Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Review of yet another booker winner from my stable but this is definitely one of the more deserving books to win the coveted prize. The simplicity of characters and narration of the story to Chinese ambassador kept me thoroughly interested thorough out the span of this read. It's a story about a rickshaw pullers son named Balram who carves his way out of Darkness to become a successful entrepreneur in Bangalore, transforming from a faithful servant of his master to his murderer. A must read.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
You Were Here
Written by Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan whose blog I follow has somehow managed to collate all the stuff on her blog (or we can say her life) and throw it at us in form of a book. I have nothing negative to say about the book but I expected more being a fan. Anyhow this is a story about a 25 year old girl Arushi whose “life is like a bra strap when you put your bra on wrong”, it’s also the tag line of the book. Nothing much in the story just usual stuff like cheating boyfriend, leach of a neighbor, alcohol, sex, drugs…stuff you can find on her blog anyways….read it if you are looking for something light to read.
A Girl like Me – Swati Kaushal
This is a story of a 16 year old Anisha Rai who is transported from suburbs of Minnesota to concrete jungle of Gurgaon with her Mom. She joins a school in Gurgaon and experiences the study load of students in India. Then there is usual crushes, jealousy, soul searching making it full masala stuff. I was amazed how common making out is in youngsters today compared to our times, may be its just exaggerated by authors/newspapers these days, but this one is definitely nicely written as I finished it in one sitting.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
The narrators name is Animal, 20 years old who lost his family in the tragedy, got his back bent and walks on all fours. His emotional growth during the story, and people around him taking him from the starting line “I used to be human once” to his “human self” make this an interesting read. An intensely social and sometimes humorous tale. A must READ!!!
Friday, August 01, 2008
On the stormy night of 30th July I went for an auto ride on Bangalore roads, ecstatic over clocking the best time on the final track of my NFS mobile edition I slipped my N73M into my pocket and got down to pay the auto wallah. Within seconds a realization struck that my pockets don’t have that usual bulge and I ran like a 100m sprinter after the black and yellow 3 tiered monster. Unfortunately the usually clogged Bangalore roads opened up like the legs of a Thai prostitute in front of the auto wallah and he just took off like a formula one car with me gasping for breath. All my contacts, world record scores of Bikini volleyball, Brian Lara cricket, FIFA n PES football, Boxing, Tennis, cheeky smses, mmses (specially husband caught red handed on Radio) went away without saying any final goodbyes .
Ladies and Gentlemen can you please send me your numbers all over again till I try and arrange for a handset? You can really make me forget my loss by throwing an iPhone my way ;-)
A word of advise…take a backup of your mobiles today.
PS: If anyone has a spare handset can they lend it to me for a week? The Vodafone iPhone launch is just a week away.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The 2008 Man Bookers Longlist for fiction is out, I guess the topmost desirable reads on my list is Sea of Poppies...
Friday, July 11, 2008
For the second time, Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie has been judged the best ever winner of the Booker prize. The Best of Booker award, which has been announced at the London literature festival , marks the prize's 40th anniversary. A similar contest - the Booker of Bookers - was held in 1993 to coincide with its 25th birthday, and came to the same conclusion.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Interesting depiction of Women of World War II (Clicked near Downing Street)
On the way to London Bridge...
After Darkness & night.....
Let there be light....
It’s been a while since I was waiting for the next installment from Mr. Bhagat’s stable, though this one isn’t as amazing as “Five Point Someone” it doesn’t disappoint completely. Chetan’s characters are always ambitious, young and passionate about what they do which is something youth in India can associate with, he has also shown there confusion when it comes to religion, morals and social issues also currently faced by Youngistan.
The story line again revolves around three friends (Govind, Ish and Omi), and as usual the one falling in love is the narrator and like every Gujju (slang for people from Gujrat) wants to become a successful entrepreneur. I really liked the way Chetan has depicted the involvement of communal parties in aggravating the riot situation in Gujrat and how religion can be used to brainwash people. I am not saying that communal parties are the only one that’s wrong as 84 riots was a handiwork of a secular party but that Chetan has used the popular sentiments well.
His formula in this book i.e., Cricket + Religion + Politics + Love + Business = Hit.
So for the love of the highest selling Indian author or if you have nothing else that’s interesting, read this book.
