Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sahasa Simha no more!!!

I can't can't , just can't believe Sahasa Simha Vishnuvardhan is no more. I grew up watching his movies and till I discovered some great Dr Raj movies, he was my favorite , even after watching Dr Raj movies, he was still my favorite tho with Annavaru obviously up there.

An unassuming actor with hazaar style(his swagger when he made "whistling" entries in movies) , he made ordinary scripts look extraordinary.
Remember my early days watching his "Neenu nakkare Haalu Sakkare" / the brilliant "Singapoorinalli raja kulla" or several others on Doordarshan on Sunday evening ( This was when we had no cable tv at home ) or watching the super hit "Nishkarsha" in Shanti theater or "Muttina Hara" on independence day or even the kickass "Nishabhda" with his army of dogs.

The man was all style and substance and totally loved him . I couldn't believe that he had played villain in "Gandhadha gudi" coz' he always , always remained the hero who could beat up tons of people with his famous left hand clenching and punching. His family movies were equally brilliant and he made sure the time spent was definitely worth it. Remember watching a total brainless movie , just because it was him when I was even admitted to the hospital earlier this year and more recently watched him in the Baghban remake where he was as usual terrific.

His recent film "Bellary Naga" got rave reviews but I missed the movie . He was one of the 3 actors in Kannada cinema to complete 200 films as a mainstream actor( others being Annavaru and Rebel Star Ambareesh) and I had just seen those posters in Vision cinemas last week(will release soon!) and this morning, when I got up and heard he was no more , I was totally shocked like tons of other fans.

Thank you sir for all the entertainment you provided all these years . God bless your family and we all pray for your dear ones' well being. May this great artist's soul rest in peace..... Amen.


A break from office and a decently long one at that has resulted in me watching a good number of movies.... Here are my expert comments and if you want to or don't want to watch these movies, you can decide after reading my blog! Please note these may or may not be new movies and the rating has to do with just perception of the movie... Your comments are welcome ( Atleast that way I know someone has read the blog!)

1. Kurbaan - (2.75/5) - Hugely hyped due to the pairing of Kareena and Saif did not make this a box office hit but I felt it was decent despite some flaws and unbelievable( where unbelievable is not equal to jaw dropping! ). Watch it if you like Saif in particular and surprise surprise- Vivek Oberoi has acted well after maybe Company.

2. 500 days of summer - (3/5) - Super casting and a different sort of a flick where this guy is trying to get over his heart break .The order of the 500 days shown in the movie keeps the interest right up there. Some scenes are simply awesome and people can so easily connect to certain situations and will feel they have been there and done that. I never felt I would feel like beating up the girl(the absolutely stunning Zooey Deschanel) but after one particular scene towards the end, this feeling came through ! A nice positive ending ups the happiness quotient but only just. Worth a watch on a lazy Monday morning but if you're busy on a Monday, catch it on a Sunday and maybe you will give it a better rating...

3. Italian Job - (3.75/5) - Loved the movie. Period. This is a brief brief(haha) - A gang steals gold from Venice with the security folks literally watching the gold referred to as the "Italian Job"! (Can't be "Greek Job" or "American" right? ) Then one of the folks comes up with his own idea of stealing the whole thing and even succeeds till after a year, the gang reunites to steal it back with another "Italian Job", this time in America (and even this time, its not called "American Job"!) . I don't want to give away one more byte or even a bit about this as I want you to watch it! (Go to IMDB for more info in case you ain't convinced even now :P). On the downside, you would say that you have seen tons of Hollywood movies in a similar sort of genre but hey, this ain't bad. Another not so good thing I heard was that this is being remade in Hindi, maybe they will call that "Italian kaam"??!! Oh Oh Oh ....

4. Kramer vs Kramer( 4/5) - My level of respect for Dustin Hoffman went up through the roof after watching this heart rendering film.(earlier it was just at ground level :P) Hoffman is a complete workaholic ( atleast in the movie !) and totally ignores his family till one day, his wife leaves him and her son and goes away. The next 18 months is all about the father and son bonding which is delightfully portrayed by Hoffman and Justin Henry( the younger Kramer). The mom( the wonderfully restrained Merryl Streep) returns after this period and a court case follows for the custody of the kid. Kinda gets senti towards the end but I think its a must watch ! By the way, this has been copied already in Hindi and was made into an extra senti movie with the music premise... Remember Akele hum akele tum ?

