Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button
Linkedin button
Delicious button
Digg button
Flickr button
Stumbleupon button

Posts from — February 2015

Friday Review: 2048

I’m not one for playing a lot of games on the phone. But I do like playing some type of games. One of the games I have got hooked to recently is 2048.

This at first glance is a rather simple game. The objective is to achieve the number 2048 by adding equal numbers. The board is a 4×4 grid and the game gives you 2’s and 4’s for every move you make.

You can move up, down, right and left. If there is are same numbers next to each other when you move, they get added up. So, 2 and 2 gets added to 4. If you have a 4 and 4 lined up they will add up to 8.

You will then need to 8’s to make 16 and so on until you arrive at 2048. If the board fills up and you can’t move around anymore, it’s game over.

Getting to 2048 is fairly simple, once you get a knack for the game but the game doesn’t end there. You can continue doubling numbers until you max out the board at 131072 (or 217). The maximum possible score is 3,932,156 and the maximum number of moves is 131,038. After this there are no more moves possible in the 4×4 board.

I haven’t managed to get to 131072 yet. My highest is 65536 until now. Or rather it was until a month ago when I changed my phone and lost all game history. Now I need to start again from 2. 😀

The original 2048 is a single-player game created by Gabriele Cirulli, a 19-year old Italian developer. Cirulli created the game over a single weekend in March 2014. The game was a clone of Veewo Studios’ app 1024 and inspired by Sami “Saming” Romdhana’s clone 2048. Currently a lot of 2048 clones are available on the store which offer variations on the original.

This is a highly addictive game once you get a hang of it. It’s my favourite game on the pot in the mornings. 😀 The Wall Street Journal has described 2048 as “almost like Candy Crush for math geeks” and I completely agree with them except for the math geeks part.

I’ve found that all age groups love the game and get hooked to it. You should see my Mom at it. If you haven’t tried 2048 yet, you should! It’s available on the Android store, the iOS store and even online. Get it now!!!

February 27, 2015   No Comments

Book Review: The Arithmetic Of Breasts and Other Stories by Rochelle Potkar

 

Title: The Arithmetic Of Breasts and Other Stories
Author: Rochelle Potkar
Paperback: 79 pages
Publisher: Amazon(November 1st 2013)
Genre: Fiction, Short-stories
Read: eBook
Stars: ***/5
Buy On: Amazon | FlipKart

Summary: (Goodreads)

This cluster of 7½ literary short stories presents to you the romantic-sexual facets of:
Narain who lusts for Munika, hypnotized by her bosom in The Arithmetic of Breasts, and old Jaganlal who wants a favour from young Dia in The Room with a Sea-view.
Jackie who is in love with Nic in Sky Park, and the surgeon in Dr. Love who is changing much more than Sneha’s hairline, nose, lip and chin.
Shonali and Neel who are realizing that infidelity might not be such an easy thing in The Scent of a Conscience, and a woman who walks the tight rope between tradition and sexual exploitation in A place they call Scary.
And, Sunil who meets the woman of his desires in What Men Want through an adult dating site.
Through these stories, Rochelle Potkar explores the intensely personal ‘unrelationship’ that exists alongside its conventional and socially articulate twin, the relationship.

My Review:

Note: Thanks Rochelle Potkar for offering me your book to read and review :)

Cover: Simple and Sensuous

Paper and font: So-so…

Readability, language: Fairly Simple…

Why did I choose this book: ha ha, when I first saw the book I read the title as ‘Arithmetic of Beasts and Other Stories’, it was only when I was half-way through the first story that I noticed the ‘R’ in the title. 😀

This is a collection of 71/2 stories about the love lives of men and women, their lusts, amorous adventures, sexual quirks, and such. What all the stories have in common is the exploration of relationships and couplings outside of marriage.

The title is an interesting one even though I missed the ‘R’ 😀 and it’s the same as the first short story, though that one isn’t too short and is most probably the longest in the collection. The cover is a simple one yet sensuous. There seems to be a newer cover too with a mix of sculpture, books, spectacles, an apple, etc. but I liked the older version more.

The stories are interesting and well written. This book is not a fast read as each story leaves you with thoughts to mull over and absorb.

I’m not a great fan of erotica so, some bits of the book had me blushing pink and making sure I didn’t have an audience but over all there isn’t too much of it. I’d say it’s more sensual that erotic.

Most of the stories are set in Metropolitan India, when illicit affairs a fast becoming common place. I also felt some sarcasm from Potkar (or I hope it was) when her male characters talked about women. Their attitude, thoughts and approach rankled and raised anger as the feminist in me wanted to shake and throttle them.

The characters across the stories seem well thought out, at least from the perspective of short stories. There’s Narain the mathematician who sees geometry in anatomy, Sheha who agrees to change her identity for the man she loves, Neel who wants to cheat his wife but does not like being on the receiving end, and Sunil who finds ‘the’ woman on a dating site. There are others but these are the ones who stayed with me even after I closed the book.

