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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Movie Review: Angels and Demons

After I read this book by Dan Brown, I've been eagerly waiting to watch this movie and it finally released in India yesterday. The book was definitely a good read, it had everything that a mystery/thriller novel should have. (Click here to read my review of the book). My first impression was that the book was more apt for a movie becoz of all the masala and high intensity drama...so I was all the more keen to watch this translate into the big screen...

Whoever said 'dont judge a book by its movie' said it right! I didn't enjoy the movie as much as I liked reading the book. It is obvious that a 600page book cannot be made into a 2.5hr movie with that level of detail. But there was a serious lack of adrenalin in the movie. I was also a bit disappointed with the change of plot and the drastic reduction in Vittoria Vetra's (the female lead) role. It was almost as if she was insignificant. She played a very important role in the book and her revenge against her father's murder was the main focus. But that was completely removed here and she was made to look like a redudant actor. I had even expected a different climax but was glad that it wasn't completely different from that of the book. Even though the story was altered, it was at least weaved in well to reach a logical ending...

Tom Hanks as harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is quite impressive though the script doesnt do enough justice to showcase his ability of solving those cryptic puzzles to find the path of illumination. Last but not the least, I loved the visuals and effects. It was a treat to see those monuments, churches, symbols, statues etc described in the book! That's probably the only part of the movie that I liked. I'd anyday prefer the book over the movie :)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday Tidbits: #3

I've been drinking a lot of green tea off late and hence googled up facts on it to gain more insights...Here are some random facts about Green tea.




Did you know....


  • Types of green tea - Chinese, Japanese, Decaf, Asian, Herbal

  • A cup of green tea should only steep between 2-3mins whereas black tea needs 3-5mins and herbal teas about 5-6mins

  • Green tea tastes the best when the water is just below the boiling point whereas Black tea is best with boiling water

  • Green tea is made from the same plant (Camellia sinensis) as other teas such as black and oolong, but with a different process.

  • Green tea is green because it is not fermented. Hence green tea retains more health benefits than black tea because fermentation causes destruction of more nutrients

  • Green tea has been shown to increase calorie burning and fat oxidation and hence used widely by people for weight loss

  • Green tea contains compounds known as flavonoids, which are also found in broccoli, grapes, and red wine, and which are known cancer fighters

  • Beneficial molecules in green tea may protect the liver from toxins, including those from tobacco smoke and alcohol.

  • Green tea also contains natural flouride, which is a known cavity fighter.



So..what are you waiting for? Go Green! :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Keep Off the Grass..

"All of them had some version of the same advice that I intuitively believed in, but was glad to hear from folks who had lived it. Ten years from now, none of my present concerns would matter. Would I care whether I was ranked in the top five or the bottom five of the class? No! Would I care whether I learnt finance, operations or marketing at the IIM? No. I realized that the only thing I would care about after graduating from here would be whether I had been happy at the IIM or not. Did I have experiences I would remember? Did I have relationships that would stand the test of time? These would be the only things I would look back at, and judge my level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction during my time here"

These lines from the book Keep off the Grass, echoes *exactly* my thoughts about B-school life :) I absolutely loved these lines...Sometimes you feel overwhelmed when someone else can express thoughts on your mind so easily and so well...

Click here to read my review of the book

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Short notes..

Watched some good unconventional hindi movies over the last few weeks..

Gulaal - One more compelling movie by Anurag Kashyap after Dev-D, full of political drama which takes democracy to a different level, has perfectly etched characters combined with a powerful plot and superlative performances by every actor. With a lot of violence and a Shakespearean ending, the movie is definitely not for a mass appeal. I admire Anurag Kashyap for making such bold and different movies like Black Friday, Dev-D and now Gulaal. Glad to see that there are a few directors who dont care for commercial success alone!

Barah Aanah - is again not a 'typical hindi film', more of an experiment, with a short and simple story of 3 unlikely friends who are not happy with their lives. It's definitely not a comedy as the makers make it out to be. Naseeruddin Shah is the main attraction, delivers a good performance mainly through his facial expressions, though he has a very few dialogues but the maximum screen time. The pacing of the movie in the first 1 hr is very slow and can test your patience. However, with no songs, the movie is kept short and crisp and definitely worth a one-time-watch.

Straight - another light-hearted yet low key hindi movie based on homosexuality after Dostana & Fashion, which cruises through some untrodden paths. Vinay Pathak delivers an awesome performance with a great timing for comedy. There are several Laugh-Out-Loud moments as well as some sweet sentiments. The script has an interesting idea but fails to explore it deep enough and settles with a safe ending. Again I wouldnt classify it as a great movie but it's not unwatchable either.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

200

Ah! I just noticed that this is my 200th post after 3yrs of starting this blog :)
Why is it a big deal? Well, it's really not but it's just a small milestone and we all know the importance of milestones in life. It's these small targets that act as checkpoints through which we keep track of our progress and they remind us that we are on the right track of achieving the larger goal...in any aspect of life. They are small yet significant events (or turning points) which indicate that we are moving closer to our destination. So go ahead and set up these small milestones to fulfill bigger dreams in life!!

