December 08, 2011

On Avoiding the Kolaveri

Yo boys, gather around.

Every now and then you wail about how all girls are horrible to you.

Now I draw your attention to 2 facts:
1. All girls cannot be horrible, so maybe you are chasing the wrong ones?
2. Your lack of guile (and very often, stupidity) in these matters often lets you down.

Alright. That's the disclaimer.

Now let me say that I do agree with you. Most girls are horrible. In fact, the only time they're not horrible to you is when you're way out of their league. In which case they're being wonderfully nice to you, but you're just not noticing.

Why are most girls horrible to you? Well, research shows that at every stage in your friendship / courtship / anything-in-the-middle, there's ample opportunity for girls to be horrible. Ah, why keep saying horrible. Bitches be crazy. It's true.
There are various categories of girls, but most of them have the ability to be bitches at the drop of a hat.

The Girl Who Won't Put a Label On It

Everyone enjoys the "chase". However, if you've been in the chase for 6 months now and still have no idea where you stand, be assured, you're not the only one. And your chances of winning (if she ever admits to such a thing) depend on the quality of the competition, your unflinching regular phone calls, your unwavering commitment to her shopping and your periodic subtle hints on how you're so crazy about her.

Obviously, it takes an extremely well-organised, patient (not to mention, completely jobless) man to do this. Ergo, no one can do this.

Interaction with other girls:
She's a bitch to them. Which is okay, most of them can respond in kind. This doesn't stop them from envying her for the variety of men willing to be strung along.

The Victim/Martyr

These ladies are constantly being wronged. By friends, by family, by boyfriends, by househelp, by colleagues... Everyone's a cruel perpetrator of mental trauma.

So you're lucky, because the sympathy card is easiest to deal with. Combined with the average man's constant desire to help and solve, this could really work out.

Until, of course, you hurt her by talking to another woman. Then you're the cruel perpetrator. And don't you dare forget that, for the next year or so. (Even if you do, there will be enough bad press about you -to all your friends and hers- to keep the memories alive.)

Interaction with other girls:
She's a bitch to them. Just not to their faces. Which is okay, most of them can respond in kind.

The Hypocrite

She lurrrrrveeess kids! Show her a baby and she will use her histrionic abilities to convince you that she'd make an excellent mommy.

She lurves your parents! She lurves you! She thinks you're oh so smart! She laughs at all the right jokes. She has only nice things to say about your friends.

To those of you to whom this has never happened, it's okay. Missing out an a particular category of bitch is not a catastrophe. Even if she's hot.

If this has happened to you... you, my dear man, are very, very, very rich.

Interaction with other girls:
You know how putting on an act can be very tiring? Well, she compensates for the fakeness by being completely herself with other girls. She's a bitch to them. Which is okay, most of them can respond in kind.

The Kitty Party Enthusiast

Those of you who think kitty party means 40-something married aunties with kids - please wake up and listen carefully. Every stage of life has kitty parties. They just have more upmarket names.

The girls with graduations who are looking for jobs, but with very little enthusiasm? The girls whose daily schedule reads: Wake up, go to gym, lunch with the girls, online research for job, drinks with the girls, dinner with a boy? The girls who choose a postgrad that makes them better marriageable material? The girls who "take a year off" after finishing a degree for which they studied for a month?

They collect in groups. And gossip. They discuss fashion, and boys, and shoes, and boys, and jewellery, and boys. For all practical purposes, this is a kitty party. There may be no card games, and the ladies are a lot hotter than kitty party aunties, but this is a kitty party.

Oh, they're beautiful. They have nice faces and exemplary make-up skills. Good metabolism and amazing love for the gym. If they are also nice to you, this simply means that they are both a KPE and a Hypocrite (see above). And of course, that you're very rich.

If they're not nice to you, don't worry. More time on their hands = more time to think about you. Before you date them, this translates to better chances of dating them. Once you're dating them, this translates to better chances of her getting rid of you.

