At Thai restaurants, there's always the possibility that you'll ask for some more rice. You can often decide whether to keep a Thai restaurant on your list just based on how the serving staff treats your requests for extra rice (unlike Indian restaurants, rice in Thai and non-buffet Chinese restaurants is expected to be on the house). Siam Square tackles this problem in an interesting way: the bowl of rice is inverted atop your bowl. You can then mix the rice and the curry and never really ask for more rice. Smart and apt.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
खून कर दूंगी
he's (pause) unbelievable! he's (pause) like a superhero (with the Americanised "l" and rolled "r") (a tribute to William Shatner, no doubt).
अब मैं उनसे कभी नहीं मिलूंगी ... कहना(?)
hello! don't get any ideas
PS: Is that Anil Kapoor's voice for Rajinikanth? Sounds like Mr. Kapoor and it also makes sense given that he had starred in Shankar's first Hindi film, Nayak.
Monday, September 13, 2010
The Lost Symbol: Dan Brown lives up to his reputation of writing something that makes you turn the pages as fast as you can, as you attempt to restore the narrative thread disrupted by one belch of expository preening after another. There is enough abuse of details in the descriptions of different things to make you shudder at the thought of turning over a page, afraid of what form of literary torture awaits you. I must confess, however, that it is a relief to be able to run through a whole book without once feeling intellectually tugged: Dan Brown makes sure that you, dear reader, do not have to pause, for one teensy bit, to evaluate the goings-on.
Death of a Politician: My first Richard Condon novel was a hefty challenge. I was unable to find much more about the book or its background and I was not as familiar with the politics of the 60s and 70s to spot the real-life figures that Condon was eloquently taking potshots at. This did not make the novel any less engrossing. The device of interrogations and reports takes some getting used to (The Anderson Tapes by Lawrence Sanders uses tape transcripts was easier on my eyes and brain). I hope the other books I picked up at the library book sale don't disappoint me. I'll save The Manchurian Candidate till the end; after all, I've already seen the film.
Friday, September 10, 2010
After ranting away about the amateur dross that comprised Robin Cook's writing in the 21st century, I decided to try and read the books that had made him famous all those years ago just to see how much nostalgia had clouded my memory. My first pick was Brain, which was also one of the first (or perhaps the first) of Robin Cook's books that I had read. Interestingly, the book still held up well. The exposition was controlled and Cook's writing seemed to be more demanding of the reader's attention than his recent work that requires as much attention as a Top 10 countdown on Zee TV. I also learnt about RNs, LPNs and ASNs; since Cook does not commit expository abuse by explaining what they stood for, I went online. After ASN.1, Autonomous System Numbers and Advance Shipping Notices, I now had Associate of Science in Nursing; After Licence Plate Numbers I got Licensed Practical Nurses. RNs are Registered Nurses, in case you were wondering. Time to go back to Coma.
Monday, September 06, 2010
Hey you, sitting at that table behind me in this coffee shop! It's a cellphone not a walkie talkie, you nitwit! Take it outside if you want to scream out loud. It's not a conversation unless I hear the other side as well (perhaps you can try the speakerphone on your cellphone and become a certifiable jerk).
Hey you, over there in the neighbouring cubicle arguing furiously on a silly something as if it were the latest problem to befuddle nuclear scientists all over the world! Have you heard of conference rooms? The office surely has one available just to serve your needs. The whiteboards are larger and you can just get on the nerves of a few others like yourself, who presumably understand your babble.
You are all welcome to upload your essence into the Doom continuum as zombiemen. I'd be glad to blow your electronic avatars to pixellated goop.
Sunday, September 05, 2010
I'll be picking up a copy of the sequel Freedom from the local library soon and I hope it's just as much fun.
One of the developments in the wake of the massacre of entertainment was the replacement of English flicks in the catalogue with versions dubbed into Hindi. Some of those chosen included the Jackie Chan films for Golden Harvest, which, originally in Cantonese, were released abroad (including India) dubbed into English. We now had a layered incongruity with Hindi sounds replacing English sounds while Jackie Chan's lips continued to mouth Cantonese.
An interesting variation was the case of South Indian flicks dubbed into Hindi. These poorly dubbed mind-numbing "entertainers" were christened using titles of existing Bollyhits along with a bonus suffix in English to comply with the de facto naming rule that was born near the end of the 20th century. This is why the Telugu movie Mass became Meri Jung: One Man Army. This also explains the curious case of a film named Arasatchi. Had it not been for financial hurdles, this would have been the first film starring Lara Dutta to hit the marquee (the unfortunate honour went to a case of bad eggs from the Bollyfold).
As was the norm, Ms. Dutta's Tamil voice was not her own. Years later, this film was one of the lucky several chosen to be treated to an inferior dubbing job. Inviting Ms. Dutta to try her hand at dubbing for herself in Hindi would have, unfortunately, cost the whole project a lot more. So they just had one of the people on the session call sheet to do the needful. One could only mourn the loss in translation. Again.
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
We choose, for the purposes of this post, to start from the beginning: the CD case. Vidcaps offer irrefutable evidence that Shankar has set new records in wasteful expenditure on lavish eyecandy. Despite the presence of A. R. Rahman at the helm of the proceedings, one of the sleeves bears the proud claim "Music made by humans." The gem that this post wishes to cast a floodlight upon the inlay card dedicated to providing some more information about the andro-humanoid (their term, not mine) Chiti (or Chitti, if you want to use the track Chitti Dance Sequence as a guide) and his creator Dr. Vasi (Tamil for Frankenstein Victor).
The section devoted to Chiti's anatomy/configuration (their label, not mine) is the produce of a local buzzword blender: speed one terra hz, memory one zeta byte, processor Pentium ultra core millenia V2, FHP 450 motor from Hirata, Japan. Hirata is presumably the place that produced the most fans of Muthu. A Terra[sic] (their spelling, not mine) Hertz is presumably a more down-to-earth measure of frequency than the Megas or Gigas. Zeta is presumably a typographical error (there are two Ts and it's one word -- zettabyte) or it's a tribute to Mrs. Michael Douglas. Thanks to the sloopy use of case, it's hard to determine which part of "ultra core millenia V2" is the code name for this strange stepchild of the Pentium. FHP might stand for Fractional Horsepower (after all, they can't make everything up). All in all, it's hard to believe that this is all that's needed to create a cybernetic clone of Super Star Rajinikanth (why clone? Well, the description says that Chiti can dance, sing and fight while being resistant to water and fire and boasting an appetite for electricity).
Chiti cannot lie they say. Expect to never see a scene where this creation is supine.
And to think it took only 10 years to make one.