Monday, July 27, 2009

Is Blogging Passe?

I wish I never had to post this. But when regular bloggers start talking about shutting down their blog it is indeed a cause of worry.

The reason why people are talking about blogs becoming passe is mainly because of the advent of microblogging services. Oh well, the microblogging service, aka Twitter.

Okay, I'm on twitter as well. But I dont find any competition from Twitter to blogging sites such as Wordpress or Blogger. Both are very different at the outset. Twitter is more of a slow chatting sort of a thing. And a fad as well, considering the number of celebs who tweet. Blogging in my opinion is more of an articulate thing, and it requires a dedication. You cant just blog for a month and get tired of it. These are the differences I have perceived.

Blogs have certainly becomes more commercial these days, and that perhaps this has caused the creative type blogs to take a backseat. Most of the "featured" blogs on Wordpress are the ones belonging to big corporate houses or news studios/services. But the thing is, even when a blog is unpopular it just means its being read by fewer people, but being read all right! Personally I would prefer my work being read by few people than not being read at all.

Finally, I sincerely hope blogs live on. This is a way of expression which is unique. Let us not kill it.

You could check out this link I found while browsing: my 2 cents: Is blogging passe?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

When it rains, it pours!


Pic taken yesterday from the top floor of my apartment building.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Am back on track

Strange things happen to people isnt it? Well my monitor which had simply refused to obey my commands, and had starved me of everything "web", suddenly decided it was enough. Shocking as it may seem, it has started functioning just as it used to!

Oh well, this gives me another opportunity to make a blog post. Have been running out of ideas lately. :P

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Now my monitor's not working!

Dunno what happened, but my monitor which has served me well for over a decade suddenly got screwed up. It simply wont switch on which is the most irritating bit. Repairing a monitor takes time and money, the former I dont have. So I have to get a new monitor soon. Have narrowed down to either a 14' or a 15' one. I already have an LCD tv at home, so it doesnt make sense going for another LCD all over again. As for now, I'm being forced to post a blog via my mobile.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince : My Review

British actor Daniel Radcliffe at the London p...Image via Wikipedia
Saw the movie today and here's my review.

With the Potter series being well and truly "over", its hardly expected that a movie would rekindle the magic which it had once upon a time managed to create. For me, Harry Potter was all about the books and Pottermania ended the day I read the last page of the Deathly Hallows. So, I hardly expected anything from this movie.

I was so so wrong!

I'll admit it, this is the best Potter movie yet. Period.

Where do I start? The opening sequence of the movie is mind blowing to say the least! I was just stunned and totally at a loss for words! The death eaters wrecking havoc all over the city, the truly outstandingly dramatic collapse of London's Millennium Bridge...the first few minutes is enough to make you realise that this movie is gonna be different.

Brilliant brilliant performances from all the leads. Daniel Radcliffe has truly come of age. He has become such a natural in his role as Harry Potter. But a special mention must go out for Helena Bonham Carter. Her menacing smile, the awesome "destruction scene" (not giving away too much in case you havent seen the movie yet) gave the killer punch!

The movie has its share of light moments, which is a refreshing change. And in the final 15 minutes you wont feel like uttering a word. The movie is truly a journey through a huge range of emotions.

Some of the scenes in this movie are truly truly breathtaking. And in the wide screen of a theatre they look all the more so. The cinematography is consistently brilliant and so is the music.

Now you might say they missed this and they missed that when you compare it with the novel. But the thing is, this aint the novel. This is the movie adaptation and there's bound to be changes. Let us accept that and then judge this purely as a movie and not as an adaptation or a page by page reproduction of the oh so awesome novel. For me the charm of Harry Potter always was the books, and it still is. The intricacies, the sub plots, the emotional upheavals of characters are very difficult to reproduce on screen. However this is as good a job any director could've done given the length and breadth of the novel.

A truly wonderful movie and I might venture to say, one of the better movies of 2009. It has well and truly created the ground for two awesome sequels.