Interaction with other girls:
She's a bitch to them. But it's very subtle, so subtle, in fact, that even the best male will say we're being paranoid. But female bitchiness is a learned concept for men, and an intuitive skill for women. So, please, let's trust the women on this. Either way, it's okay, most of them can respond in kind.

The PR Girl

She makes a sandwich, and it's on Facebook. She studies a new language, and it's applause-worthy. She takes off to an unheard-of university to do a diploma in something that no one cares about, and it's cause for celebration. But the biggest achievement is this - she's not even hot.

Whoa, right? How does she do it?

Painstaking PR and a few similar ladies. She gets together with the besties, and suddenly your Facebook wall is filled with pictures, updates, stories of how hard she works, tales of how she sacrificed 2 hours of sleep, pictures of the coffee she made (which, I don't wanna brag, but it was so awesome in the first go!!!), deep philosophy on life and people, world peace, quotes from Chinese philosophers and her humble account of how she met a child today who changed her life forever.

This, my friend, is brainwashing in the information age. And you are the unsuspecting victim. While you are surrounded by women with careers, and education, and opinions, and less bullshit, and even women who might be hot - you regard the PR Girl as the complete woman. This is as much the victory of PR as of the girl.

Dating a PR Girl:

Pros: It's reasonably stable. Screw up, and there's always the chance that you can use some of her bullshit philosophy to justify why your screw-up was a good thing. Not much conversation is expected from you as long as you can nod intelligently.

Cons: Everything about you will become a part of the PR. And the negative PR when it ends will come as a complete shock to you for some reason.

Interaction with other girls:
They're bitches to her. Partly because they cannot stand the amount of attention she gets, and partly because they think she talks rubbish. Which is okay, she can respond in kind.

Aspirational Girl

She does you a favour by talking to you. She does you a favour by dating you. And you must return her favours by turning into whoever she wants you to be.

It's never put like this, of course. It's polite, sweet and cutthroat. You see those guys who walk around looking like they're constantly under threat? Well, they are. They're under threat of being given the boot, even if this is never stated.

Interaction with other girls:
She's a bitch to them. It's a cycle. She feels threatened by them, so she threatens you. You flail around a bit, do the best you can and hope for the best. But then, so do the other guys. And she will hear about them from her girl friends, and feel threatened again. Most of them respond in kind, not because they're Aspirational Girls (though AGs do tend to huddle together), but because... well, bitches be crazy.

Yes? Okay?

The FAQs.

Q. Where do I stand with her? Does she flirt with other boys to make me jealous?
A. Won't put a label on it. And no, that's not the primary reason - but it is a reason.

Q. She's a good friend of mine, but ever since I started seeing X, she's been behaving odd.
A. Won't put a label on it + Victim/Martyr.

Q. I'm dating her but she's constantly unhappy with me. I love her, I don't want to make her unhappy! What do I do? *wail*
A. Aspirational Girl. You cannot win. Put your foot down and risk being gotten rid of. Or keep trying. Premature balding awaits.

Q. She loves my mom but my mom hates her! What do I do now?
A. This happens when a Hypocrite meets a non-Hypocrite. Don't worry. Get married, then they'll both hate each other.

Q. I like talking to you because you're interesting. My girlfriend bores me.
A. She's probably quite normal. And you're saying this because you're one of the more complicated categories of men. That post will come later. It's enough to say, though, that for once she is actually a victim.

Q. Before we started dating, she was so nice to me! Now she's just... I don't know.
A. If she's free a lot, refer KPE. If not, Victim/Martyr.

Q. She makes me want to be a better person!
A. About half of you are dealing with a very gifted Aspirational Girl who just wants you to be a different person.

December 05, 2011

The proliferation of idiots will be the downfall of mankind.

October 19, 2011

Are You A Super Cheerful Social Being?

Are you happiest when at a table of 20? Do you look forward to occasions with extended family? Is talking to people what makes you happiest?

Good for you.

But. Are you also one of those people who think that being quiet is a disease? Or, literally, a case of not being at ease?

