Thursday, July 2, 2009

A how-to guide... love Anurag Kashyap's movies.
  1. Read as much about the movie before watching it as possible. You want to know all the character names, motives and metaphors beforehand. Preferably, straight from the horse's mouth.
  2. Make sure to watch the movie with plenty of lights on. If you are watching at a cinema, request the manager to keep the lights on. If you catch the movie at home, make sure you have all your windows open and/or lights on.
  3. Get yourself something to drink. Not those sodas or juices. I mean the real stuff. You will need at least a couple of shots of espresso to keep yourself awake through the movie.
  4. Glue your eyelids to your eyebrows. When watching Anurag Kashyap, you cannot afford to blink.
  5. When possible keep the closed captions turned on. Of course, keep the volume as high as you can possibly manage.
  6. After all of this, chances are you might not have really understood the movie. Now go back and repeat steps 1 to 5 a few more times to actually "get" the movie. And once you do, you are bound to love the movie.
  7. Now head over to one of those IMDB discussion boards to compare your interpretation against everyone else's.
  8. Oh, and throughout the process, dont forget to enjoy the superb music.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Caption this

Picture courtesy: High Heel Confidential
My take

Saif: "Nice rack baby!"
Kareena: "Really? And what do you think of stuff downstairs?"

Go ahead peeps, let your imagination run wild. As you can see, you cannot get any lower (no pun here) than mine, the caption that is.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tag hour

Picked up this nosey questions tag from La Vida Loca.

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
God! Another pimple.

2. How much cash do you have in your wallet right now?
$26 and some loose change that I am lazy to count.

3. What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR?

4. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
A certain someone called "Kittu".

5. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
Not really a favorite, but right now, its Rock On music.

6. What are you wearing right now?

7. Do you label yourself?
Not really. What would you call a mildly obsessive woman who insists having her way and then gives up the instant she likes something better?

8. Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently own?
Does the department store brand count?

9.Bright or Dark Room?
Bright rooms. Dark rooms depress me (read scare me).

10. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?
She is one kick-ass girl who is as much fun in person as on her blog.

11. What does your watch look like?
Not wearing one right now, but have a beige strapped watch with a gold rim and ivory dial studded with diamonds. Real ivory, real diamonds, 22k gold and genuine leather, the generous sales associate told me. He was also nice enough to sell it to me just for peanuts!

12. What were you doing at midnight last night?

13. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
"This is an automatic test message generated by the emergency response system".

14. What’s a word that you say a lot?
There is no one bloody word I say a lot, bloody!

15. Who told you he/she loved you last? of John Gult's friends. He said, "you guys don't call me as often but I still love you both". So sweet na!

16. Last furry thing you touched?
Swiffer duster.

17. Favourite age you have been so far?
Early teens. Loved high school absolutely. Wonderful friends, first crushes and of course a much fitter body.

18. What was the last thing you said to someone?
"Talk to you later".

19.The last song you listened to?
Dhol yaara dhol from Dev D.

20. Where did you live in 1987?
Hyderabad, India.

21. Are you jealous of anyone?
Actually of a few people and I am really hoping it will go away once I get what they have.

22. Is anyone jealous of you?
Not sure.

23. Name three things that you have on you at all times?
Clothes (obviously!), something to tie my hair and of course my unpredictable mood.

24. What’s your favorite town/city?
Visakhapatnam. The city brings back wonderful memories.

25. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
Not sure if this was the last one, but recently found one I wrote to John Gult in sudh hindi that too.

26. Can you change the oil on a car?
In theory yes, but never tried.

27. Your first love/big crush: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?
That he married his first cousin, that too out of choice. No dying grandparents involved. How weird!

28. Does anything hurt on your body right now?
No, but my wrist bothers me a little.

29.What is your current desktop picture?
Nothing. I very strongly believe desktop pictures led my computer to crash last summer.