5. Cinderella Man (4.25/5) - Super duper movie . Success follows failure. True life story of James Bradock. Set during the great depression period. Magical combo of Ron Howard and Russel Crowe with Renee Zellweger adding in her charm. Never loved boxing more . Never shouted so enthusiastically( in my mind, watched it late night) during any other movie climax ( so far atleast) urging away Russel Crowe to kick the other boxer's ass. A must watch. I would put this on the top 10 inspirational movies of all time - The other couple of movies that I think fit this bill are "October Sky" and "Lagaan". Let me not get started on those now! Need to find another 7 on this list but for now, have 3 irreplaceable ones already in here !

6. Mussanje Maatu (0.75/5) - The 0.75 is for the one song that is hummable. I bought this non-pirated VCD for 70 bux coz' it was majorly hyped( not sure if it was a hit). Maybe I made the mistake of watching this after Cinderella Man. The acting was just about passable but the movie seemed so desperate for success and was even a bit manipulative. Hope Sudeep and Ramya's next movie Just Maat Mathalli ain't this disappointing!

7. Color of Money ( 2.25/5) - Had huge expectations what with Paul Newman and Tom Cruise going all out. Story is about this Pool retired guy (Newman) whose hope is rekindled seeing the brilliance of Cruise and tries to teach him how to bet and win money while playing Pool. What follows is a roller coaster ride and somehow I couldn't connect as much or feel that happy about the complete movie . Directed by Martin Scorcese whose movies I generally louuuuuuuuuuuu but somehow, it just, just didn't happen this time around. The rating is for the excellent pool skills ( thousand times better than my Yahoo Pool skills :P ) and the tremendous acting.

More movies / masti soon and part 2 of my trip to follow....

Monday, December 21, 2009

A super fab trip - Part 1

When my dear friend Ankita announced her marriage dates in early Oct, I was sure I was going to attend her wedding but I never expected the trip to be as memorable and jhakaas as it turned out to be.
Dec 10 - An early morning Spice Jet flight to Delhi was just the beginning. Deepika( my other married friend in the gang) and I met at the airport (Deepthi couldn't make it unfortunately due to health issues). From check in till the time we landed in Delhi, we spoke non-stop , and I mean that coz' I so wanted to sleep during that flight but didn't get an iota of sleep. It was super fun and man, that was just the start.

We anticipated Delhi to be really cold and chilly but was very pleasant and soon we were on our way to Mayur Vihar to meet a couple of other friends in a Delhi auto .That guy didn't loot us even though we were not fluent with our hindi . We spent the afternoon and late evening going to a nearby market place in a cycle rickshaw!!!! Yes, they still do exist in huge numbers and unfortunately, that guy didn't allow me to ride it as I would have loved to do so. For someone from Bengaluru, seeing a cycle rickshaw gets the adrenalin pumping am sure! The small market had this awesome Gol Gappa place and there started our Gol Gappa session.... Was recommended to have "Sujiwale Golgappe" and had exactly that and it was marvellous :D .

Soon evening set in and we headed towards Ghaziabad- the venue of the wedding ( after the ladies took hazaar time to get dressed up as usual) . A couple of decent rooms were booked for us . After spending a few mins there, we went to the wedding venue and it was at its zangiest best. The bride's bro Anmol took us around all the unbelievable arrangements that were made. A huge table for mocktails , another huge table for just salads and fruits, a huge table for pickles initially caught our eye. Walking into the shady area(:D) , we found mouth watering Chaat being served and a sweet caterer and then a huge line full of awesome dishes. Our eating sessions were on and off from 8pm to midnight.... And we had Gol gappas here as well without fail!