If so, I sincerely (really, truly, desperately) hope you will read this:

6 Misleading Assumptions You Make About Quiet People

I'm hoping this article will put an end to the people who jolt me out of half-slumber at dinner tables, saying "Arre Mudra! You're toh not saying anything only!"

Because... here's what. If you were going full-steam on a conversation with everyone, and I suddenly interrupted it to say, "Dude! You're not shutting up only!", that'd be met with a stunned look. How rude that girl is, no? 

And if you do understand that, understand this - when you do it to me, it's just as rude.

Have a nice day.

October 05, 2011

Thought for the day

Being a man means never being too old to be irresponsible.

(I thought of this. Really! I surprise myself... about once a year.)

October 04, 2011

...

For most of us, the world feels like a huge place where you move in a daze from point to point - with voices (clear voices or vague voices, inside your head or outside, in front of you or in shadows) shouting at you to "do something useful!" when all you want to do is the exact opposite.

That's what I hope, at least.

September 19, 2011

We're All Stars on Facebook

There's a lot more space for mediocrity online.

You don't have to be a writer to blog. You don't have to be a political analyst or standup comedian or scriptwriter to tweet. You don't have to be a photographer to have a flickr account. And you don't need to be... well, anything, to be on Facebook.

Which is all very well, since it serves as much-needed *practice* (for want of a better word). If I blogged every week, my writing would improve in a few months. The more pictures I clicked, the more I'd see what could change. Until - and this is a big "until" - my mediocrity starts being encouraged.

I have no incentive to write better if comments are only going to say "LOL!". If my instinct at a failure is to feel bad and give myself a tough time about it happening - it doesn't really help to say so online, because all it means is that 7 people will comment telling me "Don't be silly, you're amazing." The failure proves the exact opposite, in fact, so what are they talking about? While I don't deny I'm amazing in general (hah! :P) it's obvious that hardly any thought that went into a comment that makes me feel better about myself - for no bleddy reason.

Similarly, I have no incentive to work harder, as long as I can log into Facebook, bitch about my life and the state of my studies and have 6 other people tell me how it's completely okay to be frustrated, and how I need a break.

Because, really, I don't. No one does. Everyone has enough breaks, enough help, enough advice and enough politeness. What none of us seem to have, is enough introspection.

All around you, all over cyberspace, and especially all over Facebook, you will see mediocrity. Mediocre pictures, mediocre art, mediocre talent, mediocre lives. I'm not being condescending. This is mediocrity that could have been something else, if it wasn't crowd surfing on more mediocrity. And why does it find support? Why do you tell someone something is "awesome"? Is it...
1. Because you think so?
2. Because you know they want to hear it?
3. Or because it makes you feel better that someone comparable to you is *awesome*, hence, by extension, you might be too?

We're all part of it. Ranting online makes me immensely happy. Not just as a release of frustration. But as a substitute for action. Having a consistent (albeit largely fake) feel-good atmosphere strips you of the desire to change something, to do something differently, to take control, to move forward.

This post won't really end with one of those grand promises. Because I really don't know how much can change. I'm sure this will garner enough comments telling me how the world is a more empathy-filled place, support systems, etc etc. Maybe. Maybe not. I'd just rather have genuine criticism that makes me stop and reconsider, than hypocrisy-fuelled inertia. Good night, peoples.

PS. If your comment here is positive, that's fine. But if it's "Lol!" or "Wow!", it'd be irony of the worst kind. :)

September 05, 2011

"It does not take courage to survive"

...or so says the principal of a college, to a woman who has dealt with and bounced back from an acid attack, and wants to push for awareness and inclusiveness towards burn victims.

In addition, interacting with a victim of an acid attack is a bad idea for college students because it will *put the girls off the idea of marriage.*

Where do I start? I'd rather not. Just read the article.

June 05, 2011

Yes, You Will Get Older

And your friends will stop dancing the drunk-baraati dance.

You'll stop eating dosas at the stalls, and have reunions at fine dining restaurants.

Some of them will inexplicably take to jazz. Or feng shui. Or marrying.

