Thursday, February 28, 2008

You are always trying to keep it real
I'm in love with how you feel
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you
-The Moldy Peaches
just learnt to play this on the guitar. its pretty simple, just two chords! But the song only sounds good, if you sing along. and with my whole croacking toad like voice, the neighbours have resorted to pounding on the common wall (yea, that bad).
well, i love this song from again, current favourite - Juno. the whole mood of the song captures the whole idea of first love, in particular, teenage love. when ones emotions arent as complicated, [ or so we would say in retrospective], where you dont really question everything and anything, you just go with what your heart says. and you fight with each other on the smallest things and at that point nothing can calm your heart, but you.
then you grow up and life is more controlled and so are your emotions and so is your heart.
there's tranquility in that too.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

when the stars go blue.

so the movie of the year has to be juno. juno is about a 16 year old girl, who gets pregnant and how she comes to terms with the pregnancy and basically the decisions she makes and how it changes her outlook of life, love, family etc. The biggest plus of the movie is the fact that pretty controversial topics i.e teen pregnancy, pro-life, pro-choice etc have been handled beautifully, without being preachy or holier than thou or even dramatic. The movie is so matter of fact. which is a refreshing change. The dialogues are witty and intelligent, and at the end of the movie you are silently rooting for the opposite to what you felt in the beginning of the movie. which again is a big thing, coz most of the movies that one watches one already knows what to expect and therefore one has already has an opinion and the movie just reinforces it. The second plus of the movie is ellen page, who fits into this role sooo perfectly and without her the movie may have fallen apart. although i do think she might be pigeonholed into similar kind of roles in the future. the only other person i could think of doing this movie is julia stiles but i guess since its primarily based on teen pregnancy and i believe julia stiles is a little older.
anyway this brings me to my question. what does one do if ones child says they are pregnant, and i mean child child. not the children will always be children to their parents, thing. when i was growing up these were all topics no one would talk about, you would find out about it from some friends and its usually accompanied with a lot of snickering, then you would learn about it in biology class in a very non personal way. my biology teacher actually skipped the whole female and male organs lecture and asked us to read it on our own. and theres no question about it, desi parents dont talk to their children about these things. but as the world gets smaller, and more technological, you have busy parents - double incomers, leading to less watch on their kids, more peer pressure, less communication etc. pple living here, i think have it much harder too, since we dont have family, grandparents, outside help to look after/keep a watch on kids. And are parents sometimes the best examples for kids?
so anyway, all open ended questions. heres a preview - courtesy youtubers.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Mere peer ka sadka.... Hai mere peer ka sadka .... Tera daaman hai thama [ The alms of my old age. It is the charity of my old age. That I have come in Your refuge.] *

so this weekend was my much needed break from work. and so i went off to philly for some family time and from stocking up on authentic chinese produce, to driving over an hour to eat some indian chinese khana, to watching jodhaa akbar, eating frankies in beautiful wide open area valley forge park in the rain, to playing monopoly for four straight hours and losing miserably, to driving over an hour to get our iphone to work with another carrier, all this to be done by a high school student! but since there are so many issues, we cant get it to work. and then driving all the way to the mac store and getting ripped off by apple (i.e realizing apple is so going the microsoft way and the whole liberalistic attitude is sooo a pretext).finally to taking the bus back to nyc listening to repeats of khwaja ji from jodhaa akbar. all in all an eventful weekend.