Monday, July 07, 2008
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Yet another Lahiri’s book and yet another beautifully written upwardly mobile Bengali immigrants tale. I love the way she defines her characters and brings them together in the end based on there common cultural or family grounds. All the stories whether it’s the father who discovers a new life after mother’s death, a married woman who experienced happiness only by being with another guy, a sister being a spectator to her alcoholic brothers fall, a girl and a boy coming together after lifetime of struggle (best story of the book) or a young Bengali female who looses her mind over a relationship with a white guy.
The twist and turns that takes place during the stories are totally unexpected and keeps the reader guessing, Jhumpa Lahiri is a great writer and this is a book that may get her few more award nominations.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
This book is definitely one of the more erotic books I have read in a long time, but unlike a normal Erotica this one gives us a lot more. It has lot of drama and is really thought provoking during it's exploration of sexuality and its many forms.
Babyji is a story of a Delhi girl Tara Sharma who is a brilliant student, head prefect and favorite of all her teachers but then she is not a typical 'good girl'. At an adolescent age of 16 she has multiple lovers, a middle aged divorced woman, a young house made and her 16 year old classmate. Additionally she is flirting with her best friends Dad and the local school goon. This book has handled the taboo topic of lesbianism and promiscuousness really well, unlike other publications I've read by Indian authors. Definitely not Lolita but a good read.....
Monday, May 12, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Leading film-makers are seeking to change the way we think about other countries. This is one of a powerful series of films to be shown on Pangea Day, May 10, "the day the world comes together through film".
See all four anthems. Then visit http://www.pangeaday.org
Here, set against the backdrops of Nairobi city and the beautiful landscape of Uhuru Park (Maasai country), a Kenyan choir sings the Indian national anthem.
The director has chosen the Indian anthem because Kenya is home to a sizeable Hindu population (including Sikhs & Jains also) of approximately 2.5 million, most of them descendants of the East African Railways labourers who were brought over by the British during the late 19th and early 20th centuries when the British colonialists ruled Kenya and the rest of the East African region.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Warning : Long Post but I'll try and write as few lines as possible.
A movie that touched my soul, it's the most intelligent romance I have ever seen. It's a movie about two strangers who meet on a train (Jab We Met ishtyle) and decide to spend some more time with each other, ending up falling in love only to be parted in the End. The second part "Before Sunset" gives you more hope and ironically it was made 9 years after the prequel, a must watch for all romantics.
10000 BC **
What a waste of time, a friend of mine rightly said Dus Hazaar B@$#n C#$d, you can’t like it specially after you have seen Apocalypto.
Jodha Akbar ***
I'll direct you to best review of the Movie "Boka Choda Akbar" here. As of me I found the movie a passe, Aishwarya made my day ;-)
I love it when I get to see such kind of movies from the stable of Bollywood, Indian movies have come of age and it's a treat to watch such movies. It's a movie about a struggling actor whose face resembles to an underworld Don. Obviously the next thing would be role reversal like DON, but this movie has it's own set of twists and some really bizarre characters. A must watch for Hindi cinema lovers.
Into the Wild ***1/2
Remember Cast Away in which Tom Hanks gets stuck on a island after a plane crash and has to spent years away all alone, the only difference is that in "Into the Wild" the main character casts away from Human Civilization by choice. After finishing graduation top student and an athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24000 savings to charity and hitchhikes to
American Gangster ****
A true story about a black Gangster who beats all the odds and climbs to the top by finding a unique way of smuggling drugs inside American territory, a domain dominated by Italians . Denzel Washington is as usual at his best and Russell Crowe does a good job in being the Detective in pursuit. Unfortunately the only Oscar nomination this movie got was for Art Direction.
No Country for old men ****1/2
What would you do if you accidentally reach the site of a Gang war where every gangster is dead and there's a bag full of money for taking, if you need it you'll take it of course. But then what if there is an assassin at your tail, someone who enjoys killing, who is the best at what he does and never gives up. You have no choice but to end up Dead in the end even after giving a hell of a fight, it is a very well made movie and keeps you at the edge of your seat all along. The sociopath killer Javier Bardem ended up winning Oscar for the best supporting actor in this movie, this movie also took the best direction and best movie award for this year.
We Own the night ***
Another movie that brings the business of drugs into the limelight but with a twist, it's about a night club manager played by Joaquin Phoenix who while trying to help his family of cops catch a drug lord gets trapped into the game and puts his life in danger. Eva Mendes plays his girlfriend and looks hot as usual (remember Hitch), it's definitely a good one time watch.