Enjoying Govinda movies will be looked down upon. Or remembered indulgently with a "We were so silly then!" Some people will start throwing names of Japanese filmmakers around.

Cutting chai will be replaced by green tea. Chocolate (any chocolate), by hand-made chocolates, or Swiss chocolates, or truffles (what in God's name are they?), or -even worse- cream-filled chocolates where they bung in a pile of yellow cream with a 0.01 mm layer of chocolate to cover it.

Birthdays will become about painful (and painstaking) reciprocity, instead of show-up-and-rob-of-available-money.

Some will compare husbands and wives. Many will compare money.

Most of you will do all those things to your kids, which you told each other you'd never do when you have kids.

Some will unabashedly kiss posteriors. The rest will do it with some embarrassment.

Superiority and inferiority complexes will happen. Commonalities will fade.

I'm sorry, there isn't a last redeeming line of hope. Or maybe there is. Yes?

May 23, 2011

And Gentlemen,

(The much-awaited follow-up to this post.)

Instead of posing rhetorical questions here, let me list it down, plain and simple, in point form, so that the meanest of intelligences can comprehend. What's that? Oh yes, I mean the women. Obviously. Naturally. I mean, what else could I possibly mean?!

#5 - Being sure ("Abbey, 100%! 200%! Bol raha hoon yaar!") all the time

So, someone told you that you must come across as assertive and confident. So far, so good.

Unfortunately those people didn't realise that they've created:
- Boys who step out of exam halls and:
> Compare with each other - thereby getting into fights. (Abbey saale, pagal ho gaya hai kya, yeh toh 155 nahi, 206 tha! Tu toh gaya!)
> Compare with girls - thereby causing girls to think they are failing. (C? Are you mad? That's D! And the next one? No it isn't H2SO4, it's H2S! I'm 100% sure re, I saw it this morning only!)
- Men who won't ask for guidance at work because they've got it all figured out - until the day the kicking of the posterior begins. After this, to their credit, they catch on quickly.
- Guys who make decisions on impulses. Why? Because being indecisive is not macho. Sure, it's okay to make the wrong decision, at least you made it quickly. Yay!

#4 - Telling me how much you work

So, someone told you that hard work is important. And a thing to be appreciated.

Unfortunately those people didn't realise that they've created:
- Guys who begin their internships, and crib.
- Guys who work 15 days out of 30, and crib.
- Guys who crib about having to work 9-hour days... in a 2-month internship.

And the worst of all - guys who seem to think that the rest of the world is on vacation, and they're the only ones working. Really, Einstein?

Don't get me wrong. Those of you who work at regular jobs, should crib. I mean, we all hate that, don't we? But to those of you who have just begun working - pick your audience. We're not in the 1950's any more, when you could tell a woman about how much you work in office and she'd be instantly impressed and want to make you a hot meal. Everyone works. It's kind of necessary, since we all want BMWs. So use your "thak gaya yaar" line on the liberal arts graduate who hasn't ever interned. It might just work.

Everywhere else - I think not. (Especially with your wife, if she works. All you'll get is a list of all the things she does around the house in addition to working, and maybe she'll eat your half of the takeout paneer tikka pizza simply to spite you. Yes, I know what you're thinking, having a little money of their own corrupts everyone.)

#3 - Saying "Sachin is God" all the time

Yes, cricket is an important part of Indian culture.

But every time you do that, I imagine about a thousand zombies rising from a graveyard, in perfect sync, and walking towards Wankhede chanting "Sachin is God. Sachin is God. Sachin is God." in unison. Eventually you (the zombies) are just standing around, looking silly, still saying "Sachin is God."

So, erm, don't do that? Find a new line. Or something.

#2 - Clicking on anything that has certain keywords in it

I won't go into the details of the keywords. This is a family blog. Let it suffice to say that in spite of the raging Facebook spam all around you, and the various things you could learn from an experience, you seem to be clicking on the same links again and again. It's as if your memory of previous scams is erased the minute you see the golden words. My home page is littered with the tales of your follies, and all it tells me is that your interests -your business alone until now- are now public information.

