Friday, September 13, 2002

A Gem of a dinner and the serendipitous event of the week

A tradition that Chris keeps alive is a dinner every Thursday. We (including a bunch of friends) try out or revisit an Indian restaurant (or sometimes one of the numerous great eating places in Atlanta) and have a good time. Yesterday, we took our friends to Heera of India (which we visited on Sunday last). We placed our orders in a fashion reminiscent of the group dinners back home: each one orders an entrée along with grain at the side (a roti or a nan). Everyone digs in to the common pool and splits the tab. This makes the activity more fun (since you get to sample more dishes) and also cost-effective. The latter was also something reflected in the menu at the restaurant. The food was great and the service friendly and polite. The only downside would have been my grazing the glass of water that created hydrogenic design patterns on the glass top of the table. Thankfully, the table was adequately horizontal, so the patterns never made it off the table into our laps.

As we had pulled in to park, we noticed an Indian walk out of a store called Universal Groceries Ltd.. As it turns out, it was an Indian grocery store (in retrospect, the name is rather misleading), run by Malayalees (or Keralites) and housing an interesting collection of movies (VHS/DVD) and music (tape/CD) from hindi and malayalam films (as far as I could see), the latter being also nicely priced. Needless to say, I grabbed a few:

* Ratnadeep/Kitaab/Angoor (CDF 120353) {a compilation I have been scouring stores for a while to obtain}

* Many Moods: Yesudas (CDF 132155) {couldn't resist}

* Aap Ki Kasam/Raja Rani (CDF 120060) {featuring R. D. Burman's take on Aquarius from the cult Broadway musical Hair}

* Ek Mahal Ho Sapnon Ka / Naya Din Nayee Raat / Shankar Hussain / Ek Hans Ka Joda / Kadambari (CDNF 120400)

Serendipity: The last item in that list above contains the song that had me scouring the net over the phone on Sunday. There are songs/albums that you have never heard of and suddenly once you find out about them, you are keen on procuring them, and lo and behold, life just tosses them at you. This happened when I found out about Forbidden Kiss (where Najma Akhtar pays tribute to the Burmans by covering some of their songs, with newer arrangements and interpretations. A day after I had heard about it, I found it on eBay. Likewise for a squeezed compilation alike the last item in the list above (a distinctive HMV characteristic) of five Rajesh Khanna starrers (incidentally, I just saw this compilation staring back at me on a shelf, at a lower price, at the store yesterday. Does wonders for your choices of purchase, in retrospect).

To follow up on the great proceedings for the evening, we drove to Movies Worth Seeing to turn in Zelig and got ourselves a DVD treat for the weekend: The MST3K episode featuring Manos: The Hands of Fate (and a short film called Hired: Part II) and Dario Argento's classic Suspiria. Chris tells me the former has been reputed to be the best MST3K episode ever. We caught the first half an hour of it, and I must agree. The film they spoof is really really terrible. To paraphrase Douglas Adams, for the first few minutes nothing happened; then after a few minutes, nothing continued to happen. The film also had a scene dissolve into itself! Nothing can beat that.

To round the night off (and to mess up my sleep) I tuned in to a rerun of the TNG episode "Brothers"

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