Thursday, 31 December 2015

Conan the talkshow host

there is so much irony in this post.


To begin with I never had actually liked Conan's brand of humour in the early days. 


...And today IMHO I think he's possibly the best talkshow host







Monday, 16 November 2015

Oprah and Deepak’s Meditation challenge online course

In her book EAT, PRAY AND LOVE, Liz Gilbert talks about how advanced methods of  meditation needs to be done carefully under supervision and with the blessings of an expert – usually the experienced Guru.  This normally would mean going to a retreat or an Ashram and dedicating a month or a few weeks to this.  Seems unlikely most would even consider this.

Which is why the 21 day meditation course by Oprah and Deepak Chopra is such a blessing in disguise.



Saturday, 7 November 2015

The lovely Bengalis - Bongs and their “Adda”s

‘Bongs, don’t you love them?’- Vir Sanghvi



Its unlikely you have never met a  Bengali (or bong as the nickname goes) if you’ve been brought up in India.  I had the pleasure of getting to know a few of them in the industries I have worked in, as well as the schools and colleges I studied in. It was a ball getting to know them.

How does one describe a bong? You really cant fully – has to be experienced firsthand, and boy, can that be a great experience!!

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Chinese food - Indian ishtyle (or Sino-Ludhianvi food, dont ask!)


I think every Indian has their favourite memory of Chinese food - mine is of my visit to Matheran with a bunch of young teens during my first stint in Mumbai.  The evening the entire tourist visitor group were sitting in line waiting for this Chineese stall guy to cook their order, and watch how he would expertly prepare rice, noodles in a jiffy - literally a minute or two - toss it into this huge ultra hot Wok and expertly swish them around, throwing sauces, vegetables, and other ingredients (paneer, chicken, meat etc.) and then serve this out - into a plate, into our hands.  The food would be steaming hot and un beatably delicious.

After working in South East Asia for some time - and eating the real thing (well, whatever they can muster up for a vegetarian!!!) - I miss the Indian-Chinese food like crazy, and whenever we get a chance I gobble them up to make up for lost time.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

The genius of Mindy Kaling

Dr. Mindy Lahiri (created and played by Mindy Kaling) inhabits a parallel universe created solely by herself - and I really badly want to get in!! 

Its a charmed life and she is reveling in every moment of it, and surprisingly its worked as the Mindy Project is one of the most popular series of recent times.

                                 Image result for mindy project


Saturday, 8 August 2015

Ilayaraja - The quintessential God to my generation

As I write this, I cant help examine the paradox, herés me -  a non-expert in Music, who cant speak in any of the south Indian languages - writing about one of the legends from the south Indian movie industry. 

Image result for ilayaraja

So there's my disclaimer. But then, I think Ilayaraja's achievements was simply that. I cant think of anyone down south in my generation who has not been moved by his music. 

Krishna by Colonial Cousins

This song is one of the ever green and outstanding compositions that will stand the test of time. Colonial Cousins was a collaboration between Lez a musical wizard mostly making ad jingles, and Hariharan a ghazal singer. 

However when they came together I think they got the combination absolutely bang on and produced some outstanding stuff.

Friday, 31 July 2015

The film companion by Anupama Chopra

This one I think already has a lot of fans and me too.

The film companion is a Youtube channel by the film critic Anupama Chopra, and has some good material in short capsules, and I recommend checking this out once every few months as you can then spend a quarter of an hour updating yourself on interesting stuff at one go.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Apsara Aali Laavani from Natarang


Again, no connoisseur of great music - but in my limited view, I think this song's possibly one of the most perfect songs I have seen in a really long time in my lifetime.

Indian films celebrate music, romanticisim by creating the fantasy sequences (started by Raj Kapoor) - as well as the surrealistic scene where the actors begin singing and dancing, and there's great music that magically appears as an accompaniment.

Burger King or Hungry Jacks

When you are travelling with family on a budget, in a foreign country it has its challenges, the primary one being conscious of how much money is being spent, and of course doing the currency conversions to how expensive everything is in your home country’s currency.

That’s why this one is for a service which I think is a big savior for folks like me.  And that is the Burger King in Australia.  This one’s going out especially for them.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Meryl Streep's stance

Was this really said by Meryl Streep or is it attributed to her?  In any case this is one of the most liberating things I have read in a long time, and of course needs to be adapted without any apologies whatsoever.