Do something. Stick a post-it over your monitor. Or, well, simply find restaurants that actually serve your dishes, instead of looking for baked beans in a can of worms.

#1 - Bullshitting people who aren't your boss

See, everyone knows when you're bullshitting. And everyone deals with it in their own way. Your boss usually has 3 options - he could call you a bullshitter, he could say nothing but make a mental note for the next performance appraisal, or he could see a little bit of himself in you.

Everyone else, unfortunately, is faced by a singular predicament - we can't say you're bullshitting, because that's rude. But when we're forced to listen, we're troubled by an overwhelming urge to:
- Point and laugh
- Punch you
- Both
(There's also the option of do-nothing-and-laugh-about-it-with-friends-later, but that's irrelevant here, because everyone's doing that all the time anyway. Trust me.)

So, coming back. When you know nothing about a subject, hacking together an article from Wall Street Journal, and chapter 1 of macro-economics doesn't make you the expert. Psychology isn't what you see on Oprah combined with the articles you read in Bombay Times. Photography isn't just what you do with your camera. (Yes, even if it's an SLR.)

The world is a complex, complex place. When you try to explain it, to people who understand it a little better than you, in gross simplifications, that are based on someone else's thoughts... you're bullshitting. Don't do it. No one's being fooled. I'm sorry, but you had to know.

May 04, 2011

Dear Multiplexes,

We need to talk.

When you came into my life many years ago, I liked you instantly. You had so many screens! And played every kind of movie! And so many show times!

As we grew older, you made me show up 40 minutes early for shows I'd prebooked. I let it go.

Then you started changing. I suffered through it all - 250, 300, 350 rupee tickets. 50 bucks for water. 100 bucks for popcorn. Spending 3 hours with you, at my level of poverty, meant forgoing 2 books.

I withstood your grand entryways and your hole-like exits.

I silently cursed your slow staff and your annoying promotional pieces of glossy paper.

I gritted my teeth through repeated bag-openings, pocket-emptyings and friskings.

But I have reached the end of my patience. Thin edge of the wedge, etc.

In spite of all your faults, I thought we were committed to each other.

But you -you annoying piece of omnipresent shininess- you can't even commit to tomorrow's show!

What moronic idiot cancels shows as and when he feels like, just because an art film is not doing enough business? You have 5 screens and 25 shows a day for a reason, you know!

If you want to screen only blockbusters, why are you part of my life? I'll go back to the old faithful single-screen, no? It doesn't make me wait, doesn't change plans randomly, doesn't subject me to multiple rounds of security, doesn't charge me based on my desperation to watch the movie, seems to care about me at every step and so... well, I think it loves me more than you do!

I think we should start seeing others.

It's not me, it's you.

And FYI, I was lying when I said I like your bright red walls. I think they suck.

Hmpf.

April 23, 2011

On the Marvels of Modern Movie-Making


So thanks to the World Cup, school exams and IPL and god-knows-what-else, the movie industry has either been releasing nothing or launching one dud after another. Hollywood also, for some reason, has been sending rubbish our way. Dum Maaro Dum comes at a time when people are sick of looking at Telugu and animated movies on BookMyShow. And frankly, its timing is probably the only reason it'll do well. Smart.

The movie-makers would have you believe that Deepika Padukone is in this movie. After all, she shows up at those press things, and talks on every damn channel about it.

Don't buy it.

The woman's there, in a 4-minute item number which would have been better if left to Yana Gupta. The lyrics would have been better if they were simply beeped out and a -1 track played.
(Side Note: Dear Padukone, With your kind of star power you couldn't spend your time on anything better than this song and holding a flask of cold coffee while you move?)

The movie-makers would also have you believe that this movie is stylish and a visual treat.

Maybe it is. But there is only so much of drug-induced haze you're willing to tolerate on screen, especially when the story isn't moving the way it should.

The movie pretends to have a story and logic.

If the audience cared enough, it'd find the holes.

Someone streams live video in HD on an Edge connection.

I want.

