Ah! Have just recuperated from a dizzying bout of Viral fever, Cough and Cold. *sniff* *cough* *wheeze*
Owing to which, I was on a leave of absence last Wednesday & Thursday. Coupled with the Independence Day holiday on Friday and the subsequent Saturday and Sunday, it resulted in a loooong weekend – of an unprecedented five days! Yay! But yeah, the euphoria of a lengthy weekend was kinda dampened by the sickness and the resulting weakness, tastelessness and irritability! And what did I do the whole 5 days? Watched TV of course – some new movies and many older ones. Some brief reviews follow… Continue reading
Last year, I couldn’t be with my (cousin) Sister for the Rakhi Ceremony. Boy! Did it take some cajoling to get over! This year around, I’ve kinda made amends and what’s more, both us brothers were present which made the occasion all the more special. Even though its a once-in-a-year occasion, the bonhomie and togetherness that one feels on such days, when the whole family is together, is very very special. Happy Raksha Bandhan to all!!!
On a sidenote, I remember last year, a Google Image Search for “Rakhi” would yield more pics of the festival and less of the femme! But that’s kinda changed this year….more femme all around. And in case you’re wondering who’s the femme here, just do an Image Search for Rakhi and you’ll know
Coming back to Rakhi – The Festival, I’d like to share here two images – one from Flickr and another, an older one that’s been doing the rounds on Email forwards for quite some time now:
Evergreen beauty Sridevi, celebrates her 46th Birthday today. Surprising isn’t it, she doesn’t at all look like 45! On the other hand, four years her junior and the ex-pretender to her throne, Madhuri Dixit looked very old and jaded in her last movie Aaja Nachle! Maybe of the reason that Sridevi has been off the limelight for quite a while now and hence her image in audience’s minds is as from the past.
In any case, the diva will be ever-young in admirers’ and fans’ hearts alike. She is probably the only actress who was Numero Uno in the Southern language movies as well as Bollywood. Her performances in Hindi movies like Sadma, Chaalbaaz, Mr.India, Nagina, Lamhe and Telugu ones like Kshana Kshanam, Aakali Rajyam, Jagadeka Veerudu Atiloka Sundari et al are memorable in every aspect. Happy Birthday Sridevi!!!
Sridevi’s Wikipedia Page
Something that would make all us Indians very very proud. Ace Shooter Abhinav Bindra has won India’s first-ever solo Olympic Gold Medal. In the Men’s 10M Air rifle event, he shot a 10.8 out of a possible 10.9 in his final shot (after a series of 100, 99, 100, 98, 100 & 99) to take his combined score to 700.5 [Read about the scoring pattern here] and thereby clinch the Gold Medal. The previous best showing by an Indian in a solo event on the Olympic stage was Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s Silver Medal at Athens (2004).
See the Video of the medal-presentation ceremony here. The Indian National Anthem plays at the ceremony, a proud moment for all Indians, I’m sure.
Take a Bow, Abhinav Bindra!
After several months of dry-spells and the more recent scattered rainfall, the monsoon was in full flow over AP and Hyderabad in the past two days. The drizzle that started off at about 6 PM on Friday, 8th August grew steadily into a constant downpour and though it petered out a little sometime about 9 PM’ish, it started again late night and hasn’t stopped since. That’s more than 24 hours of near-constant rain!
And it is this steady drizzle that is more dangerous than a flash-spell of heavy rain. Constant rain doesn’t help the water to drain off easily, thus causing water-logging and hence traffic jams. I was out for lunch today with the FreeHyderabad members and we were witness to awful traffic jams as a result of water-logging. Not to mention the potholes that are growing on the roads faster than China’s medals tally at the Olympics! I got wet more from the vrooming-vehicles-splashing-pothole-water than by the overhead rains
The State capital recorded 18 cm rainfall during the 24-hour period from 5.30 pm on Friday as against 24.1 cm on August 24, 2000, the highest in its recorded history.
There were several casualties as a result of wall-collapses and other incidents. Evidence that too much of rains aren’t advantageous to anyone. Even for the farmers, whose plantations were craving rains till a few days ago, it must be a precarious situation. With more rains forecasted in the coming 48 hours, its gonna be damp days in the offing!
[EDIT] An Idle glance into the past brought out two older Rains posts. One on Jun 22 2007 & another on Aug 4 2006. Yearly occurrence, it turns out to be
Drama surfaced at the fag end of the Hungarian Grand Prix as leading man Felipe Massa’s Ferrari blew up with just three laps to go and with that all the good work of Massa’s at the start of the race, came undone! It was a feisty start for Massa who started on P3 and got the drop on P2 Kovalainen at the start and within the first corner, passed pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton into the lead. Rarely have we seen such aggressive starts and it brought the smiles back on Ferrari’s faces. But alas, if the start made them smile, the way it ended must’ve brought out the frowns! Prior to Massa’s blowout, another agonizing moment was borne by Lewis Hamilton whose left-front tyre deflated around turn three and he had to limp back into the pits from second place. He eventually rejoined in tenth and battled his way upto an eventual fifth place finish. Timo Glock took second place after a good drive in spite of having a mini-incident with the fuel rig compromising his first pit-stop.