Lets come to the main point though... Ankita dazzled completely in an almost unrecognisable getup and we all felt really good seeing her family so upbeat. Soon, the Baraat arrived and the guy was looking so calm and composed and well prepared or maybe he was nervous! Varmala followed soon after and people went to dance on the dance floor. I for one , totally suck at it but who cares ? Just jumped at the opportunity to dance(or awkwardly jump as I call it) my heart out. Ramita was kickass, all we tried to do was follow her. ( and we weren't so good at that). The bride , bridegroom and their entire family then joined on the dance floor and everything was really fantastic... The puja started at 2.30am and went on till 5am by which time I was dozing off sitting next to the mantap like many others !

I created my own record for staying awake for 25 hours at a time before falling asleep at 6am . The wedding was absolutely great but all that I wasn't aware of one single thing when I hit the sack! A couple of other friends represented us at the "Bidaai", something that I am not a big fan of . I mean its an event that completely freaks out the guy!

We headed back at 9am to Delhi after what was a great evening/night/early morning! More in my next post....

Monday, October 12, 2009

Movie of the year - Inglorious B*******

I belong to the breed of moviegoers who come out talking about the negatives of the movie and initially focus on all the not so good things of the movie and then look at the positives(if any). In most cases I find the first bucket completely outweighing the second . Rarely have I come across a scenario thats the reverse and today was one of those rare , extremely rare occasions .

Ladies and Gentlemen - Quentin Tarantino it is ,yet again, making a Tarantinoesque ( next word in Oxford ? ) movie titled "Inglorious B*******" and is it glorious or what ! I won't give away the story here as I would be doing gross injustice to anyone who wants to watch it and hey, every movie fan should and must watch magic - Tarantino style!

Like Kill Bill, this movie is in the form of chapters , like Reservoir dogs and Pulp fiction , this movie is taut and slick and I don't care whether the Oscars are awarded to this movie or not!

Seldom do I go to a night show, infact I remember doing this only a couple of times and seldom is the hall full and seldom does the audience start clapping very very enthusiastically at 12am after the movie is over. The stunned and "Oh my god" expression on the audience faces' once the lights came on spoke volumes about this experience.

You might wonder whether this is an English movie since there are subtitles throughout with german/french/italian , all being spoken at different times but the man keeps it all together leading to a fantastic climax. Acting is top notch with Brad Pitt's strong southern accent matching the Christoph Waltz' ( Hans') spine chilling act and the steely determination of Melanie Laurent. Screenplay is fabulous and the eye for detail is amazing.

All in all , more than Paisa Vasool. Fabulous movie. Fantastic acting. Terrific direction . Quentin Tarantino....

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Iktara iktara...

Of all the new songs that have come out, the one song that has mesmerized me completely is this song "Iktara" sung by Kavita Seth for "Wake up Sid". Its in the sufi genre and her deep voice adds charm to this excellent composition by Amit Trivedi. ( remember Dev D ?) . You can catch a clip of that right here!

Monday, September 21, 2009

An award - WOW !!!

I have been out in the cold ( not weather wise ;) ) coz' of typhoid initially which kept me out throughout July ( celebrated my 25th birthday on bed!) and then been catching up with work and trying to put on weight! As I was getting out of the rough weather, the weather itself slowly turning out to be rough.... Its been raining crazily in Bangalore , great weather but loads of people falling sick coz' of it . God bless all...

The reason for me to write this entry is to express myself at having won an award for "Best Customer Delivery" in the last quarter's all hands that was held recently. This is what anyone does in Services - serve the customer - be it if you're in a Services company or a hotel waiter or a music director trying to churn out zingy tunes for the listener. To be awarded in this category was indeed very special.

The experience was interesting ...I was working from home that Monday afternoon when I dialed into the All hands call. 30 mins passed by with different sort of updates/ plans / what we have to do blah blah and then the awards section kicked in. Previously, I had been nominated in "Emerging Star" , "Innovation" categories and had gotten so used to not getting the award that this time as well when I saw my nomination , I was going to write to my manager asking me not to me for anything.

The director read out the nominations and then as the Power point slide slowly switched to the next slide and the director said " and the award goes to " , I didn't want to get disappointed like earlier times and as a result had no expectations . But then he said "Madhu M " and the slide had my name and why I had won the award . WO HO HO .It felt really kickass didn't feel out of the world but felt good!