The director takes Anurag Kashyap's style of filmmaking and adds his own spin to it, trying to make it *gritty* and *stylish*.

And good God, it is crass.

Bipasha Basu needs a comeback.

Unfortunately no one cares.

Abhishek Bachchan wants to prove he has more than 1 expression.

And he fails badly.

Vidya Balan should sue them. She has more screen time and more to do than Padukone. No mention or publicity to her.

Why? Haan? Tell why? (Answer: Movie-makers are mercenary idiots, and Padukone is publicity-hungry creature wonly, no sense of ethics left wonly in this industry, what to do, saar.)

-----------

This blog's popularity just went from 0 to negative, thanks to the Padukone comments. :D

Updated to add - Forgot to mention, Prateik is quite, quite brilliant yet again.

April 19, 2011

Before a wedding in Ahmedabad, someone got very very creative

To those of you who like Justin Bieber, and to those of you who are not Gujjus, this will not make sense.

To the rest, I think it's hilarious.

Here you go.

And yes, like every form of Indian/regional media recommended here, this too, is absolutely déclassé.

April 17, 2011

Food.

Every time someone uses the phrase "buttering up" (e.g. "X is just buttering up Y"), I immediately imagine Y being transformed (in a typical, Cartoon Network, poof! way) into a life-sized slice of hot golden-brown, toast; and X, hungry, holding a knife with a lot of Amul butter on it, spreading it lovingly on Y.

Then I want breakfast. Regardless of time of day.

April 12, 2011

Ladies,

Must you be so blonde?

Must you giggle and twirl and pretend to drop your little purse and then say "Oh I'm so clumsy yaa!"?

Must you match your bags with your outfits? And your nail paint, and your hairclips, and your belts? Must you wear the latest in London's fall collection, in India's summer?

Must you let your hair fall over your shoulders when it's 35 degrees? And flip and twirl and bunch up, only to let loose like a waterfall? Even when there are no men around?!

If you are model-thin, must you have a fat friend that you take everywhere? If you are regular weight, must you take one model-thin and one fat friend everywhere? What are you lot trying to be, a life-size before-after advertisement? And to the fat friend - find me, we shall hang. I eat everything so you don't have to be guilty every time you want fries. Seriously.

Must you wall each other on Facebook to make your evening plans? Can't you do it on BBM? (Come on, you all have "a BB yaa!")

Must you parade the nauseating spectacle of your communication with your "besties" and "dolls", with all its "muah babes" and "call me NOW" and song lyrics with little hearts in them? Why aren't you doing it on email or BBM or Facebook message? Is it because you think it's cute? Or because you think that the guys think it's cute?

Must you try to be cute at 20+?

Must you be silly and dumb? And those of you who aren't, must you try to pretend?!

I want to see what you look like in the mornings. Do you sleep with makeup on, in fitted designer clothes and a teddy bear from France that you've named something ridiculous?

I want you to not click pictures:
- in a loo. (Faucets and tissue and bathroom stalls, really?!)
- by pointing your own camera at a mirror. (Get your besties to do it, even if it means returning the favour by clicking 5 of the bestie)
- that are in fake-homo poses. (As they say, you're either there or not there. There is no middle.)
- that are taken at slumber parties which were held for the sole purpose of taking those pictures. (Whom are you kidding?)

I want to see you do something remotely useful. I want you to have a conversation that's not about yourself. And if the conversation is with a man, try and not make it about how smart he is.

I want you to cross the road by yourself, carry your bags yourself, drive yourself or use public transport, and for God's sake, stop expecting someone to rescue you.

Oh well. Wishful thinking.

And I'll do one about guys also, just wait. :P

March 23, 2011

Do you read poetry?

Do you enjoy it? Do you get it? Does it move you?

Because I don't. For as long as I can remember, poetry either felt like it was trying too hard or not trying at all. Either there is a thought or there are words. One usually overpowers the other and the end result is not enjoyable.

This, of course, is from limited experience. And if I'm not mistaken, I'm not alone. Poetry needs patience, and silence, and thought - and all these, just to read it. No wonder then that poetry the toughest thing to publish. (Short stories are next, and that is surprising.)