Juno O Juno, well if you ask me this is the best movie that was made last year and I just loved it. The main protagonist 16 years Juno played by Ellen Page gets pregnant with a child fathered by another 16 year old Paulie Bleeker. Although she initially opts for abortion but a last minute change of heart makes her find a suitable couple for adoption. The way the plot and characters are defined make the movie fun. Ellen got herself nominated for the Best Actress category but the only award Juno got is for the Best Screenplay, this movie definitely deserved more.
Meet the Spartans **
A filthy, shitty, worthless piece of crap movie. An utter waste of time, a rare Hollywood movie that can be compared to Ramgopal Verma ki Aag.
A silly animation movie that's made to make you laugh and that's what you do or at least it makes you smile.
Balls of Fury ***
It's a funny n crazy movie about a former Table Tennis champ who gets an opportunity to become the greatest player ever and with Kung fu style of teaching and inspiration in the form of Maggie Q even I could've done wonders if I could get her on my team;-)
Resident Evil: Extinction ***1/2
Boy O boy Milla Jovovich is back again with her Guns blazing blades swinging action and for all the Zombies...go into hiding if you want to survive. Another amazing movie from the Resident Evil series, I am eagerly waiting for the sequel to this one and rumor is that it may be called Resident Evil: Afterlife.
This movie is based on the book by Ian McEwan that goes by the same name and was nominated for the bookers prize. The story is set in three main areas, an English country house in 1935, war torn
The Kite Runner ****
Yet another favorite book of mine made into a movie and a rare one that did justice to the book. It's a very intriguing story about Amir and his servants son Hassan who is the best Kite runner in Kabul, the story changes when Amir is unable to stand up to protect Hassan from getting raped by a bunch of rowdy kids. Due to the Russian invasion Amir and his father leave Afghanistan for America and the twist comes when Amir had to return to Afghanistan to rescue Hassan's son from Taliban militia some 25 years later.
One of the better American sexual comedies I have seen in a long time, the situation involving buying booze with the fake ID that says "McLovin" is priceless (find picture). Definitely the funniest movie I have seen since Borat.
Knocked Up ***
It is a nice situational comedy where an idiot Ben Stone played by Seth Rogen knocks up gorgeous Katherine Heigl on a drunken first date. The situation is forgotten once she realizes her mistake in the morning only to worsen when she realizes that she got pregnant that night. Though Ben is all wrong for her in every way she gives him another chance, the movie is fun from there onwards and even though all your practical sense says they should not be together there is a happy ending in the end.
The Golden Compass ***
Like a true fan of this genre of movies I liked it, I loved the bear fight, I loved the concept of your souls/spirits walking besides you in different shapes instead of residing in your body like in our world, I loved the imagination and creativity of the makers, I loved the costumes, the visuals, the city, the streets, the landscapes and the amazing special effects. They could've done more justice to the story though as it feels patchy. Waiting eagerly for the next installment.
I guess it all started with Space Jam at least that's what I remember as the first movie with Real and Animated characters side by side and it got perfected with Stuart little. Now everyone including me just loved the chipmunks and there songs, nice fun movie.
The Warlords ***
Though this movie had all the action a Jet Li movie promises it was a bit of a let down for me, the story was interesting and action scenes were exciting but the character development was not done properly. The only character developed to an extent out of the three was Jet Li's character who gets driven by war and other lusts and creates a mess in the end.
Wedding Daze ***
It's a movie about a guy whose girl friend dies of heart attack as soon as he proposes to her. After drowning in sadness and to escape his weary life he randomly proposes to a waitress as a challenge who immediately says yes to escape from an unwanted proposal she received last night. The awkward romance between them with some wacky relatives and friends thrown in makes this slapstick comedy a good one time watch.
Rambo IV ***
What action movie series comes to you mind when you think of your childhood, well I think of Terminator, Rocky, Predator, Die Hard, Robocop, Lethal Weapon, Aliens, Star Wars, James Bond Series and somewhere at the top RAMBO. I loved the mindless fighting and the strange accent of Sylvester Stallone, though Rambo never had a story line this part disappointed me in the build up of the climax…... the excitement just wasn't the same though the action was the goriest I saw in a long time guts and blood flying everywhere. But for a die hard Rambo fan like me it was still a treat to relive my childhood :-)