Friday, March 28, 2008

Hwhat the deuce.

Now, this sort of thing pisses me off.
Also pisses me off when governments decide that secularism means you can't wear a headscarf or a turban at your school/college/workplace etc.
And when everyone everywhere uses words like Islamist/fundamentalist yadda yadda yadda.

Damn and blast.
Note to self: Must stop watching back-to-back Family Guy episodes.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

And on the other side of the fence...

Is Pakistan saved for a new reigny day? A look-see through the eyes of one Kinky.


So. Ferrari won Sepang. Massa spilled himself messily somewhere along the line. Heikki came in an impressive third for McLaren. Hamilton crawled in 5th and Alonso babe (who's hitting the headlines again with subtle hints about a year-end break-up with Renault) came in a wonderful 8th in spite of his pitiful Renault.
I am writing off this race. Where were the thrills and spills, I ask you? And no rain either.
Kimi drove brilliantly start-to-Finnish (hahahahahaaaaa, Saab, you're funny!) and won. Yawn. Remember the good old days when this lad was with McLaren Mercedes? Vaav. McLaren still on top in the Constructor's but really, what a silly race. Bahrain better be better.

BMW, well done again. This year's podiums are all opened up. And Toyota..? Well, well, well Mr Trulli. *polite applause*
Force India, we're waiting.

Anyway. Hmmph.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Got my hopes up again as Sania Mirza is playing well in the initial rounds of the Pacific Life Open at Indian Wells.
Ms Mirza has defeated a very strong Shahar Peer in Round 3 and is through to meet Daniela Hantuchova in Round 4. Will she, won't she? Most probably not. But really well done in any case.

Excerpt from the official Pacific Life website:
"Defending champion Daniela Hantuchova eased to the win on her 'home' court, defeating Jie Zheng 6-4, 6-2 to start off the night session. The Slovak, who won her first Tour title here in 2002, will next play India's Sania Mirza , an upset winner over No. 9 seed Shahar Peer, 6-7(7), 7-5, 6-3.Hantuchova assessed her fourth round opponent: “She's a big hitter. You never know what to expect. It's going to be a tough match, but again, I hope I'll be playing on my court, and there anything can happen. But I know I'm going to enjoy it and I'll see. I will just do my best and see what happens."

Other big names that have got through so far: Davydenko, Canas, Fedex, Hewitt, Youzhny, Davydenko, Stepanek, Sharapova, Kuznetsova, Davenport, Bartoli...

NEWS JUST IN: Hantuchova sailed past Sania 6-1, 7-6. She plays Sharapova in the quarters next.

Anthony Minghella and that movie I love

Anthony Minghella died today, aged 54.

Which reminded me of The English Patient, one of my all-time favourite movies. We have the North-African-Arab connect, we have deserts, we have impressive dialogue, fine non-American actors (Ralph Fiennes, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Juliette Binoche, Colin Firth, Naveen Andrews), great cinematography and background score, and above all, a painful love story. Any movie that makes me sob loudly is thumbs-up. And I cried bucketfuls with this one.
Note to self: Must read Michael Ondaatje's novel. Still haven't.
Quotable quotes from the film, and maybe the book:
(Almásy writing): "Betrayals in war are childlike compared with our betrayals during peace."
2. Almásy: "I fear Madox knows about us. He keeps mentioning Anna Karenina."
Almásy: "Swoon, I'll catch you. "
4. Madox: "I have to teach myself not to read too much into everything. It comes from too long having to read so much into hardly anything at all."

5. Hana: "There's a man downstairs. He brought us eggs. He might stay."
Almásy: "Why? Can he lay eggs?"
Hana: "He's Canadian."
Almásy: "Why are people so happy when they collide with someone from the same place? What happened in Montreal when you passed a man in the street? Did you invite him to live with you?"
6. Katharine Clifton: "Will we be alright?"
Almásy: "Yes. Yes. Absolutely"
Katharine: "'Yes' is a comfort. 'Absolutely' is not."

Also liked Minghella's Cold Mountain (primarily be on account of Jude Law, Renee Zelwegger and some very impressive landscapes). And the Talented Mr Ripley. Not so much Breaking and Entering.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Non sequitir

Apropos of nothing, two of my favourite songs in the world, both featuring on the Grey's Anatomy soundtrack. (Which is also my favourite TV show, along with House MD. So now everyone knows I am not a doctor.)
The first one, Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol, I heard a couple of years ago at work. Along with the Grey's video. Left me nice and glum.

And then there's this one I picked up just a few days ago. It's an interesting video off YouTube.
This a Joseph Arthur composition, In the Sun, but I love Michael Stipes-Coldplay's version. Here we go (the actual song starts at about 01:30):

Alternate videos: here and here.