But here's the interesting thing. The best and most interesting poetry I've read has been online. On blogs, linking to obscure poems by (often) obscure poets. For this (among, admittedly, many many many other things), I am thankful to the www. :D

Anyway, the point, the point! The point of this post is, poetry isn't so bad. It's very often a song without music. And sometimes -just sometimes- the absence of music is what makes it so much more powerful.

Don't believe me? A few links:

An entire poem blog.

Rehab often writes and quotes poetry. I really loved this and this.

Go on, find more. And tell me about them. =)

March 15, 2011

So I Finally Watched 'Robot'

...and am I overwhelmed? Not really.

Entertained, yes. Very, very, very entertained.



So what if it's set in some mythical period where a Kargil war widow is still pregnant but Rajnikant has an iPhone? He probably created it as a toy and it took Steve Jobs 10 years to replicate it.

The stunning thing about this movie is... well, nothing. It isn't a Rajnikant movie in the true sense (or so I am led to believe, since I haven't ever seen a whole Rajnikant movie.)

For those of you who haven't seen it yet (there must be someone!), here's the story in a nutshell (it's full of spoilers, but who cares, you lot have seen this movie thrice at least. No don't deny it, I know who all read my blog, countable on the fingers of one hand and while I do love you all, you are vellas, aren't you):

----------------------------
Rajni (The Scientist) creates Rajni (The Super-Robot). The Robot is for the Indian army and is doing rather well at the Robot Pageant by strutting, showing off its skills and bowling everyone over until it starts messing up rather badly in the Human Judgement round.

At this point The Scientist takes him back to the lab to give him feelings. After this, The Robot falls in louwwwe with The Scientist's girlfriend. Meanwhile, Danny Denzongpa (who I had no idea was alive), a rival scientist, wants to build a similar robot for terrorists but can't, because he lacks the brainpower of The Scientist.

Somewhere along the way, The Robot also screws up his military tests badly (read: he sings odes to Aishwarya Rai and sticks a rose into a grenade when asked to throw it). The Robot is dismantled, then rises out of the Chennai Corporate Dumping Yard in Goosebumps fashion, assembles itself, finds Danny, gets a red destructive chip fitted into it, replicates itself, goes on a rampage, is finally stopped by The Scientist and finally dismantled in a court of law, but not before some moralistic science-vs-humanity preaching and Rajni-praising.
----------------------------

Complicated storyline? Maybe. Unpredictable? Haha no, but that's not what anyone's looking for anyway.

Now the highlights of this movie (and there are many!):

1. Aishwarya Rai gets a role that's made for her. Yes. Consider the facts. The lady is pretty, healthy, and behaves suitably dim-witted at most times. For any actress in any industry (but especially the South) that's perfect casting. Add to this, she is required to behave innocent, young, giggly, and wear outlandish costumes and dance to a song that calls her "Kilimanjaro, ladki parvat ki yaaron, aha aha", more or less a cross between a History lesson, Devang Patel and a Pepsi ad. See what I mean? Perfect for her. Someone show it to the Cannes jury though, it's a role of a lifetime.

2. Everything that Rajnikant himself does in his movies, a robot does in this one. Which, frankly, is nowhere as enjoyable. From the clips and bits and pieces I've seen of Supershtaar Rajnikant (chasing a butterfly through a field for lady love, two guns one bullet each, I'll-make-a-tornado-with-my-foot, etc) I did expect The Scientist to be doing most of the dhamaal here. But what to do. They're trying to adapt to changing sensibilities. Someone tell them that sensibilities haven't changed, Indian paablic is Indian paablic wonly, and a Rajni in hand is worth two robots in the bush. (Or, well, a million.)

3. When a mosquito bites Aishwarya, we're already halfway into the movie. I expected the robot to scan it for its genes/DNA (scientific people correct me if you like) and match it in the swarm of a few thousand mosquitoes that he finds when he goes hunting for the bite-r. But no, saar. The robot stands among the mosquitoes, turns on "Mosquito Mode" and begins a conversation with the mosquitoes. Yes, saar. Such is the brilliance. I am floored.