The best way to mark this post is with this pic I took a few months back at Hesarghatta :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bikhre Bimb (Odakalu Bimba)

I've been wanting to see this play for over a year now and finally made it to Rangashankara yesterday. What an AWESOME play it was! I am truly at a loss of words here. For the first time I felt that a play was worth a lot more than what it was priced for (100 bucks). Believe it or not, it runs full house every show even today, years after being created...

Bikhre Bimb, which means Broken Images, is a one-act play written and directed by Girish Karnad originally in Kannada and later translated into Hindi as well as English. Now, if the hindi version itself was so good, I am sure I'll love the Kannada one ("Odakalu Bimba") even more. Original versions always have the maximum impact, dont they? :)

For starters, Arundhati Nag is the sole actor of the play who delivers a spectacular performance leaving the audience mesmerized with her talent! The play is a portrayal of a professor & a kannada short story writer-Manjula Naik who achieves success, wealth and fame overnight with her bestseller novel in English. The script moves on to tap into her inner soul and slowly the story reveals the truth about her book, marriage and her personal life in a very intricate and powerful way. The television image, call it the character's self image, alter-ego, conscience or the inner soul, is like a co-actor on stage whose job is to interroagate the character to reveal her true self. At the end of the play, there is a blur created between the real and the self-image and you are unclear on where one starts and the other ends. The story by itself is not unique but the way technology is used (multiple TV sets on stage) to unveil the true story bit by bit and the PERFECT timing & co-ordination between the actor and her image on TV will just leave you speechless!! It was truly a wonderful experience watching Arundhati Nag's effortless yet brilliant performance on stage...

I was surprised to learn that this play was Girish Karnad's first directorial venture in the theater space. His understanding of the character and the plot is extremly intuitive and the language of the script is pure and marvelling. It's a true reflection of what a gifted playwriter he is.

If you are a theater person and you still haven't watched it, then what are you waiting for??? Make sure you dont miss out on the next show!!

You can book tickets online for the play at http://www.indianstage.in/

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thursday Tidbits: #2

Today's tidbit is another useful website that I found:

I came across this site which has a consolidated list of all the sales and promotions currently going on in the city in various categories - Apparels, Electronics, Household, Footwear etc. So if you are looking to shop and want a good deal and plan which shops/malls to visit so that you can optimize your time, this site might just help you! You can also search by Locality and Brands, in addition to the item categories. The drawback is that the site currently caters to 2 cities only - Delhi and Bangalore.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Talk about being crazy!

Came across this piece of news on domestic violence...A new law in Saudi Arabia. Now, if this isn't being crazy, then what is! I'm amazed at where the world is heading into!


"Husbands are allowed to slap their wives if they spend lavishly, a Saudi judge said recently during a seminar on domestic violence, Saudi media reported Sunday. Arab News, a Saudi English-language daily newspaper based in Riyadh, reported that Judge Hamad Al-Razine said that "if a person gives SR 1,200 [$320] to his wife and she spends 900 riyals [$240] to purchase an abaya [the black cover that women in Saudi Arabia must wear] from a brand shop and if her husband slaps her on the face as a reaction to her action, she deserves that punishment."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Quote for the week

I can so totally relate to this! Feel like this more often than not...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thursday Tidbits: #1

I realized that my blogging frequency has gone down recently...to keep it more regular I decided to start this new weekly column, every thursday where I'll share some piece of useful info that I come across - it could be anything - like a useful website link that not many people know about or some health tips, articles worth reading and so on...So, don't forget to visit this space every week! :)


Here's the tidbit for today:


I came across this pretty cool website that has multiple tools!
1. Budget calculator - helps you in planning your budget. You can track your income and expenses and organize them under various categories.
2. Tax calculator - quick and easy tax calculator which helps you estimate your taxes
3. Tax Planning - helps in planning your annual taxes with information on income tax slabs, tax covers, etc
4. Financial Plans, Insurance needs, articles and lots more!

So what are you waiting for? Go and explore the site! and let me know if you found it useful :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Book Review: Angels and Demons

Author: Dan Brown
Pages: 610
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Fiction
Rating: 4.0/5

I was a bit let down by this book as compared to The Da Vinci Code coz it seemed more like watching a highly dramatic bollywood movie. But hey! it's supposed to be a Thriller, so I can discount this fact and say that I thoroughly enjoyed the book which always kept me on the edge of my seat with its share of surprises and a never expected nail biting finish. I dont mind suspending my disbelief if the story is well written and it can keep me hooked till the last line of the last page!
[Click here to read the complete review]