I had checked with [the IT department] for the slowness issue. They rebooted it and now the box is performing pretty descent. First things were slow. Presumably, the box was slow. Now you watch it go down beautifully. Fall is truly beautiful and it's not just about the leaves.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Thursday, September 19, 2013
And suddenly today, I wondered, what about junior management and junior leadership? Are they already anathema? Can there only be senior versions of such life forms? (
I could go on about how even management and leadership represent ideas that most underlings would disagree with. Even the suggestion that the two are synonymous is enough to make cubicle dwellers break into a cold sweat (or a hot psychotic rage). But all that is fodder for a longer rant that would be misplaced here)
Saturday, August 31, 2013
despairis an anagram of
diapers. I am sure we are supposed to learn something from that but I don't know what.
The Ninth Configuration and Legion convince me that William Peter Blatty has a way with dialogue, surrealism and plotting. All I need to do now is find a copy of the film adaptation of the former book. He did a good job directing The Exorcist III (adapted from Legion).
The blurb on the back cover of Ramsey Campbell's Obsession is terribly misleading. You would think this was going to be an extended take on The Monkey's Paw or a thinner elder cousin to Stephen King's It. Mercifully, it's neither. This is a rather simple psychological tale that works quite well even if you discount a supernatural presence completely.
Another pick from my pile of random acquisitions from library sales is Headhunter, a book credited to Michael Slade, a pseudonym for three trial lawyers in Vancouver (it is now used, evidently, by just one of them and his daughter). The novel chugs along with three narrative threads set in three different times. It employs additional devices (like switching the standard third-person narrative to a first-person narrative that misleads you with its purpose) to good effect to elevate the standard serial killer piece to something more rewarding.
Love Kills by Dan Greenburg is another example of a novel that makes the standard serial killer piece interesting with narrative devices. Right from the first chapter till the end, this novel goes back and forth in time with each successive chapter and switches focus (chapters told with the hunters as the protagonists mixed with chapters from the point of view of the killer). Also tossed in for good measure are the occasional police report and generous doses of humour.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
And I found it hard to find good places in the narrative to put the book down while life and sleep took over.
This doesn't mean that I had discovered a rich trove of literary achievement. It just means that it was the proverbial page-turner for me. For good reasons (more about that below).
This also doesn't mean that an endorsement from Stephen King is a guarantee of any kind that you will like the book (although in this case, it did for me).
The story of a beautiful TV anchorwoman who is the object of the obsessive creepy attentions of a secret admirer on the deranged side of the fence called "The Watcher." It is told entirely using emails, faxes, messages left on answering machines and transcripts of recorded conversations. I've had mixed results with such a device (worked for me with The Anderson Tapes and didn't with Death of a Politician). This alone can make this book seem unfilmable (something that has happened with an Ira Levin work before). Although Sidney Lumet managed to do well with The Anderson Tapes, a similar exercise with Munson's book would require a significant departure in material and setting. A heaping bowl of To Die For and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind along with generous doses of John Waters might work, but it still feels too stale. Perhaps some David Lynch and David Fincher for good measure. Oh! And perhaps Oliver Stone in his Natural Born Killers mood.
But I digress.
Just like in Condon's book, you find yourself laughing at and with some of the characters in the book. Unlike Condon's book, though, the turning of pages ends appropriately. There's almost no fat in the book.
And of course, no flights of expository fancy. What a relief.
Back to the bookshelf now to find the next rabbit. Thank you so much, Mr. King.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
And I thought of Dan Brown.
And yet, here I was looking at a novel that could well have been written by Dan Brown, except that the actual narrative was written crisply -- had Mr. Brown written this novel, it would have been thicker with some more exposition and with more pages devoted to the narrative recovering after an ambitious dive into the sea of exposition.
And now some questions float through my head.
Did Michael Crichton have a Dan Brown phase?
Does Dan Brown represent a stage in the evolution of a commercial writer of pulp thrillers?
Does Michael Crichton represent a later stage in this evolution?
Will Dan Brown evolve into Michael Crichton?
Will Dan Brown ever evolve?