*Wiping tears*

Whadda race, whadda race!

I can hear Blur's Song 2 playing in my mind as I recap to myself what a bang-up race it was.
To begin with, heading furiously into Turn 1, here's the field:And in a split second.... Ta daaaaa: Followed by a magnificent toss-up, cars retiring, positions taking a dramatic turn and what-have-yous. And so it was for the entire duration of the race. Edge-of-seat gripping stuff.

And after many similar thrilling slips, slides, crashes, engine failures [ALL the Ferrari engines and a few others.... *snicker*], we come to a sexy Hamilton shower scene, stage right! VICTORY!!!!! Young Lewis drives a dream (he said it) and his teammate Heikki follows close behind in fifth. Almost fourth but that dazzling Alonso pulled some cheeky overtaking moves in Lap 50! But of course. What can he do if he's stuck with a substandard Renault engine this year?
McLaren off to a supreme start to the year.
Yay! *bhangra*

I say, this No-Traction-Control business is smashing. Definitely makes each race a whodunit. Can't wait for Sepang. Only 5 days to go...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

McLaren Hams it up!

Ah, the very wonderful feeling one gets on waking up (relatively) early on a Saturday morning, 0830 hrs, to see McLaren put on a good show as usual- Hamilton taking a very expected pole and Heikki rolling in with a smooth third posish on the starting grid. And to see a certain team go Red in the face settling for fourth and... what's that???!!!... 16th?! Just ahead of Fisi in the Force India car??!
And what else do we see? That it might not just be a McLaren-Ferrari 2008. BMW is looking bloody good as well. Kubica streaked through his final run during Q3. First time ever he'll start on the front line of the grid. Vaaav for him.

Great fun watching the drivers stay on course without traction control this season. We'll have some amusing slips and slides, I can tell.
So... till the morrow...

(In the meanwhile, juvenile Ferrari fan behaviour has been noted in the immediate aftermath of the Qualifying what with pathetic text messages saying things like "McCheaters" etc etc. Haw haw.;)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Gentlemen, start your engines.

Ta da. The 2008 racing season has begun....

And these two guys look like they're going to be sitting on top of things again. Raikkonen came in fastest during the first practice session and Lewis Hamilton took the lead in the second. Lewis should try to do this year what he lost out on in the last race of 2007. (Wow, remember that?) Looks like it'll be another Ferrari-McLaren tussle for top spot this year. It's almost sad. I like Kimi a lot, but on principle I cannot support the Reds.
One had hopes of Renault doing something what with Alonso back in the team now, but their engine is just not impressive enough.
And speaking of impressive, let's talk about Force India, shall we? Giancarlo Fisi came in 9th after Practice Session 2. The car already looks much better than what Dr Mallya acquired from Spyker last year. Particularly liked how Mallya said that F1 was "not a hobby", it was "a very expensive business." He's going about it the right way.

And so... till Sunday morning, 1000hrs, Indian Standard Time. Go, McLaren!!!!

Pic Courtesy:

Thursday, March 13, 2008


While one was out shopping (innocently I might add), one's cousin Suhail decided to be funny. This picture ensued.
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Saturday, March 08, 2008

“Into each life some rain must fall, some days must be dark and dreary.”

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Well, I agree. Completely. So where is it?
There was a time not so long ago in Bangalore when one could write meaningful literature on one's windshield while driving around in the rain:(If you can't make it out, it says 'RAIN' on the windshield.)

Lots of folks complained even then, but give me a dull, rainy, cold day over hot, dusty, migraine-inducing brights any time. *Imagining misty, cool breeze on cheeks*
Summer has hit Bangalore with an ugly vengeance. Apart from greedy FMCG barons (who are sitting in their air-conditioned homes, offices or limousines) clapping their hands in glee watching deodorants, sun-block lotion and cold drinks fly off grocery shelves, everyone is agreed on how the day-time weather sucks. Look about you. Gaaaah. I need a shovel to pick the dirt off my face every time I get back from the outdoors. What's with the gale-force-winds? "All the more dust for you to chew, my dear." Was almost knocked off the Old Reliable bike a couple of times; only the heavy bulk of an over-sized helmet maintained the center of gravity and helped me stay the fort. Highly unsettling feeling. Plus it doesn't help that I have no control over my scarf when the wind puts on a show of strength.
Non-sequitir: The blasted wind doesn't meddle in your affairs only outside the threshold of your house. Oh, no. What about the associated phenomenon of doors slamming at awkward moments, say like when you've had an argument with a Parental. Little tiff concluded, you calm your nerves, walk away into the next room being all mature about it when WHAM! The strong wind does its devilry for the day and slams the door shut behind you as if you were a moody, sulky adolescent all over again. Leaving Parental seething in fury at 'the nerve!' and Self seething in fury at the Wind.
Rant ends.
Summer doesn't.