Renault’s Fernando Alonso was fourth with Hamilton behind him. Nelson Piquet, Toyota’s Jarno Trulli and BMW’s Robert Kubica took the last point-scoring positions in sixth, seventh and eighth places respectively. Sebastian Vettel, Adrian Sutil and Felipe Massa were the only retirements in a tough race where on-track overtaking was at a bare minimum after Massa’s starting moves. Some pit-stop incidents overshadowed the on-track action as few of the teams had problems with their refuelling rigs and there were atleast three mini fire-incidents as the rig was pulled off the cars. And there were few fire-extinguisher showers as well! Another mystery that remains unsolved (as yet) is how did Kimi Raikkonen come out ahead of Fernando Alonso after their second round of pit-stops! Kimi had an off-track moment as they headed into the pits and Alonso pitted a lap earlier than Kimi and apparently had enough of a lead over him but when Kimi emerged after his stop, Alonso was a good three seconds behind! There seemed no traffic that might have impeded him and possibly he had a spin or something, as yet we dunno!
The lead of the Drivers’ Championship remains with Lewis Hamilton who has 62 points compared to second-placed Kimi Raikkonen with 57. Massa’s no points means he slips into third with 54 points with Robert Kubica on 49 points. Kovalainen now moves into sixth with 38 points with Nick Heidfeld just ahead on 41. Ferrari lead the Drivers’ Championship with 111 points against McLaren’s 100 with BMW Sauber on 90. The next race is in three weeks time in the street circuit of Valencia which will be a first for all of the drivers and teams. So pretty tough to pick out which team/driver will have an advantage until Friday’s free practice. The Championship looks like its going all the way down to the wire!!!
Image Courtesy Reuters
First things first. The Mummy in The Mummy – Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is not a Mummy at all! I hate to spoil the fun but an evil dude solidified into an earthen mould by a sorceress’ curse is not a Mummy. But of course, the franchise is all about Mummies and digression was a no-no so the makers decided to go for the same old buried-centuries-ago-will-wreak-havoc-when-resurrected saga, this time set in China (maybe there just so that they can add some Kung-fu stuff methinks). The story/plot can be read here.
Brendan Fraser reprises his role as ex-Legionnaire, ex-Spy (so we’re told) Rick O’Connell, and it seems as if he signed on just for some dough and garner some noticeability in the pursuit of becoming the next Indy. Gone are the dry wit and imprudent manners; instead we have a guy who’s torn apart between playing a hero and a father. Cute Cute Rachel Weisz doesn’t reprise her role as Evelyn and instead we’ve Maria Bello who is more motherly than archaeological-ly. John Hannah does return as Jonathan and elicits a wee bit lesser laughter and guffaws than before. Completing the O’Connel the family is grown-up Alex, played by Luke Ford, quite plastically I must say. Jet Li is the titular Dragon Emperor and is commendable. But all of his dialogues are in Mandarin (subtitled in English) which kinda takes away the menace somewhat. Of course, one can’t expect a long-buried Mummy to be well versed in English. But if the Sorceress Zi-Juan – played by Michelle Yeoh – can effortlessly speak English, I don’t see why the Emperor can’t!
Action-wise, the chases are the same as in Mummy Returns, the bus chase sequence replaced by a ‘horse-chariot plus truck’ chase sequence with too much of fireworks in the background. There is a long-drawn castle fight set in the Himalayas with, would-you-believe-it, Yetis as the saviors!!! Climactic battle is all-CGI; the only highpoint being Li and Yeoh’s sword battle which lasts for too less a time to be awe-inspiring. Rest of the movie is all cliche-ridden and repetitive. And there are bloopers galore! Discussing them would mean putting up unsightly spoiler alerts and hidden text so I’ll let them be! Maybe you can tell me some of the wtf! moments of the movie in the comments.
I’d categorize this one as Kitsch [a term that has been used to categorize art that is considered an inferior, tasteless copy of an existing style]
Almost a month after it released, I got to see this movie. Initial reactions suggested it was a peppy but old-as-the hills romance story with a hackneyed, cliched, oft-repeated, done-to-death climax. And it turned out to be true! If not for Imran Khan’s presence, some beautiful music by A R Rahman & the casting director’s boldness in casting newcomers in the roles of the “friends”, this one would have been a dud movie for sure! It was a refreshing change to see a mix of male and female friends in the “group”. Most college-romance movies (that I can remember) had a (excuse the corny sounding word!) same-sex gang (DCH, Ishk Vishk, Style etc); unless of course you consider the err…ahemm…College-goers gang in Jaani Dushman – Ek Anokhi Kahaani!!! Well, that’s beside the point.
Coming back to JTYJN, the friendship-turned romance was not a new concept for moviegoers, but even then some of the scenes felt refreshingly different. One character that I liked a lot was that of Amit, Aditi’s (Genelia) brother. His was by far, the most realistic and believable role in the movie. His wears his heart on his sleeve and does and says what he likes. Songs were the next best thing in the movie followed closely by the character of Jai (Imran Khan). He does a swell job as the do-gooder fattu-turned-Ranjhor ka Rathod! Genelia was cute but her voice’s too croaky and hoarse! And in the Jaane tu mera kya hae song, she looked practically hideous! The Sub-plots such as those of Paresh Rawal, Ratna Pathak Shah and Naseeruddin Shah, Arbaaz & Sohail Khan, horse dreams etc almost turned the movie into a lousy one but thankfully those were few and far in between to be disregarded somewhat. Two WTF! moments for me were when the true “subject” of the beautiful song Kabhi Kabhi Aditi was revealed and the seemingly non-stop parties that these just-graduated students were thronging about to! As if after graduation there’s a mandatory phase of attend-as-many-parties-as-you-can!!! I’d recommend watching it just the one time and enjoy the songs more than the movie. Too bad the male version of Jaana wasn’t retained in the movie…that was my fav song.