4. Everyone seems to have remote access to everything. But The Robot's creator does not have remote access to him. Such is life.

5. Aishwarya Rai's blondeness, carefully measured in most Bollywood movies, is given free reign in Robot. And man, does it pay off.

6. The Scientist works with the government but has piles of money, a convertible Mercedes, a bungalow, etc. Patents, I assume.

7. Joyalukkas is there! Nothing is more heartwarming than seeing the one thing you associate with South India, in a movie. It sort of reaffirms your arrogant belief that you've seen whatever there is to see out there.

8. Surprisingly forthright for a South Indian film (not that I would know, I've watched only bits and pieces of Meri Jung - One Man Army, Bajrang - The He Man, and so on).

9. Aishwarya Rai breaks up with Scientist Rajni by asking him to sign some papers (stamp paper, no less.) Now the dubbed version calls it "pyaar radd". I would love to know if the Tamil version makes more sense. Anyway, after this breakup (and patchup which occurs in two minutes), she becomes surprisingly supportive of his mad-scientist ways. Then again, who wouldn't be, if the scientist was Rajnikant.

10. Rajnikant needs only 2 assistants to create his SuperBot. Danny needs a few hundred evil-looking buggers, and still fails. Then again, Danny isn't Rajnikant.

11. Robots organise themselves into the best possible form for fighting an army of humans. Which is fine. But the arrangement begin from functional (massive spheres, spirals, etc) to purely mythical and terror-inspiring (massive pythons, arms, etc). Pretty cool strategy, if you think about it. First kill half your enemy. Then scare the remaining half out of their wits.

Will someone lend me a DVD of Sivaji - The Boss? Thankyouveryverymuch.

Vishal Bhardwaj is a genius for many things

...but the first among those is this song.

February 21, 2011

Dear Restaurants,

Please serve breakfast. Decent breakfast. Breakfast with filling portions for vegetarians. Vegetarians who might not be eating eggs.

Please don't mention on your menu that half a boiled tomato (by whatever fancy name) is part of a dish. In the good old days, people just accepted that it doesn't add value to the dish. Don't pretend it does.

Ditto cream, syrup, butter, jam, a small side salad, a slice of an apple, etc. Basically, if it's tasteless, tiny and usual, it is irrelevant. Yes. I-r-r-e-l-e-v-a-n-t.

Baked beans, when on toast, must be served before the toast has crumbled beneath their weight.

If you're serving baked beans, try to do something to them to convince me you didn't just open a can and empty it on my toast.

Don't rip me off for breakfast. I will hate you forever.

Don't rip me off for breakfast while serving me rubbish. I will come after you with a hammer.

Don't open at 10 a.m. If you want to, don't say you offer breakfast.

Leisurely service could be appreciated by people at candlelit dinners in pricey restaurants (if at all). This is breakfast. I'm hungry. Hurry up.

Don't have a special breakfast menu and an all-day menu which starts at 11 a.m. All day should mean all effin' day. Don't put the good stuff on the all-day menu and save the rubbish for the breakfast menu.

Yes, be snooty and call it continental breakfast. No, don't expect me to give you my life's savings for a bagel.

While we're at it, I don't want a fruit for breakfast. Or a muffin. It's breakfast. Gimme real food.

Places that would do well to take notice of this post: *cough* Salt Water Cafe *cough* Crepe Station *cough* Mondegar *cough* and many many more.

February 13, 2011

We Once Had A Maid

...who told me a crow was her husband. (She fed him with great devotion everyday.)

If this was a philosophical blog, I could talk about how all reality is only a perception, how human beings are complex creatures with bizarre beliefs, and so on.

This is not a philosophical blog.

I see no reason to continue polluting Twitter while ignoring the blog. The blog doesn't ask me to stop at 140 characters.

Hence, hah. I will microblog on a blog. Not a blue site with blue birds and too much blah-blah from journalists.