Monday, July 30, 2007

Bow Barracks Forever : the movie

When Vandu asked me this morning which movie I would like to watch today - Partner or Bow Barracks Forever, I answered in my slumber 'Bow Barracks Forever'! I was looking forward to watching this movie mainly for two reasons - a) It was made by Anjan Dutt of 'The Bong Connection' fame. I have heard good reviews of TBC, though I have not seen it yet b) I had read somewhere that the movie (BBF) was based on true story.

Well, the movie didn't turn out exactly what I had expected it to be. I was a tad bit disappointed after watching it. For the first 15 minutes or so it seemed we were watching a highschool play - everyone was very loud and unnatural. But gradually they settled in their characters and the movie picked up its tempo. The film is about the lives of a group of Anglo-Indian people who have been living in 'Bow Barracks' (an old & dilapidated building in Kolkata) as tenants for a long time - their struggles, problems and relations with other tenants. Victor Banerjee (Peter the Cheater) and Lilette Dubey (Emily Lobo) had the most important roles in the film. Other important characters being Sabyasachi, Neha Dubey, Clayton Rodgers, Moon Moon sen and Sohini Pal.

As always Victor gets into the role so well that it becomes difficult to differentiate the character from him. So was the case in this film too - as a man who has seen good times in the past but poverty has made him con people (with quite a panache!) in his old age; full marks to him! Lilette is a widow with 2 grown up sons - elder one in London who is the achiever & younger (Clayton) is a loser. She has a very optimistic attitude towards life and has dreams of settling into a good life in London (where he elder son is). She looks quite at ease in her role. Sabyasachi was disappointing in the film (I, personally like Sabyasachi's acting a lot, otherwise) as Tom - the Armenian wife-basher & smuggler. He looks quite artificial in the scenes he is supposed to be drunk and getting mad at his pretty wife (Neha).

Clayton (as Brad, Emily's younger son) has been given a good role, including a full-length song :). He is sometimes good and sometimes terrible. Neha has done a good job as Tom's tortured wife Anna who is secretly having an affair with Brad. Saw Moon Moon Sen (as the over-sexed Rosa) after a long time - she has put on a lot of weight and hasn't improved much in her acting skills. The film has all the ingredients (romance, violence, tragedy) and ends on a positive note that the residents of Bow Barracks would continue to live in their 'heritage' abode for some more time to come. The music is very good in the film (I heard that Anjan Dutt is a good musician himself, though he did not compose for this film).

There are two things I particularly did not like about the film - a) Although the entire film was in Enlish, there were some important dialogues in Bengali which were not subtitled. Although I understand Bengali, but I saw many people around me struggling to figure out what was being said. b) The intimate scenes (between Anna & Brad or Rosa & Bipin) were not picturised aesthetically. So instead of conveying the tenderness, they attracted lewd remarks from the audience.

Overall a watchable film if you like crossover or reality kind of movies (Vandu was highly disappointed as she is more of a fantasy/feel-good/happy endings kind of a person :) ) but don't go with too high expectations.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

My Simpsons Avatar

Found this interesting game of creating your own Simpsons avatar here. It is part of the promotion of the Simpsons movie that released this month. My avatar is of course thinner than I am, mainly because I couldn't find anything that was in between this and the fatter version ;). Otherwise, I think it came pretty close. Try making your avatar and have fun!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Saturday morning musings

It's a lazy Saturday morning and a beautiful July Bangalore weather. Well, technically it's an afternoon but for me who has woken up just 3 hrs ago, it still qualifies to be a morning. Vandu left for work minutes after I woke up and I thanked my stars for being in an industry that gives us 2-day weekend (this is one of the very few things I like about my industry, another one being the opportunity to travel abroad at company expenses) . Although there are discussions of reverting back to the 6-day week, in the press at least. I sincerely hope noone considers it seriously.

I login to check for a much-awaited email and there it is in my inbox - saying things with much more clarity than I had expected. Wiping away the doubts that had clouded my thoughts for the past couple of weeks. And now that I am online, I decided to check out some cool blogs (yes, my latest obsession ). And I found myself reading an interesting post which has some interesting thoughts about love. My favorite lines were -

  • What does youth have to do with age?
  • Are you beautiful because you are loving, or are you loving because you are beautiful?
  • To fall in love, one does not need the power of gravity.
  • "Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves." - Albert Einstein

Oh, and today I figured how to create a link to another website in your posts (I know, I am quite hopeless this way, in spite of being a techie). I used this feature for the first time in this post. Now I can do that for my previous posts wherever I have referred to others' blogs.