Pottermania is alive and kicking, all over again!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Arent holidays boring?

Pūpūkea, HawaiiImage via Wikipedia
Seriously, arent they? Okay short holidays are cool but long holidays are really crappy! Just experienced it first hand today.

Enjoying a 5 day break from college right now. Although it started off fine, and I really was enjoying it initially, its turning out to be really really boring now. Have nothing to do, but to watch stupid movies. I was reduced to being forced to watch the movie Bad Company! Thats how desperate my situation is!

Whats strange is that when I have college, I feel like - gosh wish I had a day off! And when finally I get loads of days off, it gets boring. Oh well, just one more day and then college kicks off again. Cant wait, cant wait!

P.S. I dont mind long holidays if they are this cool! (I mean like in Hawaii)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Shocked, stunned, and utterly bewildered

Customer service in most sectors in India is pathetic to say the least. The so-called customer care executives are ill-prepared, sometimes ill-behaved (the callers are supposed to be ill behaved not them for god's sake! Although I strongly protest rude behaviours of customers with the executives), and most frequently plain ignorant! They have absolutely no clue about what they are doing and behave as though they are doing the customers a favour by giving them proper customer service.

The thing is, the concept of customer service has been alien to the Indian way of life until the huge economic, social and the paradigm cultural change/explosion which took place in the late nineties and the early 21st century. Since then the country has never had to look back, economically, politically, strategically and in various other aspects. But unfortunately, the sloppy Indian "chalta hai" (it happens) attitude clearly hasnt got accustomed to it even now!

And why do I say all this? Here's the story. I was unhappy with my Vodafone GRPS and wanted a more stable GPRS with less server outages. The only other option I had was Airtel, and I decided to go for it. What a stupid mistake that was!

Its almost a day since I took the connection, as of now, my GPRS services havent still been activated, although I have already paid them for my GRPS for this month! And to add to my woes, the Customer Care isnt responding to my calls! The stupid guy simply hung up while I was speaking! And to my utter surprise I found that I could no longer reach the customer care because apparently they had blocked my access to their support number. I later learnt that once such a thing happens the customer care is usually out of reach upto one week!

I am just stunned at how insanely nonsensical and callous the customer care folks can be! How on earth are companies paying money for these guys! I know I'm being harsh, but just imagine being stuck with a new SIM, with an inactive GPRS (after paying them money for it) and not being able to do anything about it, coz the customer care is dead! Simply dead! For god's sake why even have these offices if the company's not willing to give proper support to its customers.

Am really shocked, stunned and utterly bewildered at this apathy.


Avatar is awesome!

Lego Avatar: The Last AirbenderImage via Wikipedia
Just checked out a really awesome animation series. Avatar - the last airbender. Now I know many of might say..."what? Thats so yesterday!" Yeah you're right. But the thing is, in India we didnt get to watch this awesome series.

Anyway, the thing is, the animation is simply superb! It reminded me of the days of "clean" animation, when the artwork used to be beautiful and the animation stunning! Not like today's 3D stuff (not that I hate 3D, just that the good old 2D still manages to stun me!). And apart from the amazing artwork, the thing which stands out most is the awesome storyline/plot and the humour. Avatar is an ultimate amalgamation of the best in graphics and storytelling. Amazing is the word!

Yip yip!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My first home made Donuts!

Goodness gracious me! Have I gone crazy or have I become a cook? Cant decide, cant decide! I cant believe it! I made my first donut today! Was so so nervous!

First up, I had to google "donut recipe" and the results were mind boggling and totally scary (well I never claimed I was Gordon Ramsay have I?). Finally, I found this cool video (for dummies in the kitchen, I might add) which explained perfectly how to make a donut, the easy way. Thats all I needed baby, thats all I needed. :)

Next came the tiresome process of making the actual thing. For that to happen, I needed the kitchen to myself, something mom wasnt willing to let happen infront of her eyes! Anyway, after a lot of requesting, she unwilling agreed.

