Monday, May 31, 2010

Hackneyed --- but so what?

"Monsoon Wedding" was a delightful movie - despite its expected plot and theme. I wonder why Vasundara Das gave up acting - she really had potential. Loved the way the songs were used. Enjoy these two... which songs did you like? What's your take on the movie?

The Original:

In the movie:

And one of those delightful old numbers:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Amway and the Ghost to Ghost Hookup

Behold ye FOB lurking in the aisles of the desi grocery store – there approaches your friendly neighbourhood Amway Salesperson. Before long you are befriended and brainwashed into attending a meeting where you are shown the path to becoming richer than Bill Gates/Croseus and invariably dropped like a hot-brick when you don’t sign up.

Amway and the other zillions of these Network Marketing schemes brings to mind the “Ghost-to-Ghost Hookup” devised by The Three Investigators. The Three Investigators is a series of books featuring amateur sleuths Jupiter Jones, Peter Crenshaw and Bob Andrews. The series was first published (in the 60s) as “Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators” (where the detective team is supposedly introduced by Alfred in a bid by author Rober Arthur to gain attention/publicity). The boys live in Southern California and have won the use of a gold-plated Rolls Royce for 30 days (later a grateful client provides for the team to use the Rolls when ever they require).
The use of the “Ghost to Ghost Hookup" originates when they realize the persons most observant about the happenings around them are kids. The concept is simple: each person is asked to call up five of his/her friends to either pass on some information or request some similar information and each of those friends in turn call up five of their friends and so on. Do the math – 5 times 5 is 25, 25 times 5 is 125, 125 times 5 is…No wonder all the phone lines in the State seem to have gotten busy.
For those who haven’t read the books they bear intriguing titles like “Mystery of the Stuttering Parrot”; “Mystery of the Talking Skull”: “Laughing Shadow”; “Screaming Clock” and so on.
Jupiter Jones is a little like Fatty from Enid Blyton’s “Five Find Outers” series – a little on the plump side but extremely intelligent with his brains appearing to literally whirr when ever he puts his thinking cap on.

In "Mystery of the Whispering Mummy" - was most amused to see refernces to a Lord Carter - AFAIK - it was Lord Carnarvon who funded the discovery of King Tut's tomb and Howard Carter the archeologist who discovered. Was Carter knighted subsequently?

Recently re-read “Mystery of the Stuttering Parrot” and found a bunch of extremely lucky but totally unbelievable co-incidences that move the story along. Never noticed these as a kid.

Sigh! Age does that to you!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Puppets vs Puppets

Searching for something on youtube I came across an old pop song - Falguni Pathak's "Maine Payal Hai Chankaye" - I found the choregraphy cute. I wish they had used some cuter puppets though......remember the puppets from "The Sound of Music"?


"Chit Chor" was such a pleasant movie and its songs continue to be evergreen favorites. Zarina Wahab, Amol Palekar and Vijayendra Ghatge threw in such delightful performances - Zarina Wahab was reminiscent of Jaya Bahdhuri (does anyone know if she deliberately copied her style?) Ofcourse Yesudas's singing had a tinge of the non-Hindi accent - but the melody more than made up for that.

Now for the "aaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrghhh" part - I was given a movie "My Pyaar Ka Deewani Hoon" - starring Hrithik, Kareena and Abishek. Yes, people a parody of "Chit Chor" -it would be too demeaning to call it a "remake". As such I don't much care for dear Kareena - but even given this bias - I could find nothing to applaud. Then I thought atleast Hrithik would be the saving grace - but with the talking parrot that "reels" off names of movies and the quasi-animated dog...and not to mention the mother's demo on how to smile and simper...I just about managed to keep from barfing.

Couldn't watch it through till the end... What's your take on this one (if you managed to watch it?)

Thursday, May 20, 2010 all ye impatient drivers wanting to turn right...

I maybe deaf - but I aint blind. I can see cars approaching from the opposite side. I prefer to wait till they pass because I haven't yet quite learnt the 007 methods of maneuvering the car at high speeds. What's your hurry anyway that you can't wait at the most 2-3 minutes?

Also to drivers tailing my car doing a 65 in a 50 zone. Too bad I am not changing my lane. I do sound like a pious goody two shoes sticking to speed limits don't I? Like I said - too bad - I aint experimenting!

Aside: Yep people I am partially deaf --- and for anyone who is hard of hearing - I urge you to get tested and if it works for you get fitted with hearing aids - they are worth it.

(My mom was nagging the husb to get me a pair of solitaires - husb winked and said he'd gotten me something more expensive! LOL)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Down Memory Lane with The 3 Idiots

"3 Idiots" was totally entertaining...BUT... why did they have to use all those old gags from Readers Digest and the internet. I'm sure the scriptwriters are more talented than that...

Anyways this movie got us talking about our own college days and all the things we did that in retrospect seem so silly and immature ...but I guess that's what's growing up is all about.

Incidentally talking about pranks I thoroughly enjoyed the ones in "Surely You Are Joking Mr. Feynman" - yep it's the book by the Nobel prize winning physicist...

We had this Math Professor in Univ. He was referred to as “Rigor Mortis” (RM) on account of the absolutely stiff manner in which he placed his arms beside his torso, the robot-like gait and the mechanical movements he made when picking up the chalk to write on the board.

Now I don’t remember what exactly he taught us but I do remember each of the math problems invariably started with the statement “Let P be the any point…” with strong emphasis on the ungrammatical “the” – like he was mad it was an arbitrary point and ought to have been pinned to a specific place.

He was not in the least bit partial to our set – did I mention that we were not exactly in the category of, to use an RMism - “studious students” . Besides we converted all his complex differential equations to simple algebraic expressions and had them solved, while the rest of the class was figuring out exactly where to place “P”.

One fine day we walked into the classroom and found some gorgeous diagrams of some rare fungi or bacteria or some such biological being. The drawings were painstakingly done in different colored chalks and illustrated with a military precision. Apparently the botany students had just finished a class there. In a trice V picked up a chalk and wrote on the board in a mature hand “PLEASE DO NOT ERASE – DIAGRAMS NEEDED FOR NEXT CLASS”. Then we snuck out of the window and sauntered in deliberately late. Dear RM was devastated by not having any space to write his beloved equations and had to let us off from class that period.

RM quickly learnt the Botany Prof. was a descendant of Da Vinci and could draw diagrams in his sleep and would never request the blackboard not be cleaned. RM said nothing to us but came up with a really nasty surprise test that would have even Einstein sweating. The irrepressible V was furiously scribbling away while the rest of us looked blank and the class nerd was reduced to tears. We would have loved to see RM’s face when he read V’s answers:

Q: What is Pi times {some complex equation}
Answer: V had written about 4 to 5 pages of the value of PI (a made up value of course) before attempting to write an equally nonsensical “solution” for the equation
Q: Some complex integral calculus question to figure out the volume of water that could be stored in a water tank.
Answer: Zero litres given the water shortage in the city

Sometime later we learnt dear RM was to be married – you can imagine the comments and innuendos passed about RM stiffly putting the garland around his bride to suggested scenarios on the nuptial bed. We did give him a wedding gift – only we wrapped it over and over in bundles of newspaper first.

Years later when our class re-visited college the only names RM remembered from the whole batch was that of our gang!

More Fun with the Microsoft Tool

Here's more on the images for a larger view...I know some of them are come on guys ...create your own...that will be real fun:-)

Thursday, May 13, 2010