Menon from a small village and moves her to Chennai where he works as a software engineer. Arya is a very romantic person and both him and wife live very happily. Renuka has a sister, Akshaya, who comes to Chennai to get her degree in multimedia and stays with the cute couple...

Akshaya starts falling in love with Arya...She starts to fantasize him and decides that she is going to ask him to marry her...Very bold indeed. Hearing this Arya gets angry and advises her to leave for her village...But Akshaya threatens Arya with life. She tries her best to seduce him but Arya stays away from her. There are few dialogue exchanged with sugar coating between Arya and Akshaya in front of Renuka who is now pregnant.

Enter villain, Akshaya's cousin who is a rowdy but deeply in love with Akshaya...He chases Akshaya in Chennai and threatens to kidnap her...To know what happens from here on you need to watch the movie...Does Akshaya marry the villain, or does she marry Arya, or does Renuka get a whiff of what is happening in her house? Suspense!

I checked many websites and everyone had bad reviews for this movie...But I gave it a 4/5...Because I appreciated a couple of things...First...Arya's acting...I was prejudiced that Arya might be too young to carry the role of a married working man...But he did it with elan and it was very impressive indeed. Second, I liked the acting of Akshaya...Very impressive for a debut. Renuka Menon could have acted a little less childish but she was okay...Also the movie is very fresh...there is subtle comedy and no separate comedy track...suspense...I liked the screenplay and direction...very fast and not many slow moments.

The movie had enough romance and suspense factor towards the end and also the ending was very impressive...As much as I felt bad it was probably the best way to end the movie...

If you think that this movie sucked let me know why...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Kalvanin Kadhali (2006) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 3/5

Cast: Suryah, Nayanthara, Vivek, etc.
Director: Tamilvannan
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja

Vijay worked with Surya as a director for one of his earlier hits...Kushi...Thereby we can assume that Suryah was a major influence for Vijay...Which can be easily identified seeing Suryah's monkey tactics on screen repeatedly movie after movie...The way he moves his hand, his head, his body is so bloody similar to what Vijay does...Both annoying!

Anyhoo...The story...Sathya (Surya) runs a software/BPO company for Sarath Babu in Kerala. There he meets Haritha (Nayanthara) his ex-love from Chennai and then starts a flash back...Till this point in the movie...The first ten minutes you think that Suryah has matured as an actor...But then once the flash back starts...Everything is back...

Sathya in the past was a playboy, sleeping with girls, playing games to take them to bed and dumping them immediately...Rich as he was he was not interested in commitments...He sees Haritha in temple and realizes that she might be his next candidate and changes his personality with the help of his friends to woo her to bed...

But Haritha on the other hand falls deeply in love with Sathya even without knowing what he does, where he lives, etc., She calls Sathya home one day when no one is in the house and Sathya tries to misbehave with her...She tells Sathya it is okay and invites him home for lunch with her parents the next day.

Sathya ignores her calls and ignores her until she visits him at the place where he stays and takes him home to introduce her family to him. Everyone is very impressed but Sathya is ashamed that he is not truly in love with her...He decides that he will end the relationship and starts trying many ideas to cut her off his life...But Haritha is persistent and does not let go of him believing him to be the best man she had ever met...Until one day one of Haritha's friend attests that Suryah is a man of ill-repute and Suryah is not able to counter that...

The rest of the movie is about Suryah and Nayanthara getting back together...Obviously...

I do not think you need more of my opinion on Suryah's acting!!! But I should mention that he has become a little better than before...Nayanthara has portrayed Haritha really well and it makes you wonder if she is really dumb that she cannot see through Sathya's character...I am sorry! Vivek's comedy leads to the lighter moments in the movie...But it is in no comparison to Minnale and Sami...

It is the perfect movie to watch if you have nothing better to do and do not want to analyze the nuances of a film...Time pass...Catchy songs...Decent comedy...Simple story...Just chill and enjoy...

PS: My reference to comparing Suryah's histrionics with a monkey is not intended to insult either of them...

Monday, March 06, 2006

Over the weekend I learnt something that for sure shocked me and now has crimped my eating choices further...

I was at Carabbas with my friend for lunch on Friday. Being a vegetarian most American/Italian/Mexican restaurants have only one choice for me...Soup and Salad. As much as I hate salad I eat it to survive. I can avoid going out to lunch but well for that I must also cook the previous night to do dabba and I am not all that enthu about it...So I decided to go the usual option...

Minestrone and Cesar Salad...

The waitress understanding that I was vegetarian informed me that Minestrone has chicken broth in it and Caesar dressing had anchovies...Which are a type of small fish.

I knew for a long time that most of the soups in this country are done with chicken broth and as a rule I have started to ignore chicken broth and drink the bloody soup anyway...But Fish??? What will my father think? Ayago...No way...Immediately I changed it to Italian dressing...

The point is...So many times in so many restaurants I have mentioned clearly that I am a vegetarian and every waiter has ignored to tell me that 90% of the Caesar dressing has anchovies in it!!

Also French onion soup has beef broth...Which I had relished for over a year before another kind hearted waitress informed me about! Beware what you are eating especially if you are a vegetarian...Be clear and ask more than two times if the dish contains "NO MEAT."

So much for my most tolerable salad...I think I will never have that one again!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Kodambakkam (2006) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 2.5/5

Cast: Nanda, Diya, Tejashree, Manivannan, Ramesh Khanna
Director: Jaganji
Music:
Sirpi

Movies should have a reason to be made for...Just like everything in life...Some are made for money, some for art, some for pleasure, and then there is Kodambakkam...Wonder why waste time and money on a movie which has no reason, solves no purpose and nothing short of being a terrible disaster...