Will it be easy? – like hell no! But when you do it might save you a lot of trouble and give you mental peace.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Breathless by Shankar Mahadevan

To me breathless by Shankar Mahadevan is the one album I know in which each song is crafted to an outstanding standards and the output is therefore songs which can be on my playlist forever.



As usual I have never been much into music, and would never know of the latest songs or hit songs, only finding out through acquaintances or through mass media.  I might have read about it and found it gimmicky (according to news reports, in one of the songs Shankar sings straight for around 4 minutes without pausing for breath – hence the name of the album. He denied it during his interviews saying it was pre-recorded and mixed)

Kafka on the shore by Haruki Murakami

To me, Kafka on the shore is one of those really engaging novels – wouldn’t call it unputdownable, but it can really get into you, like few books do.

I fell in love with Haruki Murakami (nearly 35 years after he wrote his first book – so that’s really a late start).
Image result for haruki murakami
 

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro – the alltime best movie ever – my favoritest

I am careful about a lot of lists, or claiming to know the best in music or movies or even food, but this one I will take a shot at and say that Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (JBDY) is my favouritest movie ever.
Image result for jaane bhi do yaaro poster
I had seen it in my  college days and at that time, it already was nearly five years since release, and saw this several times after wards, but each time would be as great a viewing as the first time.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

The Big Bang Theory (TBBT)

I know I know – the series has tanked.  It’s a bloated turkey weighed down by itself, and the high expectations and boy, it currently beats even soap operas with its facile treatment .

But it used to be good once upon a time – and those times live on thanks to repeats as well as those DVDs and Youtube uploads.
Image result for the big bang theory

There’s a lot going for the big bang theory. In recent times its possibly IMHO one of the most creatively written comedies I have experienced.  (somehow 30 rock and HIMYM just didn’t tickle me and I got supremely bored in some episodes – I mean, I’d rather watch the current episodes of TBBT)

Friday, 10 April 2015

COME DINE WITH ME

A lot of things going for this TV series – its about food, its competitive – a different kind of gameshow, and its fun.

It’s a reality show, and I absolutely abhor most reality shows.  Most of them are pointless, involving celebrities no one really cares about and a lot of this is staged I think.
However Come Dine… rises above all of that, and I love it!!


Saturday, 4 April 2015

Bombay - Meri Jaan


Yes, this is a filmy line, but it sums up my very sentiment towards this great city.  I can write and discuss about it forever and still not adequately convey the greatness of the city fully, nor my love for it.  (and BTW I always called it Mumbai during my childhood and this was more referring myself as the 'Pai from Mumbai' and not for any political reasons. Bombay is actually closer to me than Mumbai is...Ok this is only for the Indians who will get what I am saying)



I have been an itinerant Indian. Within India my family has travelled to various places thanks to the banking job of my dad.  Once I was asked which place did I like best from the towns and cities we had stayed in, and I said all of them. Each one of them was special to me.
             Image result for Bombay tourism ads

We had started of in Mumbai and then it was a few cities after that.  But Mumbai feels special to me for my career more than anything else.  One of my Insti friends had told us how everyone had to eventually  come to Mumbai if they had to grow – I mean it was inevitable. (even though Gurgaon and Delhi/NCR is soon turning out to be a bigger centre of gravity now).

Ghayal – one of the best movies ever

I have seen Ghayal quite a few times, and that was in the Cinema.  And on TV and even, with all the irritating interruptions and staggered intervals – its one of the few movies that gives you such a strong adrenaline rush.



I simply loved it.                  Image result for ghayal

I saw it late – after the movie was already a big hit, and I saw it possibly in the second week – this was in Vijayawada, and went with my younger brother. The movie hall was still packed, and the majority of those who’d come were seeing it for the 100th time already, but seemed to be experiencing the film for the first time. There were the cee-tees (whistles) and laughter, but mostly a lot of clapping.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Samovar.....

Funny - I keep postponing writing about my favourite city Mumbai - and then I hear heartbreaking news about places I like shutting down - like Samovar.

Samovar café which was squeezed behind the Jehangir Art gallery at Kaala Ghoda and oversaw the unkempt lawns of the prince of wales museum (now called... yes, you guessed it)



I cant think of anyone not liking Samovar

Image result for samovar cafe