Monday, 17 November 2008

An American Crime

I have a soft corner for Ellen Page's movies. That's one of the reasons why I picked this film to watch.

Knowing that it is based on a true life story will definitely make you want to read about it before/after you have watched the film. And even if the film (which shows just a fraction of what really happened) does not manage to disturb you, the complete true story most certainly will.
Briefly, it is about a teenager, Sylvia Likens, who was tortured by her guardian and a number of neighborhood kids.

The thought that the victim let the torture happen to her, completely depresses me. She was probably helpless towards the end and could not fight back, but how could she ignore/accept the initial abuse and injustice? And how could the neighborhood kids contribute to such atrocities? And why did the adult-neighbors turn a deaf ear to her cries? There are so many how's and why's that people have brought up time and again concerning this episode, and I am probably just re-iterating them :(

Its just too depressing to think how much kids rely on their parents'/guardians' views, and how that fact is sometimes exploited for carrying out child abuse :(
How can knowledge about basic human rights be kept secret from anyone?

P.S. It took a couple of episodes of Friends for me to get over the depression caused by this movie, but I suppose I will never forget the story.

Friday, 17 October 2008


Nothing against the snazzy iPhone's and iTouch'es and iWhatNot's, but the iHolders seem to really show off in front of the iBeholders!!!

P.S.:Yet, iLove iPod when iGym :)

Monday, 13 October 2008

Why oh why.. I find it so difficult to be regular with gym?
How is it easier to travel far and wide in search of food, and not be able to go even half the distance to the gym??? (the gym is way closer to my desk than the cafeteria)
How is it acceptable to the work-loaded mind to wait for as long as it takes for the snacks to arrive, but an unacceptable waste of time to change into gym clothes???
And why are snack conversations usually - "Oh, this is soo oily!!! ... chomp chomp ...., we should strictly forbid the chef from making this kind of food... chomp chomp ... second helping ..."

Friday, 26 September 2008

A talk by Siddharth Basu

The first time I got a mail about his talk (in Google), I could not recollect what this man (who has hosted several quiz shows including Mastermind) looked like. Had to google for his picture.
He looked much older than he does in the picture though.

It was an entertaining talk, started slow - with how he entered the TV industry with quizzing (which people would often pronounce as kissing it seems). He spoke about Mastermind, and how it amazed him how much people knew. And then KBC, and how it amazed him how little people knew.
He spoke about how they arrived at the 1 crore figure for the prize money for KBC(fear of competing shows), when the original idea was to keep it as low as 1 lakh!! (which at that time was huge!). He spoke about how they managed to convince Amitabh Bachan to host it, and about the many factors that contributed to the show's success. Surprisingly (to me), the key factor he said was not Amitabh Bachan, or the human element of 'anybody can play and win', or even the money! It was the drama aspect - the fact that a wrong answer would mean you are out of the game (unlike Mastermind where you could still move on after a wrong answer). It was about having to make a decision and putting something at stake for it!

There were a lot of other interesting things he spoke about (TRP ratings, what kind of serials click in the Indian market, how News is now the biggest 'reality show' on TV), but the one thing that really got my attention was what he pointed out about women characters on the small screen. A successful show (in the fiction category of TV shows), he pointed out, necessarily needs a woman protagonist, and a regressive one at that. The audience needs someone who is averagely attractive looking (interesting term), not too ambitious, not too smart. The reason, he said, is that normal women (who are a vast majority of the viewers), feel insecure by seeing someone too different, and way better than them. What was shocking was that he was not talking just about the Indian TV scene. This applied to America, and most other countries. There are very few shows with ambitious women that have done well (Jassi he says is an exception, but there the woman was supposedly too ugly so it was ok).

I am not sure how to react to this statistic. It is a shame that so many women feel this way. Jealousy is one thing in real life, but imagine being jealous of tv-characters!!!

Anyhow, I came out of the talk (which obviously ended with a short quiz) quite impressed with how much the TV industry evolved - from Doordarshan to a zillion channels to choose from :) (and a zillion channels for your husband to browse and prevent you from watching you fav serial)

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Surprise surprise!

