Thursday, April 27, 2006

Indian Idol or Idle ?

I'm sure most of us watched the Indian Idol-2 finale episode last Saturday..plenty of drama..glitter..suspense. All the gossip and hullabaloo regarding Sandeep Acharya and Karunya, things like - who's the better singer, who's looks better, blah blah finally came to an end.(thankfully). And in the end, the usual melodrama over how the actual better singer (Karunya was the crowd favourite to win it i hear) didn't win it, was enough to set the runour mills buzzing full steam. Just like last year when Abhijeet Sawant upstaged Amit Sana to win the coveted prize! Anyway, the Indian public just love and adore all of them..and can't seem to get enough of them!

Sony Entertainment Television's Musical Talent Hunt is indeed a HIT for the second year running!

Or is it?

What HIT me the most while watching the finale was not the glitz or glamour of the show.
It was the talent on display.
Or rather, the lack of talent on display....

I mean..I might be wrong because I've hardly watched 2 or 3 episodes, but the finalists didn't blow my mind away or anything. In fact, they didn't even come close to it. And when the "oh-so-over-hyped" Abhijeet Sawant started singin Rang de Basanti, I changed the channel after forcing myself to listen to him for two minutes. It was such a poor rendition, I was left wondering how they allowed this guy to win last year! Was it his dazzling smile that did them in? "them" being the Indian judgin-threesome: Sonu Nigam, Farah Khan and Anu Malik, along with the millions of public voters. Okay...Mohabbatein Lutaaunga was good, his saving grace if I may say so, but is he good enough? Earlier winners of talent-hunts like Viva, Aasma are also pitiful, seriously!

Comparing Sony's II-2 to Fox's original American Idol 5 (airing in India on Star World), OMG -seems like there's a huge divide in talent between the two countries!
Just watching the performances of AI-5's Top 7 a week ago on TV left me amazed at their talent! They all sounded so good, and did amazing renditions..for example, songs like Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, Creed's Higher, Beyonce's Work it Out were performed so well, left you wondering why they weren't belting out albums in the mainstream music industry much earlier! Previous AI winners like Fantasia, Kelly Clarkson are already selling worldwide. Look at Kelly - Two Grammys don't lie!!


Ok..leave the contestants for now..looking at the two shows as a whole, almost everything is better in the original! Why do we Indians always go in for cheap remakes? Just like KBC a.k.a "Who wants to be a Millionaire?" indianised. But that wasn't so bad (atleast for Star's cash registers) mainly thanks to Bachchan saab! Now take a look at the judges panel. The American judge triad of Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul beats the hell outta the Indian ones!
Their personalities - ranging from Paula's 'caring pity', Randy's 'verbal-showboating' to Simon's 'suicide-inducing sarcasm' are major contibutors to what makes the show so successful. For example, Simon's sardonic remarks like "Pathetic!" or "Are you drunk?" accompanied by his eyeball-rolling smirk are hilarious! Do you get all that in our desi version?
Nopes! All you get is our typical bollywood masala, flashy dance sequences, people like Isha Koppokar and Alisha Chinai getting roped in to gain more viewer ratings. This was a talent-hunt if you forgot, not a filmy award show!


What's happenin here? Why aren't we seeing good Indian talent on show? Is it a case of our country not having any? Call me a proud Indian but I do not think that is the case! Is it cos the talent hunt show organisers are not doing enough "hunting"? tell me!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Rage n Munich

I returned from Tvm yesterday...spent Easter at home.Went for a Rock Show at Nishagandhi with my bro, Beny, Jerrin etc...had a pretty good time...
The Rock Show (held by SCT students) pretty much sucked and only one band actually stood out from the rest.. The band was 'Rage' and they played the usual Metallica numbers, including a superb rendition of 'One'.The other two bands, local 'Rubberband' and 'Afterdeath', a band from Hyderabad, didn't impress at all.