30. Have you been burnt by love?
No, just bitten.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

More on what’s happening at the John Gult and Never Mind household

At work, a few weeks ago, they laid off about 10% of the workforce. I know it's not news anymore but it still came as a surprise because at the beginning of the year, they talked about how well we did in 2008 and how we have enough money to last through the rough times. Apparently, people got the pink slips was because the top bosses were being “proactive” about the bad economy. But, like all those big banks, everyone who is still here gets that big fat bonus. People at work were super pissed with the layoffs. As an intern, I didn't feel strongly one way or the other, but it made me think hard if this is a company that I want to stay with for life and make a career at. Especially, if they don’t think twice about letting people go whenever there is a potential road block. Anyway, as a result of this “re-structuring”, things have gotten super busy. And it does not help to have a manager who works 15 hrs a days and is twice as smart as you. So I spend most days and some nights trying to play catch-up with him and end up feeling like a loser.

At home, things have been fairly smooth. We have given up the high hopes of keeping the house neat and tidy at all times, cooking fresh food for every meal and such. Now we are happy if there is frozen food or leftovers from last night for dinner and laundered clothes to wear. We clean the house over the weekends; that is if you count putting things back in their place as cleaning.

Very recently, I realized that between January 1st and March 15th, there is a birthday or an anniversary every other week in the family. So I decided to make sure that our future child’s birthday does not get lost in the jungle. Jan, Feb and March are ruled out. Nov is out for similar reasons. December is al already expensive month with all the Chritmas traveling. It’s too hot to be born between May and Aug. Besides, the kids would hate us because most schools are closed for the summer and they would have no friends around to celebrate with. That leaves me with Apr, Sep and Oct. MIL’s birthday is in Sep and FIL’s is in Oct. Going by my rule of not having a kid in the month when someone in the family has birthday, I am left with a narrow window of just 30 days in April! Awesome! Now its the perfect excuse to give to all those nosy aunty types who want to know if there is any “special news”. It would be super cool to say, “Sorry aunty, I missed the window for this year, but wish me luck for next!” Sorry people, I did not mean to actually type these things out and bore you to death. As you can tell, I do not have anything intelligent to say!

Speaking of kids, one of my bestest friends is preggers. I would have been a lot more enthusiastic about it, if not for the way I came to know of the news. To me, she is the kind of friend you would call, when you even consider the thought of having babies. She called to wish us on our anniversary and adds as an afterthought that she is 12 weeks pregnant, that too after telling half of the people we know in common. I was genuinely happy for her, but could not help feeling bad and left out. Of course, I played along with her not wanting to hurt her during her special time. Oh wait, may be I did. She sometimes reads this blog. But I really hope her pregnancy goes well and they have a healthy baby.

In other news, you remember my brother who was going to travel to the US to take his medical licensing exam? Ya, that one. He is traveling to the US this year to take the same exam. He will be staying with us for 4 months through the summer. I am super excited about his trip. And of course, I can’t wait for all the goodies my parents are sending with him.

With that, we come to the end of today’s edition. You all take care and I will be back with more news and updates soon, hopefully sooner than another 3 months!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Where have we been...?

...At the intersection of writer's block and don't-have-anything-to-say, being incredibly lazy in a busymobile.

Excuse #1: Hour-long commutes and overachieving coworkers leave us with little time and/or self-respect to write anything.
Excuse #2: My theory that weekend hours are only half the duration of weekday hours is proving to be true.
Excuse #3: Every time I/we start a post, I/we realize halfway that others have said it all already.

Thanks all, for checking on us regularly. Regular programming might start here if something interesting comes up.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Its that time of the year!!!

Since all you lovely people lurve me so much :D, I have decided to treat you guys to a little puzzle.

The first four prime numbers add up to the day I was born. If you have figured the date out and are wondering about the month, I say it doesn't matter. Day of the year and calender date are all the same. If you have figured out, you know when to wear your party hats and sing the birthday song!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The weight of expectation (guest post, part 2)

I wasn't too impressed with the Grand Canyon.
There, I said it.

I had way more fun in Death Valley, and I put it down to the spontaneity of our trip there.

Expectation is a killer. Expectation is why a 30 by Harbhajan is thrilling but a 30 by Sachin empties the grounds. It’s why Surya’s Ghajini feels like a routine run-of-the-mill masala movie, but Aamir Khan’s Ghajini feels like a disaster, a terrible start to the year (if this were the script of a Ghajini-like movie, I’d give you about seventeen more examples like this, including, in no particular order, a crying baby, sunshine after rain and blooming flowers).