Who doesn't like surprises? They keep you occupied, and happy (well, assuming the surprises are pleasant).
But it is really sad to see how Indian media these days tries to keep the audience surprised, and hooked! Be it Aarushi murder case where the media happily penned down a racy story full of twists to keep junta enthralled (at the expense of the family of the bereaved), or LHC and world coming to an end episode.
I remember hating to read newspaper or watching news as a kid, because it was too boring to hold my attention. But converting news to entertainment is just unacceptable. I know its business, and they need the TRPs, but is it right to exploit the fine line between fact and plausible fiction to achieve those goals?
Surprisingly, all this mirch-masala-giri is working for the media - casual hangout places that once considered it cool to play Channel V and MTV only, now play Aaj Tak!!
I will not be surprised if the next-gen kids prefer watching news over listening to bed time stories... sigh!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Joote lo!

After the wedding, I could finally identify my true friends (those who helped steal the joote, and did NOT participate in lifting up Jatin at the time of garland-exchange) from the daga-baaz ones (who I do not wish to name :P).
What I cannot understand is why people might want to participate in hiding the joote. While there is a strong incentive for the party stealing the joote, there is no incentive for the party hiding them - apart from saving the guys money.
IMO, the incentives should be better balanced. Else my choice, in a wedding where I know both the guy and the girl, is quite obviously to help the girl in stealing the joote :)

Max New York Life Insurance - Karo Zyaada ka Iraada

Saturday, 6 September 2008

6 months!

Of increased smiles,
and reduced phone bills,
Of losing track of time,
and gaining weight,
Of so much more,
yet so little that can be expressed...

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Chappar faad ke!

Texas hold'em poker is the most addictive game I have played in the recent past. Convince yourself that it isn't a brain-dead game like the other casino games, and get hitched!

The kick is not in winning money (after all who is playing with real money here? I am just using Facebook with its daily bonus of 1000 chips :D), its about winning with a nice hand, or winning a HUGE pot on a bluff.

Though I have not been lucky enough to win the bluff-way, the nice hand finally came yesterday - 4 of a kind, aces that too! It made my day, miraculously increased my productivity at work, and has restored my faith in the benevolence of facebook's poker app :)

Thursday, 7 August 2008

I cant believe things like this happen...

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Driving Miss Daisy

From the name I had no clue what the movie was about, let alone what it would be like.
But it was surprisingly different, and refreshing.
The movie touches upon several serious topics - racialism, old age, friendship, mother-son relationship; and yet it makes you smile, and even laugh occasionally :)
Jessica Tandy got the 'Best Actress' Academy award for the movie, and is the oldest ever to win the same, and so deserving! Despite her irritable role in the film, she is an utter delight to watch.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Interesting pic...

... especially since the only people I see sporting ties these days are dulha's at their wedding receptions :)

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Dream come true

Maii se, meena se na saaqi se..
Maii se meena se na saaqi se..
Na paimaane se...
Dil behelta hai mera - dorm me so jaane se!!

Google Bangalore has just broken all records for being the best place to work (for me that is) - thanks to the Dorm :)
It makes afternoon naps, that used to be an indispensable part of my life (and probably a majority of Punekars' lives), a possibility now :D

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Iron Man

Was it just me, or did anyone else notice the complete discord between Hindi dialogues (delivered by the Afghan villains) and their English translations??
I shudder to think the same probably applies to translation from other languages to English in other films!
And to think I used to rely on films with subtitles for polishing my foreign languages..

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

The Billy letters

This is an interesting read.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Is IPL the new saas-bahu??

After becoming 'domesticated', I had sworn not to get addicted to saas-bahu and the likes. But I must admit that I look forward to going back home, switching on the TV and tuning into IPL. It is in front of the TV set that I sit and chop vegetables like a pro (without looking at the knife at times!!). I may not pay attention to the match throughout, but any sudden change of decibel level always catches my attention.. And ofcourse, at the end of the match, I am left with utter curiosity about the outcome of the next one!
And much like saas-bahu, there are too many twists (6es, boundaries and wickets), too many 'ubharte sitare', too many good looking women(cheer leaders ofcourse), some cute guys thrown in(I dont know if some of the cute commentators they have, have any idea about the game?), too many ads, and too little content!
None the less, I shall be watching it till the end ;)