My day already looks promising :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Outer Banks, North Carolina

Felt like writing about a weekend trip I had taken with a bunch of friends last October. I wish I had written about it back then as some of the names have faded from my memory, but then there's always Google & Wikipedia for jogging it a bit ;). It was to a place called Outer Banks in northern coast of North Carolina. It was about 350 miles from Charlotte (where I used to live then; also in NC). It is famous for its lovely beaches, old lighthouses and also for the first flight of Wright brothers. We had rented a seven-seater as we were six of us and had loads of food items. We had plans of cooking there as we had booked a vacation home in Ocracoke island. The idea of spending a lot of time on cooking during vacation did not appeal much to me & my roommate initially.

We started on saturday afternoon towards our destination with Renuka as the first driver of the day. Between six of us, we had only 2 drivers. We had planned to reach Cedar Island early in the morning as the first ferry to Ocracoke left at 4 or 5 AM. We reached there well ahead of time and while waiting for the ferry to arrive, played antakshari in half-asleep state in the car. A 2.5 hr ferry ride brought us to Ocracoke island. The first thought that came to my mind on getting down there was - this place looks so much like Goa!!

The vacation home was a spacious 3-bedroom place with all amenities. After a nice breakfast and relaxing for some time at home, we headed for the beach. And not surprisingly, we were the most clothed people there (as you can see from the picture) ;). We had loads of fun playing in the water, flying kite (Rajesh's lifelong dream). We were very tired when we got home. But that didn't stop us from taking a shower and heading to the town in the evening to see Ocracoke lighthouse, have homemade icecream in a local store and then retired at home with great home-cooked food and nice wine and some old movies.

Next morning, the photographers of the group (Rajesh, Renuka, Harish & Amit) went to the beach again to shoot the sunrise. When the lazy ones (Megha & me) later saw the snaps, we really regretted not having witnessed the magnificent sunrise. Later during the day we headed to Cape Hatteras which is famous for the black & white striped lighthouse. It was another ferry ride to Hatteras along with the van. We spent a leisurely afternoon in the lawns of Hatteras lighthouse. On our way back to the ferry station, we stopped at a sound (it's a water inlet - somewhat like lagoon, but larger) and watched the sun go down. Somehow, the setting sun made all of us a little sad and we drove back home in more or less silence.

The next morning I discovered that I could ride a bicycle passably well (thanks to Renuka!). I regretted having chickened out and not having tried hard enough when we were renting the bikes .. it would have been so much more fun. We spent the late morning cleaning up the place and later had a sumptuous breakfast at a nice restaurant in the town. It seemed everyone in the town was eating in that restaurant as we had to wait for about half an hour to get a table! The return journey was more or less uneventful - except the heavy rains that caught us about 2 hours before reaching Charlotte. Kudos to Rajesh's driving for getting us back home without any mishaps.

And as always, the thought of end of a vacation and back to work next day, made us miss all the fun and leisure we had together in those 2.5 days...

Photo courtesy: Rajesh & Renuka :)


Found some interesting blurbs (yes, it is a word - I looked it up before using it here :) ) on a blog I frequently visit. He had quoted them from somewhere; they were about blogs -
1. Journalism without journalists
2. Everyone will be famous for 15 people
3. How to put your business, your boyfriend, and your life on-line
4. Blogging is like having your own version of the Readers digest magazine

He also had an interesting usage of something very simple in one of his posts, but I felt the impact was very good - ' He swiped the card, noting happened. He kept swiping, nothing kept happening'.

Some people are really gifted when it comes to writing ...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

On air

Something nice happened today - I was traveling to home after a long day at work. Was tired and hungry and the prospect of getting into another conference call within minutes of getting home wasn't making me feel any better either. As always, I was listening to the FM radio on my cellphone when the RJ of one of one of the stations I frequently listen to, announced that they were taking requests. I picked up my phone & sent a message requesting my current favorite song (what else but 'Big girls don't cry' ;) ) just for the heck of it. Although in my heart I knew they will never play it as they've never done it before. So I also wrote this in my message - along with a sad face icon :(

To my biggest surprise, I got a call from this RJ (his voice sounded really good on the phone too) asking me why I had made a frowning face (I just stopped myself from saying it wasn't a frown but a sad face :) ). He then said he didn't have my song but gave me two options that he had. I picked up one and then he did some chit chat about the band and hung up.

