Sunday, November 16, 2008

Copy Paste

Some moron somewhere was duplicating excel rows as a substitute for productivity...

Subway Business Hours

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I, Robot

This week I attended a play with my friends called The Wedding Album. The play, written by Girish Karnad and directed by Lilette Dubey, was quite interesting for all of us. This small incident is of course no blemish on the quality of theatre work.

After the play, the director (Lilette) and the cast sat on stage to have a discussion with the audience. One person posed a question about the difference in the way the play was perceived in different regions. So Lilette responded.

'I find it heartening to see audiences across countries react to our work. It touches them at the same level. It makes us realize even though we may be separate geographically, as humanity we are binded by the same emotions.'

The audience heartily smiled.

We were pleased with the self-indulgent praise. Just by watching a play, we had managed to unite humanity. Ah, the noblest act of all.

Savouring the effect she had created, Lilette went on a bit further. 'In fact it is quite surprising, audiences seem to behave in very similar ways. You give the same reactions to the scenes. You even laugh at exactly the same moment as each other.'

We froze.

What the hell? Are we so predictable? I thought I was different.

This stunned silence lasted for just a few chilling seconds. But being an ace theatre guru, she knew how to twist our emotions back to normalcy.

'But as an audience you also picked up on some other moments and saw the humour in that. You were very receptive in the play. That was really special for us.'


Phew! We are not robots.
Happiness resumed.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

By the Way....

I was having a conversation with Rohan (my flatmate) yesterday about a possible movie plan in the evening. He feigned some mild interest in the idea.

'See Arvind, I think I would spend that time much better by calling up some old friends, mailing and scrapping people....Or maybe I can read a book in the same hours.. Or I can do some basic planning for the work I've to cover in the week...Even if that doesn't happen I can sit here....and relax...'
I was flabbergasted - 'You'd rather waste time on the couch than watch a movie with a good rating?'
'Yes. I'd rather sit and do absolutely nothing than go out and watch a movie.'

This is Rohan's level of enthusiasm for movies. This strong dislike has been built over time. Apparently, every odd movie he had been dragged to was loathesome and reduced his respect for the activity. People have upbringing issues related to parents, bullies or relationships. Rohan had his bad memories through the big screen. He did go for a movie with us last night, and this is a story about that.

After assessing his soaring interest in the outing, Saurabh and I eliminated risky flicks - this included an offbeat zombie thriller and Madagascar2, since sequels are seldom satisfying. We chose Tropic Thunder - a reliable, over the top, grotesque comedy flick by Ben Stiller. This was being screened at Cathay Cinemas at 7.45pm. Timing things well, we reached Cathay at 7.30. Around an hour later, we ended up buying tickets for another movie. In that time, we found out that Tropic Thunder wasn't being screened there and I received abuses for my incompetency. Rohan had hoped to 'eat something quickly while you buy the tickets'. Of course that didn't happen. We hastened his meal and headed to the nearby mall Plaza Singapura, with an apprehensive, hungry Rohan, to pick an alternative movie.

While waiting in the line, Saurabh and I hoped we would manage to get the last few tickets for Rec, the last option being Madagascar2.
"What kind of a movie is this Rec?"
"Oh. It is about a television reporter who enters a building with her cameraman while covering the night shift of firemen. The film is shown as the recording made by that camera."
"Oh...Is it worth watching?", Rohan's blood was throttling with instincts of escaping from impending danger.
"Yes. The trailer was awesome.", said Saurabh reassuringly.

It turned out only first row seats were available. We went ahead and bought the tickets. Rohan and I had a brief window of 15minutes to order and consume our dinner. We respected our commitment to trying out new cuisines every week and chose a Taiwanese outlet in the food court. Bad Idea. We reached the hall at 9 with unhappy, unfulfilled stomachs.

"Wow..this should be fun. First row, handheld camera footage - lots of shaky, motion sickness stuff.", I commented.
(Trust my instincts to add that sprinkle of demotivation)

"Yaar...iske liye 10 dollar! (10 dollars for this!)", Rohan was visibly disturbed now. "Trust me. It should be good.", said Saurabh. We walked down all the way to the first row and planted ourselves in the corner seats. The screen towered over us a few feet away.

The first set of ads and trailers were being screened. Our eyes slowly adjusted to the brilliant showers of white light. We had our neck cranked up to a peculiar angle to capture the whole screen.

"Mazaa aa raha hai Rohan? (Enjoying yourself Rohan?)" I asked.
By this point of time, Rohan was actually wincing in his seat.
"How long is this movie?", he asked.
"One and a half hours."
Eyeing his watch, he said "Ok. So we should be out by 10.30."

The first scene of the movie streamed out with a lady holding a microphone: 'Buenas noches, esto es Angela Vidal haciendo uso de la palabra.' The text at the bottom of the screen read 'Good evening, this is Angela Vidal speaking.'

Saurabh turned to Rohan and said, "By the way, we forgot to tell you. The movie is in Spanish."

Rohan vocally cursed us and decided to give the movie a window of 15 minutes to get interesting.

And it did. The movie was a chilling, demonic, ridiculously good thriller. The appetite we had for dinner perished after the movie. Later, we sat and meekly sipped Coca-Cola, allowing our mind and heart to settle back into reality. The whole experience was petrifying. Because of the handheld camera view, there is no scope for detaching yourself from the film. You are right there - the adrenaline pumped up by the use of fidgety camerawork and night visions. One of the best movies in the zombies genre (at par with 28 Days Later and much better than Cloverfield).

For the first time in four months, before going to bed, we checked if the front door was locked. We locked it again and then went to sleep.
Do watch it.

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If you liked this article, you might also like The Invisible Roommate and I knew something was wrong.
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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tandoori Nights - The Party

Q1. What is Tandoori Nights?
It is an awesome song composed by Himesh Reshammiya for the movie Karzz. It was also the name of a party we had this Saturday.

Q2. Was the party fantastic?
Yes, it was!

Q3. Why a Himesh title ? Why Himesh of all people?
When mockery, desperation and incredulity form a cocktail, one loses all senses. Stupid turns into cool. Silly becomes the in-thing. Hence the title and the ensuing theme of the party.

Q4. Were fun stuff, drinking games etc planned by us?
Yes.

Q5. Was the Pseudo-MC, Pseudo-HR, Pseudo-Activity planner of the party given spontaneous bums/kicks?
Yes.

Q6. Did people drink and dance?
Yes. Over two dozen of them!

Q7. Did they pay homage to Himesh bhaiyya?
Yes. The ones that could hold a pen by the end of the party.

Q8. Aren't these questions stupid? Won't pictures do a better job of showcasing the party?
Yes. So here you go.



Tandoori Nights shall return in 2009....