Saturday, May 31, 2008

Manolos Martinis and Men

Sex and the City is finally out! And did I love it!! The TV series is bigger and better, more fun, more drama and more style.

The movie picks up from where the series ended with a short introduction of all the characters for the uninitiated. Big is still "Carried", Miranda with Steve and Brady, Charlotte with Harry and Samantha moves to LA with Smith. The only new addition is Jennifer Hudson as Louise from St.Louis, Carrie's assistant and an adorable little girl (I dont know her name but I swear she is an angel) as Lily, Charlotte and Harry's adopted daughter. Everyone looking more beautiful and stylish, made the movie look glamorous and sexy. The runway shows, the jewelry auctions and nightlife give you a taste of true upscale New Yorker life.

Sarah Jessica Parker is the anchor for the show and carries the movie well with a little bit of drama, fun and lots of style (she even pulls off the pajamas look effortlessly!). Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis play their usual selves and do not have too much to do in the movie. Actually at times, I found Kristin Davis a little annoying and unintentionally funny. But this round definitely goes to Kim Cattrall. She truly rocks at 50 with her super sexy body and hilarious one-liners. Jennifer Hudson plays her part to perfection as the assistant Carrie always needed to put her life and apartment in order.

What I liked most about the movie was the familiarity, the comfort of knowing the lives of all the characters inside out. It was like meeting old friends who you lost touch with after college. The style and fashion in the movie whets your appetite for designer labels albeit an overdose of Louis Vuitton. The movie did get a little slow at times and could've been at least a good 5-10 minutes shorter. The opulence and money in the movie is a little too much to believe and larger than life for students like me. But on the other hand it feels like a dream come true to be surrounded by designer clothes, shoes and furniture.

Overall a great movie for a girls nightout or a date. Although Roger Friedman of FoxNews says, "Straight guys are likely only to see this film under pain of death from their significant others". It was interesting to notice that most of the viewers were girls or couples. Yeah, so the movie is not for everyone. Not for you if you are cynical and allergic to mush!

P.S. Thanks a bunch to the husband for being a sport and watching the movie with me without appearing like he was pained to death.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My shade of green

It seems like green is the newest color to be seen in! How else do you explain green you-name-it? Everything and everyone wants to go green while I am still stuck trying to figure out what green is.

Now as I understand, going green means sustainability and eco-friendliness. The green revolution started with bio-fuels, using cloth diapers instead of disposables, paper bags instead of plastic grocery bags, so on and so forth. We all saw what happened with the whole bio-fuels thing. I already wrote once about cloth vs disposable diapers. I fail to understand how using paper bags is sustainable compared to plastic ones. Arent the same people also advocating less printing to save paper? How safe really are the white light bulbs? Doesnt the mercury in those bulbs effect us in anyway? The more I read about green revolution, the more it seems like a staged drama. While sounding cynical, I feel like there is really nothing we could do to either damage or save the planet.

Cynicism apart, what happened to the good old way of plain reducing and reusing? Growing up in a developing country like India, it seems like we followed a environmentally sustainable lifestyle without even realizing. There was no wasting of water because of its scarcity. Everyone in the family had a rationed quota of one bucketful of water for bath every morning. During the summer we could use more water if we did not mind pumping it out of the bore well ourselves. Horlicks bottles were washed and reused to store groceries in the kitchen. Newspapers were reused to serve afternoon snack, to line shelves and to wrap sundry grocery items. Even our garbage was rummaged through to recover all the recyclables and reusable.

To make things simple, may be we should just stick to simplest things like turning lights off when not in the room, trying reduce the amount of garbage we generate, reusing as many things as we can. In essence, to me green revolution means reducing my footprint on the planet as much as possible instead of driving my car around with a "Go Green" sticker on it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Kind words such as these.....

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.
-- Mother Teresa
It has been an overwhelming week for me. I have been written about in really nice words and I am left wondering if I am truly worth all of them. The graphics specialist in my ex-research group figured I would not come back to the lab and wrote this to me.
I just want to say that I'm really going to miss you! I know this is not always the most pleasant working environment, but I sincerely feel that you brought a measure of lightness to the lab. The atmosphere can get so heavy and serious at times - your bright smile and a sense of humor have always been a welcome presence.
At the end of the semester as I turned in my final paper and course evaluation, the professor wrote in saying, are headed for the best grade in the class. I'd be happy to write a recommendation for you at any future time -- you have an excellent grasp of the science and logic of risk assessment. and made many excellent comments in class.
Really? It feels amazing to read such niceties about yourself. But what I really wonder what makes them say these things? Although these are the people I consider good friends and/or great colleagues and I truly admire, I cringed to write nice things when replying. I was convinced they would interpret it as buttering up on my part. In fact, I rarely say nice things to people. Not just people that I meet at work, but even parents or even siblings. I never remember telling my parents how grateful I am for everything they have been to me or how much I love my brothers and how much I look up to them as my heroes. Never have I ever told my best friends what their friendship meant to me.