Forgive and forget

For long this has been one of my favourite debate topics..
I have always considered 'forgive and forget' to be an atomic transaction - that without forgiving, there is no forgetting, and more so vice versa!
So when people say - forgive, but never forget, it seems really difficult for me to do.
If you don't forget about what happened, your future actions will always be conditioned by experiences of the past. Those incidents will always be at the back of your mind, and even a slightest misunderstanding in the future will bring those memories flooding back to your agitated mind.
Well then how do you make sure you have really forgotten all the bitterness, and that you truly have forgiven? For me talking it out with the concerned person has always worked.
There was a phase a couple of years back, when I thought I had completely lost the ability to talk it out, forgive and forget. That is when I realized the importance of talking things out at the right time and of never going to bed angry with your near and dear ones!
I also learnt how difficult it is to take the first step in such cases, and how difficult it is to meet people who you can take the first step for, with no hesitation at all!
Why does it get more and more difficult with age? I dont recollect having any such issues as a kid. Is it ego? Or is it fear of being hurt again? Or maybe a combination of the two?
But the fact remains that with some people you are always a kid, and with them such issues never come up. Maybe you can strike such a chord with fewer and fewer new people in your life, but with the old ones, the relation is as fresh and tension-free as a new one :) These are people with whom the condescending step of 'forgiving' never comes up.. And those relationships make up for all your other relationship blunders, and make you love the beauty of having close friends!

Thursday, 27 March 2008


Spent only a couple of weeks in Bangalore, and I know why it has attracted so many people from all over the country - the climate simply rules! Well, at least for a lazy, get-up-at-noon, go-4-a-walk-anytime-of-the-day person like me, it does :D
Of course, I still believe that half the charm of a place is because of the people in it.. All the more reason I love Bangalore :)

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Just wondering..

.. if Jhoom Barabar Jhoom hinted at Abhishek Bachan's dyslexia before TZP?

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Vitamin Water

One of my favourite beverages in the MV office is Vitamin Water(by Glaceau), something I can drink several bottles of at a time.
Its only today that the fine print on the bottle caught my attention:

"Vitamin Water - revive, fruit punch (b + potassium)
even though this product contains potassium, like in bananas, to get you back in the swing of things, it should not be given to monkeys, shoved in anybody's exhaust pipe or be used in ice cream sundaes. any attempts to perform such acts will result in being called, um, bananas."

And all this is written right next to the serious 'nutrition facts' table. I love the way glaceau adds a dash of humour to everything.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Art of Conversation

"The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment." - Dorothy Nevill

Friday, 18 January 2008

Suave narcissist

Someone who says "Honey, I love everything about you! Especially your choice"

Friday, 11 January 2008

For the people

Now that we have the car, how about the fuel and the roads?

Thursday, 10 January 2008

If there were to be a cuteness award..

A few scenes in TZP win full points for cuteness -
- When Ishaan's father tells him he(the father) is going away , Ishaan apologizes profusely, Ishaan's mom says - 'Kyu bache ko sata rahe ho? Ishaan, papa kaam se jaa rahe hai, tumhari wajah se nahi', and then Ishaan gives his father THAT look.. the look is priceless.
- In the song 'Jame Raho' - the whole of Ishaan's sequence - right from the 'angdaai' to the jump in the puddle, is hilarious.. The only 'angdaai' that rivals Ishaans' is Ashs' in Aur Pyaar Ho gaya, which got rave reviews from the likes of Subhash Ghai, who decided to cast Ash in Taal, only because of that angdaai!! So Darsheel is mostly going to be approached by the master film maker soon..
- The song Maa. Its the only point in the movie that truly got me teary eyed. Really touchy number. Very sweet lyrics..

I dont know about the Best Actor's award, I sure wish the lad got a cuteness award :D

Quizzes anyone?

Reading the newspaper is something I am not used to. Fact is that my attention span is short.. So short that I invariably get bored reading as much as a paragraph in the newspaper..
Due to this reason, I have found it impossible to muster the courage to participate in any quizzes! (What if someone discovers how poor my GK is :O)

But thanks to the nagging 'invitations' feature of Facebook, I have finally started quizzing!
At the end of a grueling quiz, Facebook gets playful - 'Invite at least 20 friends to view results'. What if I didn't have 20 other friends and wanted to take the quiz???
But well then, Facebook would send me invitations for all sorts of 'Friend finder' applications wouldn't it?

Root of stress?

Interesting read about the origins of the word stress.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Guncha koi..

I play my iPod in the shuffle mode.. And this old favourite plays -

Guncha koi, mere naam kar diya,
saaqi ne fir se mera jaam bhar diya!


Hosh bekhabar se hue,
unke bagair..
Wo jo humse keh na sake,
dil ne keh diya


P.S. : I love the way he rolls the 'ga' in guncha..