so first thing first. a review of jodhaa akbar. there are a lot of good things about the movie, for one the scale at which the movie was made, the grandeur of it. the fact that very rarely does a hindi movie go the gladiator/brave heart way. the attempt is honest. but the story and screenplay is a bit thin. so we have a young akbar (aka jalalludin mohammed) being given the responsiblity of spreading mughal rule throughout india. Bairam Khan, who is the guardian of the young Akbar, takes charge after the death of akbar's father, Humayun and rules with the sword. Under his rule, the mughal conquests grow. Akbar grows up, (i.e now Hritik Roshan) and wanting to rule with the heart and not just the sword, dismisses Bairam Khan sending him off to Haj. In order to build and maintain political relations, Akbar agrees to marry Jodhaa (Aishwarya Rai). Her two conditions, to be allowed to maintain her religion, and to have a temple in her own chamber. Akbar agrees and from there on the story kind of shifts to a love story of kinds, showing despite Jodhaa's first resistanance to the marriage - she grows to love the emperor, and vice versa. In the middle you have the standard bad guys, there is Mahan Anga,( Ila Arun) the nurse of Akbar who threatened by Jodhaa creates a misunderstanding element between them, then there is Akbar's brother in law (played by some new guy) who wants to take over Akbars throne.

so its a typical good triumphs over bad story. its not a lesson of history. i mean there are elements which existed in history, but this isnt a subsitute of history. and I believe Ashutosh Gowariker expresses that in the beginning of the movie saying this is just an opinion of various opinions. Fair enough. This is being made into a movie and there are twists that pple will add to make it more interesting. Was Akbar really in love with Jodhaa? Was there even a Jodhaa? It doesnt matter, really. Some groups in Rajasthan lobbying to ban the movie since it misinterprets history, makes me wonder why are they so bothered, really? At least with this movie, there is a renewed interest in Mughal history and Rajasthan so rich with these stories can do with some publicity and tourism.

Hritik Roshan as Jalaluddin Akbar is great. Roshan for some reason has a body language that is very different from any other actor in Hindi cinema. It exudes confidence like many other actors but a sort of silent nobility. I dont think any other actor could have potrayed Akbar any better. And his potrayals of anger, betrayal, guilt, love etc are done extremely well. Aishwarya Rai doesnt have a whole lot of range to do in the movie. but she does her part appropriately. Im sure the fight sequences would have been difficult to do and she does them well. The effort does show. However my favourite person in the movie is Ila Arun, her small but well fleshed role, is great. And she exudes anger, jealousy, suspicion etc with her eyes and when she is on screen one does feel a little scared. or maybe its just me. but i think shes done great.

the story and the screenplay is just ok. I wish they had decided whether hey are going to do a war movie or do a love story and not half an half coz they dont raelly do justice to both. but then agani its a 3 hour movie and you can only show so much. things like showing how Akbar goes to the city aas a common man and discovers how pple are upset over the pilgrimage tax, things like that are good scenes to show and when i was growing up my history of akbar was limited to amar chitra katha. so i was really disappointed when birbal didnt even figure in the story. sure he may have arrived later on when Akbar was much older, but then this isnt really an accurate depiction of history anyway. and Akbar was known for his great sense of humor, so some scenese showing the softer and more of this personality would have lightened a lot of the mood in the movie.

needless to say my favourite song is khwaja ji, this song too lacked a bit in picturization. they could have done a so much better job in picturing the dervishes.

Jodhaa Akbar is like this beautiful poem, written very painstakenly, each word thought and mulled over before being penned, the poem tries to encompass all one what one is feeling verse after verse but the end product looked in its totality ends up losing its way and just confueses the reader to the point where you dont even remember what the poem was about.

*taken from


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

i get so coldddd, i could freeze.

so today was an a-okay day. i was at work till 1 am trying to get some work done, i.e mindless backtesting results. and making silly mistakes and spending 4 hours trying to fix, i repeat, one line. i rue the day they invented computers. neway all this preparation for a 9 oclock meeting. only to discover the person who we need the input from is travelling and not near a pc to look over the documents. the rest of the day i was out at a quant-conference and i oscillated from being intrigued to being downright bored. there was no interesting (read eye candies) in the crowd either. super nerdy and super brilliant crowd.. few practioners within the industry presented their works, the ones which were more quant/mathematical werent attacked as much. and those that were trying to be more practical, were questioned and some questions even bordered on the holier-than-thou (or rather smartass) attitude. this just goes to show, if you show confidence in something that is hard to understand pple will buy it. and no one will ask questions at the risk of feeling stupid.

other than that, the weather has been crazy. it randomnly starts snowing and considering my lack of planning, ive been coming home completely frozen, fingers and toes aching. and then taking 45 mins to thaw. yep, that coooooooooooold. thank God for heating and gloves.

stay warm y'all.