When I first started this post, I thought I will write nice things about people that matter to me but I now I changed my mind. Although I admit I rarely say nice things, it has been very hard to come around actually saying those things. For now, like they say, the best words are those that are left unsaid. I know I have a lot of growing up to do.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ab Tak Chappan

I will rate this movie as one the best I have seen yet and recommend it to anyone who with interest in movies related to underworld, cops or even Ram Gopal Varma (he appears to be the go-to guy for all first time directors with stories related to the underworld)

The movie allegedly inspired by real-life encounter specialist Daya Nayak, is Shimit Amin's (of Chak De India) directorial debut. A very realistic movie not just because of natural sounds and dialogs but also for the lack of clear black and white characters. As it happens often in real life, all the characters are justified purely by the circumstances encountered without assigning strict good-cop, bad-cop tags.

Nana Patekar is his usual best with straight faced portrayal of an encounter specialist in the Mumbai Crime Branch. Never an extra word, never too dramatic or emotional, he carries the movie almost entirely on his shoulders. He talks about a murder he was ordered to commit by higher ups in the same breath as describing how after that, had a shower and ate drumstick sambar.

The encounter team is portrayed very well complete with jealousies and competitiveness. Despite being employed in the Mumbai Crime Branch, none of the characters preach patriotism or deliver heavy duty dialogs about being responsible citizens. Although it appears that we get to see everyday happenings in the characters' life, the movie has a superb pace thanks to a strict story and screenplay. Attention to subtle details like Revathi's character being a tamilian and how their child refers to his parents as Amma and Appa, how Revathi enquires Hrishita Bhatt about her live-in relationship etc are important in giving you insight into the characters's life without insulting your intelligence with spoon-fed details.

The only loop hole I found in the movie is that it fails to explain why Nana Patekar believes his informer when he calls to give him Feroz's whereabouts. I do not want to give out the movie's most important twist, but it appears that if Nana Patekar knew what he knew, he would have every reason to believe that the informer was lying and that it was a plot to get him. Oh well, a brilliant movie like this does deserves some slack.

On an aside, it is interesting that it takes a super succesful movie like Chak De India for us to sit up and take notice of the director's brilliant debut. On the same note, I wish Ram Gopal Varma sticks with the underworld genre which he does best instead of trying his hand at remaking classics.

Dheemi Dheemi

My pet peeve against the husband is that he is not romantic enough. He is the kind that debates practicality over instinct and romance. So we end up getting flowers only on special occasions, practical gifts like humidifiers and pain relieving heating pads. But the other day, he totally swept me off my feet! No really, practically off my feet and gave me a ride home on his bicycle with me sitting on the front rim and him pedaling it. :) He even sang Dheemi Dheemi probably leaving me hints after reading my favorite songs post. ^_^

I cannot find the video where Rahul Khanna and Nandita Das ride the bike together so here is the song.

PS: The entire experience was complete with the mandatory dirty joke when he asked if I was sure I was sitting on the bike's front rim or his unmentionable :)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dear Miss. Manners

Dear Miss. Manners
I keep getting emails from my friends about how Bill Gates has decided to distribute all of his fortune among Internet Explorer and AOL users and how many people have made millions of dollars just by sending the information out to their friends. I wonder why everybody is actually working their asses off when there is so much money waiting to be earned so easily, but lets not get off the track. Usually, these emails used to be descriptions from all the lucky people who made five to six figured dollar amounts and who are more than eager to share the information and the good luck among their friends, their friends and their friends. But the email I received today was one step ahead and actually contained snapshots of bank statements very clearly stating the money transferred to all the lucky people by Microsoft. Here are a few snapshots if you dont believe me.

Now when I see forwarded emails about the wonders of the world, 3-d illusion paintings etc, I know that a polite reply to the sender is as simple as "Wow! really cool". Also, when I see the "I want to share my fortune with you" emails from royalty in never-heard-of-country, I know I have to immediately reply with my contact and passport details to make myself available for the fortune-sharing. But I must say, in the case of Microsoft sharing its fortune and the if-you-dont-forward-you-will-have-bad-luck-for-7-years emails, I am not sure what to do. Is it polite to include the sender among the people I would be forwarding the email to? Will I still get the good luck if I forward the email to the sender 5 times instead of sending it to 5 different people? Will it bring 5 times the good luck to the sender? Will Bill Gates identify me as one the ardent users of Internet explorer if I forward all these emails to my sender from Mozilla Firefox?

Please Miss. Manners, I really want to share a part of Bill Gates' fortune but these questions are eating me away. I want to forward as many forwards as I can but I also want to make sure I do it in the right way without hurting the sender. Could you please let me know the do's and donts of this forwarding "business"? Please please please help me!!

Waiting To get Lucky