Added the ingredients, got confused, made a mess, but finally this is how it turned out:


Mr. Ramsay, I can see that you're worried. :)

Gordon Ramsay
Image via Wikipedia

Anime vs Cartoon

Face of Wikipe-tanImage via WikipediaI am being forced to write about this, coz recently I have been stunned by some really really awesome anime stuff.

I had a certain prejudice about anime. I always thought they were really crappy animation thingies brought to light thanks to their publicity and Japanese background, US bashing, Japanese superiority etc etc. But the thing is, anime is really really cool! Infact I think to some extent it could even rival a standard cartoon!

The artwork and detail in most (if not all) anime series are simply superb, soundtracks (title tracks etc.) are awesome to say the least (and original as well!) and the plots are stunning, and the action sequences...well do I need to elaborate? I dont think I have ever come across an anime series (on tele) which turned out to be boring. As far as cartoon is concerned, I guess they have become monotonous or maybe have grown out of it.

And year after year anime is creating waves across the world, be it Naruto or Avatar; anime is here to stay and win accolades around the world for a long long time to come.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Where has the Pottermania gone?

Harry Potter (character)Image via WikipediaLumos!

Its the Potter season again. The sixth instalment of the Harry Potter series releases this week. One might ask, does one feel the Pottermania this time around? I dont, I'll be honest. Dunno why, maybe coz I've moved on since Harry Potter, maybe coz there are no more new Potter books to keep me busy anymore, maybe coz loads of other cool movies are releasing at the same time, or maybe a combination of all those reasons!

The thing is, most of the actors in the Harry Potter series have acted in other movies/tv shows. Now by doing those, they might have proven themselves to be versatile actors, but to crazy Potter fans (of which I might include myself, although I could well use the term "ex-crazy fan") it has spoiled the "magic" and enchantment of the entire series.

I really dont think this Potter movie is gonna be nearly as successful or as big a BO hit as its predecessors. The potter magic has simply vanished into thin air!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ice Age 3 - My Review

Sid from Ice AgeImage via Wikipedia
Finally got a chance to watch Ice Age 3, Dawn of the Dinosaurs. And here's my review.

Ice Age 3 has all its trademark characters in Ellie, Diego, Manny et al. Plus, loads of new characters have been introduced in this sequel. The movie is outright hilarious. But the thing is, it really doesnt have a solid plot going for it, something which made its first two instalments such a huge hit! There are loads of awesome laugh out loud one liners and the humour is is basically what keeps the movie going. At just about 94 mins, this one's not really a lengthy movie. And thank god it isnt! Coz if it were, the thinning plot would have become only too evident.

A brainless laugh riot in short. I wonder if the makers and producers would consider a fourth sequel coz to be frank, I dont think Ice Age has the same magic any more.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Will you be there...

Emotions swelled, voices quivered and shouts of "Michael!" were heard not just in the United States, but all over the world as fans, admirers and family members gathered at the Staples Centre to pay their tribute to the greatest entertainer that lived.

There were some stunning performances! Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson, Smokey Robinson, John Mayer, Lionel Richie, Shaheen Jafargholi (the kid from the UK who stunned us all with his voice), Usher and Stevie Wonder. All recollecting their treasured memories of the King of Pop.

"Your daddy wasn't strange — what he had to deal with was strange.". These words by Al Sharpton to Michael's children brought everyone to their feet. I havent heard such a soul stirring speech in my entire life and I believe the same goes for most.

The height of the emotional memorial service was when 11-year-old Paris-Michael Jackson took to the stage. All she could muster was "Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just wanted to say I love him — so much." Tears rolled down the cheeks of all present at the Staples Centre, and I'm sure across the millions watching the event on tele. All of a sudden this little girl who was unknown to the world, became a symbol of the strength, the kindness and the passion of everything the great man symbolised.

Some brilliantly constructed speeches, and stunning performances formed part of a fitting tribute to a man who did his bit to make the world a world a better place, who truly tried to...heal the world.

