Thursday, December 15, 2011
Now some might say the best way to address such nutjobs is to ignore them but I like the rather tongue in cheek manner in which people have made their disapproval of the the anti-gay picketing by the WBC known.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Saturday, December 03, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
It was a dark and stormy night. The rain showed no signs of letting up and I was soaked to the bone. I looked around in despair but my eyes could only spot the flickering shadows that toyed with my imagination. My bike had a flat tyre and I was far away from any sort of human contact. I could push my bike down the dark village road bereft of any lighting except from the headlamp of my bike. Or I could wait for a good Samaritan to give me a lift to the next village. I hadn’t seen anyone in the last half an hour and didn’t fancy my chances. Exhaustion overcame me. I sat down by the road waiting for glimmer of hope.
I had difficulty opening my eyes. Groggily I lifted my head and found myself in a strange house. Bright sunlight was streaming in through the window and I lifted my hand to check the time but I realised that my watch was missing. I was suddenly aware of the excruciating pain that was tearing at me from my insides. I reached down and my fingers ran over unfamiliar stitches. My hands were trembling by now and I tried to get up on my feet but it was no use. My legs seemed to have a mind of their own and they refused to move forward. I collapsed once again onto the floor. Summoning all my strength I crawled towards the window and looked outside. I saw an Amaltass (also known as the Golden Shower) tree resplendent in its golden yellow flowers in the middle of a beautiful garden. My strength deserted me and I slowly fell again as my mind drifted away.
I woke up to a loud honk. I nearly jumped out of my skin and saw an old man in a car parked next to my bike. “You look like you could use some help. You need a lift, beta?” I regained my senses and realised I had dozed off leaning against my bike. I shuddered and jumped into his car as I apologised profusely for getting his seats wet but he laughed it off. Dr. Avinash explained that he once a pretty famous doctor in Bombay but had given up the big city life to become the local doctor in a small town in rural Karnataka. ‘Big fish in a small pond’ he explained.
The more he spoke the more I marveled at the sacrifice he had made to move to a small town but something kept gnawing away at the back of my mind. He looked familiar and I racked my brains while making polite conversation. Suddenly it struck me. Illegal organ transplants. A famous doctor who suddenly disappeared. I tried not to panic as he drove into his large compound. In the dark of the night I could make out an Amaltass tree in full bloom in the middle of a beautiful garden.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Come Saturday morning and my plan for the weekend is to have absolutely no plan at all. That way I can curl up with a book for as long as I want and not feel guilty about it. Or I can treat myself to endless episodes of my new found favourite – Dr Who. Or I can take an afternoon nap and put my phone on silent mode and sleep like I have never slept before. Or I can dig up an old Carry On movie and enjoy the campy humour. Basically a little bit of everything that doesn’t really amount to anything. This weekend however, was different.
Growing up in the 90s in Cochin meant that your comic reading was restricted to
a. Asterix & Obelix
b. The Adventures of Tintin
c. Archies series
d. DC and Marvel comics but that was only for a select lucky few
Now I’ve read the complete collection of both Asterix & Obelix and The Adventures of Tintin several times and to be honest I was always more of the A&O fan but the Tintin comics weren’t really that far behind. And now Tintin has made a rather dramatic entry into the movie world. I’m not one who enjoys too many movies these days but I did thoroughly enjoy watching Tintin & Captain Haddock (with the beloved Snowy of course) lay the foundation for what is going to be one very entertaining movie franchise. Of course Thomson & Thompson are as funny as ever. An added 100 bonus points to whoever added the Captain Haddock line – You two timing troglodyte (which is my favourite word of all time)!
Everyone who is a sports fan knows of Lance Armstrong’s incredible battle against testicular cancer and how he came back to win the gruelling Tour de France an incredible seven times in a row. However it was only after I started reading his book It’s Not About The Bike did I realize how easily life can turn upside down in an instant. Lance doesn’t deep dive into his struggle against cancer but he takes you along on his physical and emotional roller coaster ride that will make you question the way you live your own life. As he struggles and fails, you realise that he is after all human. And then he rises. From the deepest of lows Lance rebuilds his life and in turn inspires you. His battle makes you realise how inconsequential your life’s problems actually are.
Ive been a wrestling fan since 1992 and I’ve seen quite a bit of it to say the least. From mainstream wrestling that was the WWF / WWE and WCW on TNT (remember the days when Cartoon Network used to switch to the TNT movie channel at 9PM and once a week they used to air WCW on Indian television) to the underground cult phenomenon that was ECW (thanks to the internet). However my exposure to the hotbed that is Japanese wrestling has been limited to a few matches and it took a review of an event called All Together in Budokan to get me to revisit it. Now Japan has had a particularly tumultuous year and the main promotions got together for one night only to put together a wrestling card that would donate proceeds to the organizations helping in rebuilding the country. The Japanese wrestling industry is very competitive and hotly contested and the Indian equivalent of All Together in Budokan would be to have all of Bollywood’s actors and actresses coming together to act in one huge blockbuster.