Saturday, February 09, 2008

kahani mohabat ki hai mukhtasar...

so me and my friends went to this lame fashion show last week, coz we had that bhoot sawar of experiencing everything once at least, coz god knows where the hell we will land up after a year. we go to the hotel and a really snobby seating hostess greets us, and we finally get checked on the invitation list and since we are the cheap seaters at the back (ie not even seaters the standing pple at the back). at least we get to sit near the press, who btw have really kick asss cameras. they are all huddled in front of the center of the ramp with really high tech cameras. there are loads of advantages of being part of the "PRESS" in nyc. you can even gain access to extremely quantitative conferences hosted by renowned hard core professors without having to pay a single dime. whereas poor graduate and phd students and even just graduated newly working practioners like me have to shell out quite a bit for each conference.

neways, im side tracking. so the show was very hoochie. and i did the biggest mistake of asking the dj when the show will start (coz thanks to the cheap tickets we were standing for a loooooooooong time and it was still a work day and we had to meet up with other friends for this was really messing our time schedule). the dj was completely drunk i think and when one model walked out he was like that is perfection, if that isnt i dont know what is? and then proceeds to ask us do we think its perfection. first of all, no i didnt htink so. it was pretty crappy the dress and all the models looked the same to me. but i just agreed with him, dont really want to get into an argument. then another guy on the other end of the ramp, who happened to be in my direct view, took out his cell phone and took pictures of a really pathetic dress (ie of the shameless model ). i so wanted to give him a kick. and if i was standing behind him i would have definetly shot wads of paper at him. ( i ahve a lot of kachra in my bag) . pple like that should be beaten up.

so we left half way through the show, and if we did happen to see the designer we would have wanted to pelt wads of paper at him too.

needless to say the good thing about the day was our dinner at a korean bbq place. they grilled the food in front of us, everything was super fresh and conversation was entertaining and company was great. all you need is good food and some good friends to make your day. =0)


Thursday, February 07, 2008

u put the y in quirky.

so at work today, i was asked to write one quirky thing about myself. something that will basically differentiate from the rest of the crowd. something that makes me weird, but nice weird. not the weird, weird. so i thought about it. coz you know it should be something that i would want to share with my group and which they probably will remember me for. so i called my sister and asked her to brainstorm with me, about something ive done, anything ive done.
things like having a humming talking parrot growing up, [ probably makes my parrot more quirkier than me] , having played the piano, guitar and clarinet and even a tabla at some point of time in my life. does that make me different? i dont think so. lot of pple do it and do it better and some do it as their living. i maintain (albeit not as frequently) a blog. no biggie there too, many many pple have blogs. and do i really want everyone in my group to read my blog. no, not really. i have a fear of heights, public speaking, and spiders. these are all GRE words which i dont remember. that makes me seem more loserish than quirky. i could say something cheesy like seeing my favourite movie star. but i dont think i have done that. ive seen a movie star, so obscure that probably desis too wouldnt even know them, let alone pple who havent even watched a hindi movie. i guess the one quirky thing i did, well on the fly was to read a short story by some author and then write to them advising them on their love life. however, i really dont think having to explain that in a meeting in front of my group is really something i want to do. i wish the question was more open on what could be the quirky things you would like to do. for one i would like to write a screenplay, be a CIA agent, be a forensic specialist, go snorkeling, trek through the amazon forest etc. the list is endless.

its true, there is a vast difference between dreaming and doing. however, dreaming is the first step.


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