Out of the 3 movies I saw, 'Chintamani Kolacase' sucked bigtime!!! 'Taxi Driver', a 1976 Martin Scorcese flick starring Robert de Niro and Jodie Foster was pretty good. But the best was 'Munich', Spielberg's Oscar nominated movie. It's all about what happens after 11 Israeli athletes were murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Briliant i must say, and me felt like playing those college-time fav action games like Call of Duty, Medal of Honour once again. Eric Bana was simply great too.

Here's an review extract from IMDB about the movie. Once again, if you ain't seen it yet, go watch it !!! And get ready for some pretty gory Saving Private Ryan-style violence!!

Gandhi said, "An eye for an eye
only makes the whole world blind." What distinguishes justice from vengeance? This echoes throughout Steven Spielberg's "Munich". "Munich" is powerful and perhaps Spielberg's most compelling and thought provoking work. He weaves a tapestry of political and social threads focusing on terrorism and the cost of violence. "Munich" is truly amazing in balancing linear storytelling and horrific acts of violence, demonstrating the impact of the aftermath. Spielberg's "Munich" seen through the eyes of Eric Bana's Avner is a powerful allegory that even in the most just and noble fights against terror we eventually become that which we despise. "Munich" really serves as a reminder. Mossad team leader Avner played by Eric Bana is absolutely riveting as the man who begins this righteous cause only to find that the cost is his soul. Anver asks, "When does it ever end?

Nothing about "Munich" is easy, though it is simple. Eric Bana emerges as the noble hero battling to salvage his own humanity and his very soul. "When does it ever end?" Perhaps even in the current context there is no real answer—maybe what Spielberg is getting at. It is a reminder of our humanity, that even the most righteous cause may cost our souls. "Munich" is truly a powerful movie worth seeing.

50 days to go...

"The object is round in shape. It lasts for 90 minutes. Everything else is just theory..."
[Quoted from 'Run Lola Run']

The Countdown has begun.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A visit to the Harbour...

"As the world shrinks, so our palate grows.
As our lives become more complex, we crave simplicity.
We are living through an eating revolution.
Welcome to the Harbour Market."

Well this weekend, My friends and I ( happy??? - to someone who's bent on showing me that "I" doesn't come ) decided to go and check out Mohanlal's new restuarant, named "Harbour Market", here in Bangalore. Actually, it's his first restuarant in India..the previous ones being in Dubai etc.

After spending like an hour trying to locate the place...which according to the ad, was opp. Malige Hospital, Crescent Road, near Racecourse road..blah..blah, we finally found out it was in the lobby of a hotel called the 37th Crescent.

Well, it was a seafood speciality place..according to what we'd heard.
What we hadn't heard was that it was also a super-expensive seafood speciality place.

Anyway on entering, the first thing that blows your mind away is the ambience..ultra-posh styling, lights, everything! All the waiters were dressed in actual sailor attire. Although I didn't recognize who the head waiter was, my friends did. No it was not Mohanlal himself...It was another Mallu actor called Ponnu. Very fake english accent but very courteous as well. He was taking the orders on his PDA as well-well!!

Well, one look at the Menu, and my stomach (already grumbling not havin eaten anything the whole morning) turned into a sailor-knot. Well, you guessed right - It was the bloody prices!!

To give you an idea,
Idly 65 - Rs.150
Vada - Rs.150
One freakin kerala paratha!!! - Rs.40
All other dishes - Rs.250 min -> Rs.350
Other delicacies like crab, squid etc - Rs.800 and above!!!

Well, the four of us felt like fish out of water! Although the idea of just drinking the water and walkin out did cross our minds, we decided to stay and explore the "Harbour" further.
And no..we didn't just order a kerala paratha and share it, we actually did order good stuff, all-be-it with a glum face knowing that we were burning a hole in our pockets.
The place was soooo "over-the-moon" expensive that my friend Nithanand commented, "Ippam mansallayee Mohanlal orru velliya actor aayee poyannu." lol.

You might imagine that such a costly place would be sparsely populated, but oh no! it was full...hardly an empty seat...all richie-rich families, achayanmaaru...and the odd northie couple too.Well, we did get time to have a nice long chat among ourselves after ordering,because it took like 1 hour to get our food! Grr..the wait was so irritating we started wondering if it was Mohanlal himself who was sweating it out in the kitchen trying to prepare lunch for us!!