And so I spent the weekend watching wrestlers who I don’t know putting up a stellar show that brought happiness to the fans in the sold out Budokan stadium (and those of us in front of our laptops) while listening to Japanese commentary (of which I could only identify the names of a few moves). It was enjoyable to hear the commentators go Shyyyning Wizardo (for the move Shining Wizard) and Byainbustaaaaah (Brainbuster) with the respectful Japanese crowd oohing and clapping in appreciation (a far cry from our rabid cricket fans in India) and soon enough I too was oohing along with them. Of course all of this would not mean a thing if it were not for the hard working Japanese wrestlers who work a very stiff (read realistic) style that made me cringe as I watched them tear into each other. I couldn’t understand one bit of the language, I didn’t know the wrestlers names but I most certainly enjoyed the storytelling.
Which was the story of this weekend now that I think about it. Now to get back to my 5 days of drudgery.
P.S - At the end of the show, the three biggest wrestlers in Japan (the champions of the corresponding organizations) stood outside the stadium after having worked their butts off with boxes in their hands to collect further donations from the people leaving the stadium. Will SRK, Aamir Khan & Salman Khan would do something like this for our country? Think about it.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
As far as new years resolutions go, this was one that I was determined to follow all the way till the end of the year. Yes siree, 2011 was going to be my year of travel. No roads were going to be spared and no destination was too far away for me. All I needed was a map, a camera and a debit card.
As with all other resolutions, my determination fizzled out soon and I havent done too much travelling this year. I have done a solo 1200 km round trip on my bike in the summer & a very memorable group biking monsoon trip to the very wet Wayanad as well a solo high speed car run to Madras but thats been about it. I still have hope though cause I am planning a week long holiday in November followed by my mandatory fortnight off in December. Mile crunching will happen for sure, just how much of it is something I'm not too sure about.
What I am sure about though is that come hell or high water, cranky bosses or broken limbs, next year I will be biking to the Himalayas. Last year I really wanted to do it but could'nt make it due to logistic issues. This year for some reason didnt seem right and I pushed the thought of hitting the Himalayas to next year. Or the year after that. All until I read about the Red Bull Racing team taking their 2005 Formula 1 car up to Khardung La which is regarded as the highest altitude road in the world.
As a publicity stunt, it has done wonders for Red Bull. It has also inadvertently reawakened me from my corporate world slumber. Within the next 364 days, I will be be taking a picture of myself next to the very same board you see below. And as far as mid year resolutions go, this is one that Im definitely determined to follow.
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
With the inclusion of that single line, the movie (if one can call it that) Anchorman automatically got upgraded from being an insufferable waste of time to a terrible waste of time. As I watched the movie drag on, scene by extremely painful scene, I realised that mercifully 6 months down the line, the only thing I would remember about the movie was that solitary 10 seconds of awesomeness. The agony of watching the remaining hour and a half of the excuse of a movie would not even be distant memory. Which got me thinking, what really makes a movie memorable?
Brilliant acting? Not really, we have too many talented actors these days. A great background score? Not when Hans Zimmer and co do an excellent job in so many movies. Great direction? Hard to say. A fantastic plot? Too many 'unknown' movies come with better plots than the industry pushed biggies. For me, it all comes down to a single quote that steals the show.
Intentional or not, Casablanca for all its greatness will always be remembered for its closing line
So what makes a movie quote fantastic? I really have no clue how to explain that but I can list out a few off the top of my head.
"Ask any racer, any real racer. It doesn't matter if you win by an inch or a mile; winning's winning"
With that one line, Dom (Vin Diesel) was made. From being a movie that was made to provide adrenaline rushes to countless teenagers, the Fast & the Furious became a cult movie that made a star. Suddenly boy racers around the world wanted to be Dom while the real racers grimaced in disapproval.
"I really like you, but I can't be the invisible man. I'm tired of being the shoulder .... I'd like to be somebody's Gerry."
"The first time someone calls you a horse you punch him on the nose, the second time someone calls you a horse you call him a jerk but the third time someone calls you a horse, well then perhaps it's time to go shopping for a saddle."
Lucky Number Slevin was a sucker punch from nowhere. A movie I picked to watch for no apparent reason became a quick favourite of mine. Not difficult considering it had lines like this.
"Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it."
"Chicks like scars. It's like a roadmap of the soul."
And finally from the very enjoyable movie The Holiday, probably my all time favourite movie quote from the incredibly talented Jack Black
Iris: Miles, you really are an incredibly decent man.
Miles: I know. It's always been my problem.