Instantly had quite a few messages from my friends on the chat tool congratulating me and over emails. It felt wonderful . A unique compliment was from a friend who said his belief in the reward system was restored coz' someone like me had won this award.

Thank you! This probably means that I should work harder on the not so bright side of it (;) )...

Monday, June 15, 2009

June 15 2009

After an unusually long hiatus guess whose back - ah , its me again. I shall take an oath as well which is that i promise not to crack pjs in this blog.
Well, i just lost the passion to write for a few months and then suddenly, there was a sensation that made me write this. What have i done in the last few months ? I certainly haven't travelled which reminds me that I forgot to complete part 2 of that trip. Just to cut that short, while coming back, I missed my flight ( I think this was destiny!) and as a result got a night out at Paris( Blimey, Paris !!!) .
The only mistake I made was to go around with this annoying Indian guy who was freaking self obsessed and just wanted to be shot (may i add, with the camera!). Leaving that apart , I must say, Paris is probably the most beautiful place I have seen. Its rocking and it stands for all the wonderful things anyone can ever dream of - beautiful places( you can omit the under ground stations in this category!) , awesome buildings none better than the magical Eiffel , fantastic fashion sense , kickass subways, brilliant roadside eats and terrific weather ( atleast when i was there! it was 4degrees celsius!) . Though this trip also resulted in me missing my friend's engagement. Well, there has to be a compromise somewhere na ?
I was hooked onto the IPL the past month or so till it got over, supporting namma bevdaas till the end and they happily messed it up . Nadal lost which broke my heart and then Federer won and cried and was hailed the greatest ever . Come Wimbledon with no Nadal and we are in for a teary final yet again ! Nooooooo not again, Murray - come on !
Did i hear someone say "What else ??" Ok , let me think .
Oh yes, we also played a cricket tournament and lost all the games . This was even after we paid 8k from our pockets to play the tournament - Shame shame .
"and then ??"
Hmmm, after a long time, I somehow feel like reading a book or books and I just bought a book called "Six graves of munich" from the great Mario Puzo . Hope its a good read .
"dude, no movies? " - The only thing I have seen that is worth seeing is "Angels and demons" and this was infinitely better than Da vinci code and hey hey, have watched almost an entire season of the most amazing TV show ever - Crystal maze !! Do you all remember how awesome a show that was ? Solving interesting games and getting a super crystal at the end of it all ? Trust me ,its worth watching all over again..... And yes, Prison Break has ended . What happens at the end ? Its a happy ending and they killed the hero as a result of which there can't be sequels or new challenges in that show until the hero's kid grows up :D.

Last thing - India sucked bigtime last night at the world cup. I think they all need a big break. Fatigue has overtaken them and I have got tired of watching cricket ..... WImbledon, come fast....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A joke worth a Coke ?

Before i go ahead with my blog story of Copenhagen , I wanted to share a "pathetic" joke.

A friend and colleague Aditya and I were having some technical discussion and at the end of it , the following ensued:

Aditya: no more comments from u/
i thought u ll fire in a few more of them
me: am not a fire engine

Well , he wanted to punch me but I guess this is one of my better lines in the last several months . Hence blogging about it !

Just when I finished that, another friend said , "hey, am headed out" .

Me : "Unfortunate that you missed the goal " ( " Headed out " !) .

Ppl say that Pun is the cheapest form of humour and my level falls in that unfortunately !!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Copenhagen Visit

Sunday it was and i moved out early from my dear village and caught the first train available. The air was chilly and was snowing. (Well, 1 week and I was accustomed to it ! No longer surprised). The train journey was a bit chaotic owing to the fact that there were tons of people travelling with their luggages strewn all over. I made a mistake by going to the Copenhagen Airport coz' later I discovered I could have bought 2 tickets - one to go to the last stop in Sweden and then board another train to Copenhagen city. Blimey! This would have saved some time!