But the good part was...when the food finally was worth the wait. Mmmm...Finger-licking to be exact..and that is exactly what we did, cos we knew each lick was worth like 5Rs!! (perverts can stop reading right here.) We blew a lot of money, but it's a pretty decent place to go like once in a blue moon, or maybe more often if you win a lottery or something.

Well, that was Saturday.
Not much to say about Sunday. Maybe only 3 lines...

ManUtd-Arsenal match.
We won 2-0.
el partido ilimitado comenzó...

Thursday, April 06, 2006

A Friggin Paranormal Dream Trilogy!!!

*PART III: Thursday-Mar 30th-9:33am

The End....
Green skieeesss...
white clouds....pigs on the flyyyyyy...
It was a beautiful summer day.
I was feeling great as I settled into my Featherlite chair..expecting a pretty dull and no-work morning...smiling idiotically as I do when I know my lazy-persona is gonna be fully fed."beep--beep" went my mobile..indicating that I'd received an sms. Still smiling, I picked it up, unlocked it, and started reading the sms, which was from my friend, let's call her De* . [Names are hidden for the sake of privacy].
Well, the sms started off sayin..."hey, U won't believe it Stan, I saw you in my dreams last night..and...".
The smile vanished from my face.
Then, next thing i know, the walls were dimming...and the lights were closing in on me...or..maybe vice versa. Anywayz, I was too freaked out to figure it out. I was like...No way!!! Not you too!!! Aaaahhhhh....

Ok..Let me rewind the time by exactly 10days and 12hours.

PART I: Saturday-Mar18th-9:33pm

The Beginning...
I was at my cousin's place, enjoying a family party with over 20 cousins. "buzzzzzzzzzzz...." went my silent-mode mobile, indicating a call..I picked it up and it was my friend Sha* from Chennai...she (not the first one as i was soon about to find out) tells me about the crazy dream she had about me the previous night. It seemed I made a quick trip to Chennai, and for whatever reason, i quickly fled from there within a day and so on. Hmmm...i was like..hey kool yaar...(It feels good right when a nice friend, esp a gal, sees you in her dreams right? hehe...). Anyway I didn't give it much thought after that. Until....

PART II: Wednesday-Mar22nd-1:33pm

Four days later....
Me and my Mafia mates were just getting ready to play....
and then another good friend n colleague of mine, Amo* , starts off saying.."Hey Staney Boy!!... Guess what...I saw you yesterday night in my sleep!!"...(gulp) Sheeeeezzz...this was getting weird..and it was a very weird dream as well...she went on to say that she and her friends came over to my place (in her dream let me remind you), and first of all, I was all green in colour!! ...and even worse..I had a pet along with me...a pet OCTOPUS!! The dream was soo damn crazy that it totally psyched her out too! Anyway i was like...hmmm..weird consequence dude....2 gals dreamt about 4 days...
It was just another 7 days when i got De's sms.

* Continued from PART III: Thursday-Mar30th-9:33am

So now you can understand why I got all freaked out right??
Anyway...continuing with the sms...It seemed in her dream, she saw me buying a big boat..and she was like, "Now what the hell would you do with a big boat like that in B'lore?!". I don't know...and that's the least of my unanswered questions! 3 dreams - 3 gals - 10 days! WTF is this???

I have to admit..I don't like such weird "co-incidential" events...
It's slightly freaking me out....but thankfully, there hasn't been more cases reported after that... :-) just for cheap thrills..let me try connecting the 3 dreams... Like what?...ok..first I go to Chennai...and there I buy a big boat!!...and then I go fishing...and maybe I catch an Octopus,,,but then how did I turn green?..cos my new pet Octopus puked all over me? lol...:) I dunno...but it makes no sense to me either!!

I am no Sigmund Freud, and am in no way decently knowledgeful on the subject of "Interpretation of Dreams", though more interested mortals can look here.

What I've been more interested in lately, is making sure my friends, and that too, especially girls, haven't been dreaming about me. (However incredibly ridiculous that sounds!)