For pictures of the Michael Jackson Memorial Service visit here:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Roger Federer...the greatest ever!

Roger in his quarterfinal match at the 2007 Ci...Image via Wikipedia
This Wimbledon win of Roger takes his tally to 15 career grand slams. Now that is no mean feat. Infact he's the first one in history to have done it. Although, I might say Roddick was the better player in today's match, Federer was clearly the luckier one.

What an epic battle this was. 2009 Wimbledon Men's final is gonna be remembered for a very very long time to come. And lemme be frank and admit, this one was one of the longest tennis matches I've seen, to the extent of rivalling the 2008 epic finale (both quality and duration wise).

The biggest question one might ask is, now that Roger has won the most number of grand slams, is he the greatest ever? Simple answer, he is. And he's just 27, so he has a few more years to go, now that means he is definitely going to have a few more shots at grand slams, and if he's lucky (lucky I say, because Nadal, Djoko, Murray and now Roddick are breathing down his neck) he might win a few.

Congratulations to a great player and a great human being.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Railway Budget

Mamata Banerjee presented the railway budget today. There were high hopes from people from all walks of life across all economical classes.

She has announced loads of sops and new schemes and trains across many routes. But the essence of her budget was "Izzat". She has introduced a Rs. 25 monthly for all people having monthly income of below Rs. 1500 per month. Also, she has introduced "non stop" trains between various stations across the country. Something which I'm sure will be appreciated by all, as its a first of its kind in India! Also, the introduction of various routes, public private partnerships, amongst other things is also something the railway minister can be proud of. Students concessions and press concessions have been increased and introduced respectively. Also, plans of making at least 50 international standard model stations across the country is also a novel venture.

But finally it all boils down to one word...implementation.What the minister has announced is totally a pro people budget will loads of sops, but if its isnt properly implemented, its of no use. A big thumbs up to the minister for this pro people budget. And here's hoping all of it is implemented, and we get to see a new and improved Railways in the coming days.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

21 - My review

Saw a really cool movie today. Most may have probably seen it months back, but for me I got to watch it on TV and not in the theatres unfortunately.

21. This definitely qualifies as one of the coolest movies I've seen in a long time. Story of an MIT boy wanting to study at Harvard Med School. Unfortunately inspite of his awesome grades, he doesnt have the bucks to go there. He gets caught in the web of his teacher who coaxes him into gambling.

Now I wont give away the climax, but lemme say its one of the coolest climaxes I've seen. Brilliantly done.

A cast which ant exactly something which would blow your mind away, does a wonderful job in holding the plot together.

Go watch this movie, you wont regret it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My review of Terminator Salvation

Christian Bale, 2008Image via Wikipedia
First up, whoever thought the terminator series is not just the same anymore, well you're right, especially after terminator salvation.

The thing is, the entire storyline of terminator series is getting so very stretched. And the proof of it is evident in every single scene of this movie. It was really heartening to see Christian Bale as John Conor. However what can an actor, even if he's Christian Bale, do with a non existent story?

Moreover I really dont see the point of signing up an awesome actress like Helena Carter and then giving her around 5 minutes of screen time! Unless of course there's something big lined up for her in the next instalment of the series. Also, a guest appearance by Arnie totally out of context, makes the movie all the more nonsensical.

Other than that, its a pretty ordinary movie with loads of special effects. Well even the special effects arent entirely mind blowing. Aerial scenes couldve been shot for a longer duration which would've added to the "awe factor". Also, terrible loopholes in the movie's storyline (I keep coming back to the storyline isnt it?) almost make it a Bollywood movie albeit all the special effects.

To sum it all, not one of the movies you'd want to miss, but definitely not a movie you should expect a lot from.

New keyboard

Finally got hold of a new keyboard. My previous one wasnt working since long and it was high time I got a new one. It isnt sleek and smart, infact its the cheapest keyboard around. But it works that all I care about! :P