Anyway, to come back to the point of this post, when we started planning this trip, it centered on three focal points: LA, Las Vegas and Grand Canyon. And invariably, the places we enjoyed most were then ones we did not have concrete plans for. But let me try to be at least partially chronological here.

- Rancho La Brea is a little gem tucked away among the high-rises of Los Angeles. I wonder how many tourists in LA even know about this place?

- Las Vegas has been one of the epicenters of the housing market collapse, and boy, does it show! Vegas stretches out in all directions into the desert, with seemingly no reason for people to live there. There’s way too many housing complexes and accompanying strip malls than seem sustainable, they all look new (and quite good), and most of them look empty. Abandoned before being occupied? Maybe. I don't know, but it's bizarre.

- You don't hear much about downtown Las Vegas (no, it's not the same as the Strip), but it's fun. Downtown lacks the mega-resorts that you see on the Strip (MGM, Venetian, etc etc), but there's this enclosed area on Fremont St that reminded me of Bourbon street in New Orleans. It was cold, but free concerts, easily available drinks access to many hotel/casinos and the huge screen more than made up for it.

- Speaking of the Strip, did know how LONG it is? Looking on a map, Caesar's Palace is perhaps one block from the Bellagio, but it takes a good 7-8 minutes to walk the distance. It's fun to roam around on the Strip though. I didn't think I would like Vegas - thought it wouldn't be anything more than a pimped-out Times Square. And though it is indeed a pimped-out Times Square, there's lots of things to do, and varied "sceneries" and "skylines" to see, so it's all good. Felt a little bad for the Latino dudes standing at the street corners, advertising/offering hookers to passers-by, with most guys trying to glance from the corners of their eyes without looking too interested.

- I had noticed this in Atlantic City, and was convinced of it in Vegas. Chinese people, especially older folks, are mad about gambling! Vegas, with no history of immigration from Asia, has a Chinatown, and tour bus companies abound, ferrying people from Vegas for day trips. Sort of explains the rise of Macau, no?

- Red Rock Canyon is a short drive from Las Vegas, and it’s apt that it has that singular in its name. We only ever saw one red rock (okay, hill for you quibblers) there, and the rest of the 13-mile drive was “routine” mountains and desert. Nice place, but not the highlight of the trip. That, my friends, would be...

- ...Death Valley!!! Places like this remind one that humans may build the mightiest cities, but these are no match for the beauty of nature. Death Valley is a bleak place, the hottest, driest and lowest point in North America. That turned out very nicely for us, because the low elevation meant it was warmer (ok, less colder) than the other places we went to. Hiking in Death Valley was not so difficult, but it was amazing how few people there were on the trails (and almost no one away from the trails). It is such a pleasing experience when the only sound you can hear is the crunch of the long-dried-out river bed under your feet. The Sound of Silence, you say?

- Driving to and from Death Valley gave us a glimpse of the US that we aren't used to. There are no big green signs telling you 10 miles in advance to take an exit. You take a state route, watch for a nondescript turn, drive over potholed roads. Very much like rural India. Some of those towns have a real frontier feel to them. You wouldn’t want to venture past these towns at night and/or in the summer without stocking up on supplies and survival gear.

- Zion National Park was the most spur-of-the-moment we made, and it was only because we didn't think we had it in us to drive to Bryce Canyon and back in one day. But again, it was awesome. The red colored road along the Zion Canyon floor matches the red sandstone cliffs towering on both sides. Zion seemed like a summer destination with streams and much greenery, but I'm glad we went there in the winter. Some of the trails were closed due to icy conditions, but this is a spectacularly beautiful place. I’m amazed by how varied the geography of the American West is. All you East Coast folks, do yourself a favor and head west for a vacation.