Now I wonder, why did I really watch the movie? What was my reason?? I do have one, it is to stop others from wasting their time...

This is a story about Suha alias Sugavannan(Nanda), a man who comes from the village (like most of our directors in T.Nadu) trying to make it in the cine field as a director. He struggles hard but producers do not appreciate his female oriented concept. One after the other he meets with many failures and goes back to his village on a false alarm call about his mother's death. He stays back in his village waiting for opportunity to knock on his door while spending time with his rich girl friend Dhanam (Diya). Dhanam urges Suha to go to Chennai and pursue his dreams...

Suha goes back and with the help of his friend and production manager Puli Kumar (Ramesh Kanna) convinces Rasappa Kounder (Manivannan) to produce a film with Suha as the director. Suha, Kounder, and Puli Kumar face many troubles during the shooting due to the Heroine, ego clashes, and towards the end finances. Everyone puts in their best and hope to make it big.

In the meantime Dhanam leaves her parents and moves to Chennai to stay with Suha as her parents are forcing her to get married to someone else. This causes some angry exchange of words between Suha's mom and Diya's parents. Suha's mom who had raised her son single handedly singing at death's vows that to Diya's parents that her son will become popular and rich as soon as his movie releases.

Finally the movie is ready to be sent out but then no distributor wants to pay for it, and Manivannan finally releases it with his own money...The movie reaches the theater a day late. Suha's mom dies of heart break as her whole village which had assembled at the theater to see the movie leave insulting her son and she is disappointed that her son had failed...

Suha's movie that had a late release runs well in the theaters and he is popular now with a house and car gifted to him by Manivannan...But he realizes that successes that does not come on time has no value in life...

The movie is slow, songs are totally boring, bad choreography, bad screenplay...The director has tried to portray how difficult it is to make a movie and hoped that his movie would be a success...Like the one in the movie...But alas he has succeeded in boring us totally.

One note before I sign off...To the actors credit they have all performed their roles very aptly. The english spoken by the character Ritu is intolerable...Mind you, I am not commenting on the accent...but the grammar...is horrible! The mother character, friend character, all are good...Sorry about the story...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Over the past week many things happened that I so desperately wanted to blog...But with my bad and failing memory half of them were lost in my brain...I was trying to cull some stuff out to write when I chanced upon Ashu's blog ...On beaches...So many memories came flooding back to me...

As I lived in the beautiful Chennai for more than eleven years I have many memories that relate to the beach and here I will share couple of them:

Memory #1: My best friend moved close to Besant Nagar when we had just started going to College (For those of you from other states...In T.Nadu College means University education and not eleventh and twelfth standard). Besant Nagar was not yet commercialized as it is now and most of the plots around her house were still under construction...We spent so many weekends sitting on the beautiful pavement along the coast watching guys trying to impress girls, seeing movie shootings, eating at Cozee, making friends and hanging out...

But the only thing we never got to do was watch the sun rise...We tried...I am not going to lie to you...We really did...One day the sun rose too early for us, it was up and about doing its thing before we got there...Once we got to the beach feeling tired waiting we slept and woke up after the sun had risen...Once we never got out of our bed...ya we were lazy...

So now I am in Mumbai with a group of friends and we brilliantly decide that we will surely see the sunrise at Juhu Beach the next morning...As all of them shared the same unfulfilled dream of watching sunrise like me...Armed with coke and chips we all waited at Juhu beach from 4.30am...the crowd increased people started walking, birds started chirping, the earth grew brighter and yet no sign of the rising sun from behind the ocean...Until some smartass remarked..."Machan sun east la rise aagum da...west la sun set dhan parka mudiyum...Unless we are in Kanyakumari." (Loosely translated means...Sun rises in the east and we can see sun set only in the west). All of us were so angry that we had missed out on sleep and this fellow ould not get his smartness like eight hours ago...

And thus I learnt practically that Sun rises in the East when I was twenty-one!!!

Memory #2: My best friend and I were getting totally bored. It was around three in the afternoon and it was one of those off times in Chennai when it rained like cats and dogs all day long...We decided it was too boring to sit in the house and the rain shouldn't stop us from enjoying life...So we decided that we would go to Cozee to have a hot cup of tea (which ofcourse her mother could have easily made for us...)...But we were determined...Dressed in jeans and tee we stepped out into the pouring rain...Ten minute walk to the beach and we walked the entire stretch till we reached Cozee...Really we were the only two vettis (jobless) walking in the rain...Infact one guy driving in a car also commented on us being crazy pretty loudly...I guess we were...We did see one couple trying their best to shelter themselves from rain in the beach standing under some wrought iron kids play structure...hahaha...We laughed at the fools and continued...I am sure they were laughing at us too...Or wondering "indha nerathula kooda privacy illa" (No privacy at this time too...)

We had our hot cup of tea and Walked back home in the still pouring rain once again laughing at the same couple...Totally wet...Mummy yelling, my friend's granny yelling...Too much tension in the house...We changed, sat down to watch TV when we noticed that the sun had come out and shining bright!!!! GRRRRRrrrrrrr...Varuna and Surya had conspired against us...We were soooooooo mad...But hey it was all worth those thirty minutes when we got wet in the rain like children forgetting that we were actually twenty plus!