I was so excited .. after all it was the first time someone from the radio had actually called me :) He played my song after I reached home and said on air that hopefully this song brings a smile to your lips and wipes away the frown. I found that to be really sweet :) So what if he was not playing the song I had originally requested. And the icing on the cake was that when I called up my boss to confirm about the conference call, he told me that he will cancel today's call. This definitely made my day :)

PS: Looks like there's more icing on my cake - only few minutes after I posted this blog, another radio station started playing the song I'd originally requested .. I definitely have a big smile on my face now :D

Monday, July 23, 2007


It's strange how you become obsessed with something that you think about it almost every waking (and sometimes sleeping too!) moment. I am talking about my current obsession - blogging. I have reached such a stage that every little thing that happens in my daily life, I start thinking of the way I will write about it in my blog or the title I will give to it or the picture that will go with the write-up. Right from a book I read, a song I hear or a movie I watch. It seems quite weird at times. This obsession is not just with writing my own blog, I also love searching for interesting blogs of others and keep reading the happenings in lives of complete strangers till late into the night!!

And exactly 2 years ago from now, I had no idea what blogging or a blog was! I remember I was in Chennai on an official assignment when my friend RT had a website open on his computer and I asked him what he was doing. He replied - 'blogging'. I was confused - 'and what exactly is that??'. That's when he explained to me the concept of blogging and I was quite fascinated by the whole thing. But never did I think that I would ever be blogging myself. And here I am blogging away to glory .. with almost one post a day. At least that's what the stats look like for this month :)

I remember how possessive I was about my diary when I was young and there used to be no electronic media to store my thoughts. But with blog, I don't even mind strangers reading the same things .. life sure does strange things to you!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Big girls don't cry

This is my second consecutive post about a song. I just couldn't stop myself from writing about this one - Big girls don't cry by Fergie. Yes, the same Fergie from the band Black Eyed Peas. Although I liked the band's songs (well, most of them), but I didn't consider Fergie to be a serious singer. And I had not seen much of her solo performances either (barring one, which I had a fleeting glimpse while surfing channels).

But she has done a great singing in Big girls ... Her voice seems so much in control and mature. I got carried away on listening to it on the radio and wanted to know who the singer was. Thankfully I saw its video today on TV and liked it a lot too. Have been watching it on youtube many times since then and still enjoying it :)

'It's time to be a big girl now, and big girls don't cry .. don't cry .. don't cry ...'

Something stupid like I love you ..

'And then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like I love you '. Every time I listen to this song, it brings a smile to my lips. I am not very sure why...

Today it was playing on the radio while I was having a late Sunday breakfast and reading the newspaper. The original song was sung by Frank and Nancy Sinatra but the one I heard today was a newer version by Robbie Williams & Nicole Kidman (yes, the one with a saucy video .. especially towards the end :) ) . And until I heard this song some time ago, I had no idea that Kidman sings too!

Coming back to the lyrics of the song - do we really spoil things that are otherwise going great by saying 'I love you' too soon? Do we scare the other person by saying these words when he or she has only been testing waters and not really sure where things are headed? Have these words lost their true meaning in today's busy and stressful lives? Are these words really need to be spoken between two people to show that they love each other? Don't these words add an extra baggage and complexity to a relationship?

I don't have answers to these questions right now, but my quest is still on..

Saturday, July 21, 2007


It's strange how we consider ourselves all grown up and mature in our daily life and still we are just like kids when it comes to certain things. Well, there must be many things about which I am still quite childish. But one of the things I am quite sure of is my birthday. By this age I should have grown out of thinking that birthdays are special days and your near and dear ones have better and more important things to do in life than wishing you on your b'day and making big plans for it.

But somehow, I have not managed to let go of this feeling that my birthday is a very speacial day for me and all my friends/family members should wish me, make plans for a great birthday bash - with a cake/candles and the works, give me flowers and gifts and above all make me feel really special on that day! Sounds really funny .. coming out of a person like me - who is not all that young anymore and has a reputation of being wise and intelligent :). I think at this age I should be cringing at the thought of another birthday round the corner - but no, this does not seem to reduce the charms of a birthday party or gifts for me. I start reminding people who matter to me about wishing me a week in advance so that they don't forget and I don't have to be unnecessarily mean to them later for being forgetful :)

Now with less than a month to go for my next birthday, I have already started the countdown and have started refering to dates as ' 2 days after my birthday' and the likes. All I can say is I am totally incorrigible when it comes to birthdays ;)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Junior ..