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The full name was Rajdhani Express: Point Blank Justice. Now, as a token of respect for the eventual plight of all viewers, the full name was changed to Rajdhani Express: An Unsafe Journey. The full name now appears to be Rajdhani Express: In Search of Dignity
4 Passengers. The Elite. The Intellectual. The Consumerist. An Underdog (hint: Paes).
It is possible that the voice you hear for Paes is not his own (source). Another case of Celina Jaitley and Lisa Ray. Fret not. You're here for more than that. You're hear for the almost inevitable badness that the trailer promises. Prepare yourself by watching Ajay Jadeja's début in Khel: No Ordinary Game!!!.
He calls Leander Lee. His last name is Kohli. bahut lii!
If you're itching for a plot synopsis, try this. Meanwhile, ex-lawyer Ashok Kohli is already working on his next project, an adaptation of the Bard's The Taming of the Shrew.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
- Rani Mukerji goes down Vidya Balan lane and does her own Dirty Picture (with aplomb, gumption and enthusiasm)
- the first half works really well in setting up the oddball universe
- after the interval, SSH kicks in, unfortunately
- great showcase for Pune and Punekars (Sambhaji Bridge, Subodh Bhave, Satish Alekar)
- Hats off to Amitabh Bhattacharya for the lyrics (please, just listen to them really carefully)
- nice touch having the laavaNii backing dancers in savaa Daa.clar wield digital video cameras
- Finally a film that features a poster of Chashme Baddoor (in addition to introducing fandom for Farooque Sheikh and Deepti Naval and resurrecting the name Dhurandhar)
- A Bengali star plays a Maharashtrian girl who falls for a Tamilian played by a Malayali star (you can spot the accent when he speaks his lines in the second half) and gets her cue for Dreamum Wakeupum (this film's ooh la-la) from Silk Smitha dance with Chiranjeevi in a Telugu film called Goonda (you wonder why you've heard that name before? Surely, you've seen golii maar, the rip-off of Michael Jackson's Thriller): this is seriously twisted
- What's this obsession with the statutory warning about cigarette smoking? The opening has the English and Hindi warnings presented on the screen with Rani Mukerji reading them offscreen; this shows up again after the intermission; each time we see Meenakshi's chain-smoking (literally!) Dad, the statutory warning reappears at the bottom right of the screen: This is just as bad as those tickers marketing cigarettes in those videotapes from the Gulf in the 80s and 90s. Please, Mr. Ramadoss and ilk, stop it!.
- Sachin Kundalkar does really well expanding a story from ga.ndha into an oddball romantic comedy, but just needed some tighter editing and shuffling of sequences in the second half (ijjat paapaD, allthough quirky enough, just feels like a drag in its fuller form: it might have fared better intercut with another scene, waakaDaa could well have become the song for the closing credits)
- most awesome device that later goes unused: the voice of Vividh Bharati providing introduction to and commentary about the goings-on
- You can see Kashyap's universe growing in the references: John Abraham, Dev.D
- +1 for featuring The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction, Volume 2. Make that +2.
- subtitle goof: Azharbhai Chawl for Azerbaijan
- which part of Tamil Nadu was Surya's mother from? I thought I spotted some Malayalam in her Tamil
Saturday, October 13, 2012
- a gypsy's kiss (deep purple, perfect strangers)
- friends (led zeppelin, the bombay sessions (bootleg))
- a.Nkhiyaan (füzon)
- johnny gaddaar (shankar-ehsaan-loy, johnny gaddaar)
- ruu-ba-ruu (a r rahman, rang de basanti)
- kandisa (indian ocean, kandisa)
- drive (r e m, automatic for the people)
- four sticks (led zeppelin, the bombay sessions (bootleg))
- knocking at your back door (deep purple, perfect strangers)
- everybody hurts (r e m, automatic for the people)
- man on the moon (r e m, automatic for the people)
- help (deep purple, shades of deep purple)
Thursday, October 04, 2012
I got the feeling that I'd even watch each twice. Just like Kill Bill. I watched both parts twice. In the hall. Call me nuts. And I loved the soundtracks of both. Same here. Sneha Khanwalkar helmed what I think is the best, most original soundtrack of the year. I do not anticipate anyone mustering anything remotely close to this.