- Which brings us to our final destination. We parked the car 50 feet from the South Rim, made our way to the edge through throngs of people, and peered into the great big hole for a few minutes, too embarrassed to admit to each other that what was supposed to be the grand finale of the trip was a bit underwhelming. To be fair, Grand Canyon is indeed stunning, but when you’ve been bracing yourself for the stun for so long, the stunt gets a bit, well, stunted. Yes, I know we should’ve hiked at least some distance into the canyon, but it was icy and time was a bit tight. Also, all sources said the park would be empty in the winter, but we found it to be a zoo, with a thousand cars and a dozen tour buses (incidentally, what’s with Chinese/Japanese/Korean people and tour groups/buses? Ever seen a desi tour bus in the US?) If this is the scene in winter, I shudder to think how it must be in the summer!

- If you’re a National Park aficionado (like me), it’s a great idea to get the annual pass. It saved us at least 30 minutes, getting into Grand Canyon past the long line of cars and buses.

- Finally, this trip takes both NM's and my (US) state-count to/past 25. Woo-hoo!

And that, boys and girls, ends this travelogue. I'm glad I wrote this up before my memory got erased. Regular programming will restart soon from Never Mind (I hope...).

Monday, January 5, 2009

Road Trippin' the South-west.....(Guest post, part 1)

Happy New Year and all that jazz, people. Never Mind has lost her mind, and is down with writer’s block (yes, again). I’m the one referred to in these pages as the “the husband”. Going by my origins, you can call me John Gult :) This is my first blog post of any kind, so I hope I don’t cost her too many readers…

NM and I took a road trip last week. 2563 miles in all, across four states, over seven days. We had planned to do a day-by-day posting on this blog, but two things happened. One, apparently Priceline does not check if your would-be hotel has free wi-fi, and two, we got a bit shamed sitting around in the parking lots of coffee shops, searching for wi-fi signals to steal. I’m still going to pretend we’re doing a day-to-day posting though, and give you more wisdom about our trip than you care for. Pliss to excuse.

Here are some of the points that stuck in my head about our trip:

-You would think a driving time of nine hours from the Bay Area to LA, with an average speed of 25 mph for half the time, would mean a sucky day. Well, not when you are driving through the Big Sur. This region, with surprisingly little traffic, is spectacular, and the road, sandwiched between mountains and the Pacific has to be one of the prettiest drives I’ve ever taken. Supposedly, you can see whales while driving the road too. Methinks someone must’ve forgotten to notify the fishies that we were coming…

- Some dudes on the California coast have a lot of money, I tell you. How else do you explain these zebras grazing in a ranch a hundred meters from the ocean?

- Los Osos and Cayucos must be among the prettiest towns in the US. Actually looked like tropical resort towns, with bright multicolored houses fronting beautiful beaches.

-San Bernardino county, and California in general, are HUGE. Driving out of LA towards Las Vegas brings you across an amazing array of environments. From a coastal city full of beaches to snow-capped mountains to arid desert, all within an hour’s drive (well okay, considering LA’s traffic, three hours).

- There’s quite a few solar power plants (thermal, PV) in the Mojave desert of CA/AZ/NV. If only we could get either the price of silicon down, or the efficiency of other technologies higher…

- I’m still trying to figure out what exactly made us spend 50 bucks in Hollywood to go gawk at the homes of celebrities and movie stars for two hours. It was a sobering day for the Santa-costumed driver too, with 90% of his jokes and celebrity gossip fizzling out, what with 15 desis (coincidence, I may add), 2 Chinese and no Americans in his van. On the same note, it must’ve been a pretty low-tip day for him too ☺

- For a famous landmark, the Hollywood sign is visible from very few places. Yeah it's cheesy, but, c'mon of course we had to take pics with it.

- Christmas morning, guy walking on water. Wonder if he was the Big J…? (NM’s joke originally. Just so I don’t get accused of plagiarism…)

- Turns out there is indeed such a thing as too much free non-stop porn on TV. Add in a rat hole of a hotel room, torn threadbare towels and a non-functioning heater, and you have a contender for the worst hotel stay ever. This was self-inflicted pain though. I know we should’ve waited longer in that coffee shop parking lot for a reply from priceline, instead of rushing to the nearest hole-in-the-wall.

Ok, I get a feeling that's enough gyaan for today. If I don't scare off too many readers from here, I will post more details tomorrow (or whenever). Take care, people.