Junior died today :( He was the only survivor of the three eggs that Ashley had laid few months ago. Two of his other siblings (Whitey & Peelu) had died soon after they were born. But Junior had survived and had grown up a little. We did not realize that he did not have normal growth until 2 more chicks were born of the same parents much after Junior and they grew much bigger than him & could fly around easily. Junior could not fly properly. He was the best kid .. always avoided conflicts, was busy eating most of the day (although very small amounts) and when Chhotu was born, he was always there for him providing comfort and company.

When I removed their cage's cover this morning, I found him lying unconscious near their water bowl. I had a hunch that he had died .. but didn't want to believe it. But when Vandu touched him and said 'he's dead', whatever little hope we had was shattered. She got him buried after I left for work. I hope he rests in peace ... we are going to miss you Junior :(

Monday, July 16, 2007

So common!

Looking up just about anything and everything on Google is fast becoming a favorite passtime with me. And more often than not I have found what I had set out to look up and then some more. Today I thought of checking out how many people had the same blog name as I had (Random thoughts) and found out that there were over 1.5 million entries in blogspot alone!! So this at least proved one point to me - this is the most unimaginative and common title used by the bloggers.

Being a novice blogger myself, I had not given it much thought when I started blogging 2-3 months ago. But after my today's discovery, I promptly changed the name of my blog. Boy, do I get an ego massage after doing this? May be .. until I try googling this new title too and find even more number of users having it. But that will not happen until some time from now as I have run out of any new titles for my blog...

Saturday, July 14, 2007


I changed the template of my blog today. I was using a green and beige one all this time. But this change was inevitable, black being my favorite color .. it was just a matter of time until I bumped into the right template. I am glad I found it today.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Good times after bad?

After my last post and my opinion voiced (in not so subtle ways) to all my near and dear ones, suddenly I was being asked out by just about anyone and everyone. Good for me .. at least I won't have such outburst any time soon. I had a good time with my friend and her mom on Sunday doing some budget shopping (that was a little unusual as I normally don't indulge in budget shopping ;) ) followed by great sizzlers for lunch at Kobe's.

Had been to this upscale pub in the city with a girl friend of mine yesterday. They offer free drinks to ladies on Wednesday nights. And who minds getting free drinks? Even if it means going to the pub straight from work in not-so-exciting clothes, doing all ur make-up in the hotel restroom. But the drinks that bartender made were superb (he seems to have a crush on my friend and I also get good service because of her!). The ones I had was an unnamed one (he said he made it especially for me and would name it after me ;) ) and the other was an out-of-the-world blueberry martini.

I have heard so many people raving about the drink in the past. And in spite of being a martinis person, I had not tried it before (may be because I don't like blueberries in any other form) and I was thinking yesterday - how could I be such a fool to not have tried it before!! But the hangover I had this morning made me rethink about this drinking on weekday gig. I am the one who manages to remain sober even after 4 drinks and yesterday night my head was spinning .. but I am not complaining. It is any day better than sitting home and brooding...

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Marriage - a necessary evil?

Another weekend has almost gone by, this is the third or fourth consecutive weekend that I have spent getting bored, sitting at home doing mundane stuff like cooking, cleaning, laundry, filing tax returns, buying grocery etc. In short, not having fun at all or enjoying life the way I have always done in the past. I am someone who likes socializing, going out with friends/family, to movies, road trips to nice places, theatre, music concerts etc. All of these now seem things of the past.

Today I got so bored that I didn't do anything but sulked and brroded the whole day. All of my friends are either married (and hence don't have time for friends during weekends, and it's understandable) or outside India (oh, the plight of being in software industry) or have moved out of Bangalore for good. My sister who lives with me and we used to hang out a lot together in the past is either busy at work these days or is spending her time with her friends.

Today I feel that it wouldn't have been such a bad idea to have been married after all, just for the sake of not getting bored, if not anyhthing else. I never felt the real need to get married in the past as I have always been lucky in friend's department. I used to tell my married friends who used to talk me into getting married that I am enjoying my life the way it is, no regrets. And NM used to tell me that friends will not be around and your sister will also get busy with her life, then you will regret not having a man in your life. Was she really warning me about days like this? But then again, such days are few and far apart, does it really make sense to get into a life-long relationship just to get rid of boredom?