But alas. When movies like Paan Singh Tomar and Shanghai and your own That Girl in Yellow Boots (but neither Gulaal nor No Smoking) made it to the marquee here with ease, what stops something so much bigger? The machinery of releasing Indian films in the US seemed to have improved over the last few years instead of making obvious overtures to profit by importing mind-numbing product starring known names and stars of various candelas? Did Viacom want to release the two parts as a single unit (like Grindhouse) and test the limits of the patience of the fidgety Indian audience and the uninterested owners of weather-beaten theatres screening Indian flicks? I have no way of knowing. How long did Viacom plan to wait before sending prints (or packets of bits) over? After the last DVD bearing an illegal rip from a theatre has been sold? After the last torrent for these rips has been left without seeds online? I have no way of knowing.
What I know is that I am extremely disappointed. A few years ago, I'd envy my friends back home each time a smaller more interesting film hit the multiplexes (the saviours for such small films). Things seemed to be improving but now with this film, I wonder if we're heading back to those days.
If this is how Viacom 18 plans to treat their projects, I hope that you and other directors whose work I find interesting will find alternatives that will allow your films to reach a wider audience and generate more revenue so that you are not treated as financial risks. Even UTV (whose DVDs are unfortunately sullied with watermarks just like the rest of them) would do.
Thank you for your kind attention.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
- You update things. Not people. You are also a person. So stop asking people to update you. Ask people to simply "let me know." Stop offering to update people. "I will let you know" is a simple alternative
- You are not a batch processing system. You are not a terminal. You are not a text box waiting for data. So stop asking people for input. Stop thanking them for it. People offer suggestions, hints, advice. Take the appropriate thing and thank them for it
- The words gentle reminder can never be gentle for the reader. One could bet the universe that the person you sent that to is even less pleased to work with you than before. Try writing something that you would actually say to the intended recipient, if you had to pick up the phone and talk to him or her.
- Stop writing PFA or Please find attached. This is not a treasure hunt. This is not a request. You have attached something to your email, because you thought it would make your email more useful to the reader. Most modern email clients make it very clear to the reader that the email has attachments.
- Stop looping people into an email thread. There is no known meaning of the word that can explain what you are trying to do. Add their email address to the CC field of your email and explain clearly why you have added more people to the thread. Be nice.
- Stop asking people to revert to you. Here is a summary of the different meanings of that word. I hope that will explain why what you have been doing is funny, grotesque and rude at the same time. Respond and reply have not yet been excommunicated from the English language. Please consider these more appropriate words.
I wrote a post a few years ago about some other things that you may have ended up saying or using. If you can ignore the venom in the post, you may find some more useful tips there.
Consider also this site that serves up several samples of writing that you may find familiar. Although the site presents them for a few laughs, it can also serve an instructional purpose: if what you write in emails or what you say resembles any of the samples on this site, consider changing your ways.
Thank you for your kind attention. I remain, humbly yours, suffering in silence.
Saturday, September 01, 2012
Loosely translated, that's strip away the shell of my heart and relish the peanuts (roasted, presumably).
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Who would pick the name subversion? The word means an attempt to overthrow authority. It's also a nice pun on its purpose (version, my dear lost reader, version!).
Who would pick the name git? The word has only pejorative meanings.
And then you get mercurial. The word has both marginally complimentary and often uncomplimentary meanings.
Which brings us to ClearCase. Commercial. Bloated. What a deceptive name!
The moral? If it's got a sly name, it's probably better for you.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Saturday, June 23, 2012: According to NowRunning, the film is not playing anywhere in the US of A.
Did the producers and distributors of Teri Meri Kahaani (puke!) strike a deal with their associates to delay the release of Kashyap's opus so that they could get a few more dollars?
Did the irate masses of Wasseypur take over Congress and the Indian film distribution circuit in the USA?
नाम बोल! कह के लूँगा!