A big Latte, a to and fro ticket from the Copenhagen airport and a quick 10 min journey to the city on a Sunday was refreshing to say the least! Armed with jackets, a monkey cap and gloves, I stepped into the lovely city of Copenhagen. The atmosphere around reminded me of a really old city that takes pride in the architecture and designs. I had chalked out a plan about what I wanted to see at this place and to my dismay, found that one of the main tourist destinations was undergoing construction ! Well, it doesn't happen just in India :)

I have found this new found passion for walking along streets with a camera in my hand just to take a quick pic if I find anything interesting. Again , I was disappointed coz' most of the shops were closed coz' it was a Sunday. Hoping that my plan of going there wasn't all spoilt, I spoke to a couple of Arabs who have been there and they found it really funny that some guy was going around the city in that cold weather. But but but , they were really helpful and told me what would be open! I headed back to the train station and had 2 options - Find something more useful or get into a train and go to the next stop where there was apparently a museum!

I opted for the former and guess what ? The Taxi driver turned out to be an old Indian man. He was drunk though but did enough to drive me to Nyw Haven( wrong spelling but don't mind!) - from where a canal tour was about to start . I found this in the nick of time from the map and was obviously thrilled ! What better than to go on a Canal tour in a port city !

The canal tour had loads of tourists and the trip was fantastic! Saw various boats and ships that were used in their old times, saw their Opera house, the Little Mermaid , the Copper house, their flag, loads of museums and finally lovely churches - beautiful architecture all around. Believe me , it was freakin cold in the ship but hey, how often do I get to see all this!

To be continued

Älmhult(pronouncedElmhult) experience

Following are my thoughts/experiences in a place called Älmhult in Sweden . This first one is about my arrival in Älmhult.

What an eventful first day in Europe ! Well after what I thought was a really long flight to Paris (close to 11 hrs from Blore, have been in longer flights before but i guess it was after a long time and hence felt weird!) , we were not allowed to get down from the plane coz' ppl were busy trying to clean up the ground coz' it had snowed in Paris, the previous night. After what seemed like an eternally long delay, we got down and i saw one of the most confusing yet cool airports. Confusing coz' there are way too many terminals and cool , coz' the design of the airport is such that ppl landing out of flights and ppl chking in the same area .... Something that is uncommon.

The next flight was pretty much normal and short ...close to 2 hr flight to Copenhagen . Only interesting aspect was that I didn't get any veg food in the flight apart from some juice and bread and that added to the hunger. I thought the interesting parts of the journey were complete without knowing that the most interesting part was just about to start !

The next one was a 100 min train from Copenhagen to Almhult and man, was it an amazing train journey. The train kept going from one place to the other and even backtracked with instructions like "train will change track to this , train will change track to that " . I must have seen a couple of places atleast twice . Also, the speed of the train was something amazing to experience .Reminded me of Sydney but this was superior by a long way ( that was coz' of the distance ..this was inter-city whereas that was just within sydney). At 5.01pm ( yes , its 5.01 and not 5.02 or 5.00) , it landed there and i froze more than i ever did in my entire life.

The place was filled with snow.(pics to follow soon!) 1st time in my life had i seen actual snow all over and that too covering a real large area .....a super sight . After quickly wearing the new overcoat that i bought just before I left( thankfully) , i proceeded to figure out where this hotel was . At that time, i could hear familiar sound of tamil and found that our indian population came to my rescue here as well ! 3 wiproites who are working here for the same customer , talking in tamil walked past and that was enough for me to enquire about the hotel .

They gave me some instructions and asked me about my journey and why i was there etc and went away. As I walked on those slippery roads at one point of time, i completely lost balance and fell on the road to the joy/glee of a guy in the car who was on the . Quickly figured out that the funda is to walk with small,short steps without a trace of dragging your step and thankfully didnt slip again!

Was blissfully thankful to find the room and man, the room looked like a hostel room but very well furnished . This is surely the smallest hotel room i have ever stayed in .

There is a window and a door that leads me out to a common lawn shared by other rooms and guess what? Its freezing out there and its filled with snow ! The lady at the reception told me to wait for a few days to see 100% snow as this was a mixture of snow and rain .

Well, i then enquired what i should do about food and she said the restaurant was closed but i can use the microwave oven. MTR came to my rescue here and the couple of packets i had taken along with a kitkat made sure that i had enough to eat for now and wait for hopefully sunny skies on the morrow.