Scientifically speaking

Up until this day, the Saab was unclear on the difference between 'concave' and 'convex'. Yes, it's true. I used to confuse one with the other. I. Did. Not. Know. *blush*
Oh, sure I knew all about it in school when I was studying 'Light' and doing practicals in the Physics lab with lenses, but directly on giving the examination at the end of the year, it passed out of my mind like so many other academic gems that I wouldn't be needing in real life. Like manually calculating the square root of a number. (Hullo? Basic calculator, anyone?)
And now Boomsa has removed this highly troubling scientific question from the Saab's list of Doubts in Life with one simple, intelligent line in her poem:
"...And as I gazed at your convex dimple,
part eclipsed by an olive..."
-from Lost, by Boomsa

Ha ha! And there you have it. Problem solved.
I know what a dimple looks like. I now know to associate 'dimple' with 'convex'. And that's one thing less to worry about before I pass on from this life. Why couldn't they explain it like that back in school so I wouldn't have had to pass all these years praying no one asked me, "So, Saab. Is this convex or concave? Hmmm?" *wiggling eyebrows*

Thanks, Boo.
The associated photograph for this post has been hand-picked by me keeping in mind our awe and respect for Preity 'Skimmerish' Zinta. Who has convex dimples. As does everyone else. I'll always remember.
Celeb 1: "Erm. 'Skimmerish'?"
Pretty Stupid: "Yeah! You know. When two people have a ta-ta-ta!"

Postscript: Thanks to one Ashes, I am making a edit to this post stating that dimples are in fact 'concave', and poor Boo and I were both mistaken. 'Convex' would be pimples, 'concave' would be dimples. Remember that...

Sunday, March 02, 2008

One day at Graze

Accompanied the Insaneguptas for lunch one sunny Sunday. To salubriate [sic] Shro's happy birth anniversary a couple of days after the event. (Shro seen in pic on left with her papa, Pinaki.) In fact of point, the same Sunday following the all-nighter at Fireflies. It was tough waking up in Shro's Chamber of Death-Sleep only a few hours after we had crashed, esp after the previous night's revelries, but what the hey, we knew we had a good meal coming.
And what a meal!!! Va va vooom. For starters we went through the entire repertoire. Foie gras, oysters (with Asian sauce for me, with Bloody Marys for the rest of 'em), roast duck, and prawn tempura.
For the main course: lobster medallions for Shro's Gramma Deeds, grilled lobster for Pinaki, steaks for Aloka and Shro, and tiger prawns for me.

Here are the before-and-after pics of my lip-smacking tiger prawns, drizzled in olive oil, with cherry tomatoes and boiled asparagus and nice healthy greens for accompaniment.
Presented like so (Please note bottom of very clever two-in-one decanter for olive oil and vinegar above the plate):
Fifteen satisfying minutes later... BURP.
Must make mention of very impressive ginger and watermelon sorbet that we were served between the starters and main course. Fabulous. And I don't even like ginger.

The desserts... Rowr! Dark chocolate assiette, raspberry somesuch, crème brûlée, and I swear to God I don't remember what mine was except I loved it. It was a super fresh ice-cream accompanying a pudding thing with a berry underbelly. Here, have a look-see.Vaav. Whatte presentation.

Absolutely loved the polite, charming staff who served us during our meal. Granted there was hardly anyone else in the restaurant (what's with that?), but unlike the snooty and inefficient service one gets at the neighbouring Café Mozaic, this was lovely. The waiter serving us our drinks (fresh and refreshing fruity juices for Deeds and I, Sula wine for the rest of the lot) must have overheard us toasting Shro on her Happy Birthday. Quietly and without grinning meaningfully or otherwise making an ass of himself, he went backstage and started turning the wheels that work within the wheels. Superbly timed to mark the end of our dessert round, the staff nonchalantly wheeled in a rose-petalled trolley with a gorgeous chocolate cake and presented it to Shro with compliments from Graze. Awww... While we oohed and aaahed and cut the cake and stood around in a group looking busy, they took a pic and instantly framed and handed it over to us. Tears in our eyes and all that. So sweet.

So, in a word, if you have lots of money left over at the end of a week (or a year, if you earn like I do), head to Graze. Am very glad it won the 'Best European Restaurant' in Bangalore according to the Times Food Guide. Yes, it's steep. But it's also very worth it. Once a year.....