Like I was saying before, the stories are thought provoking. I hadn’t expected this when I took up the book but I’m glad to report that the book came as a nice surprise. I found myself shushing Che when he disturbed me in the middle of the stories, and I don’t do that very often.

Each story had depth and needed my attention so I didn’t miss the crux for it all. Potkar’s style of writing is what I call simple-complex. Simple language, complex thought. 😀

I still had my favourites though. I enjoyed reading Dr. Love, Room with a Sea-view, What Men Want and The Arithmetic of Breasts. My least liked one were Sky Park and A Place they call Scary.

Ok, this has been a rather long review for a collection of short stories. So, on to verdict. Over all I enjoyed the book. I wish some of the stories had had more to them but if you are someone who likes sensual stuff and stories that make you think, this book is for you.

About the Author:
Rochelle Potkar is a fiction writer and poet. She lives in Mumbai and is working on her next book Dreams of Déjà vu – a speculative novel. She can be found on Twitter at @rochellepotkar

Buy On: Amazon | FlipKart

February 26, 2015   1 Comment

Video Wednesday: The AIB Knockout Controversy

I had meant to do a Video Wednesday on AIB’s Knockout / Roast when it came out on Jan 28 2015 but, before I knew it, it disappeared from Youtube. However it’s up there on DailyMotion, so here goes…

Almost all Indians in India and world over have see the Roast, either on Youtube almost as soon as it came out or on Torrents after those squirmy spineless people who claim to be protecting our culture forced AIB to take it down. I don’t see these people coming forward to protect women, safeguard children’s rights or in any other critical issues.

Anyway this is not a bitching post. And neither is it a treatise on the language used in the show. Considering how easily and nonchalantly we Indian used abusive words, making a brouhaha about it is plain silly and stupid.

I enjoyed the show. I think it’s great that groups like AIB break convention and do something novel. This event was a milestone in the history of Indian Comedy. There’s also something to be said of the courage shown by Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor. It’s not easy to stand up there and let your ass be taken while a million people watch. Agreed all publicity is good publicity but still. I personally think all those who participated, including the audience were awesome sports.

I had planned to do a compilation of videos about the AIB Knockout – quips, comments, statements and such for this post. But in all my searching, all that I found was not worthy of sharing. Everyone has a point to make or an opinion. This is fine it’s like freedom of speech [freedom of opinion, you know 😀 ] but how can you have an opinion on something you don’t know about, something you haven’t watched? And how can all reactions be ‘shocking’??

Aamir Khan made a 6 minute statement about the AIB Knockout and a lot has been talked about it. Almost all I have heard is not in favour of Aamir ( even Russell Peters told him to shut up), but on listening to him all I noticed was a man taking a neutral stance. He is on both sides, supporting both sides and finding fault with both. And most importantly (like he repeatedly says) he hasn’t watch the show!

The media seems to have hounded people to get a byte. A lot of those people have not seen the Roast, not heard of the Roast or just seen a clip. Really! What authority do they have to comment. Good to see AB and a few others take the stand of “I didn’t see so I won’t comment”.

Rakhi Savant of course took the cake with her opinion in the matter. “The show has been dubbed. Sab ne unke sath chitting ki hai.” she says. 😛

But all jokes aside, I think Old Delhi Films group said it best with their video about “Things which are more OFFENSIVE than AIB Knockout”.

What did you think of the roast? What I’m more interested in is, what did you think of the Roast Controversy?? 😉

February 25, 2015   No Comments

Tuesday At The Movies: 12 Old Hindi Movies I Must Watch This Year

In the last two weeks I haven’t been able to watch any movies, so this morning as I walked the dogs I scratched my head and stared into the sunrise trying to figure out what I would write in today’s #TATM.

All that staring made my eyes hurt but a ray of light appeared. [corny no? 😀 ] I remembered that I was supposed to make a post with a list of old Hindi movies I want to watch this year. And that solved the dilemma.

I got thinking about some old movies I’ve watched over time and would like to watch again and 10 jumped out at me with ease. There are some movies that made a mark and some I could watch again and again and never be bored.

Some of these are on Top 10 lists, 100 Must Watch lists and such but some aren’t that famous or popular. Well, these are my favourite movies that I’d like to rewatch this year, at least once. 😀

1. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron – 1983


Director: Kundan Shah
Actors: Naseeruddin Shah, Ravi Baswani, Bhakti Barve, Satish Shah, Om Puri, Pankaj Kapur, …

This movie was a milestone in India Cinema. A simple yet powerful story with so many hilarious twists and turns that even a non-Hindi speaking person would roll about in laughter. Two photographers stumble upon a murder and embark on a journey of finding justice, but what they find is rampant corruption at every level and no justice to be found anywhere.

2. Chhoti si baat – 1975


Director: Basu Chatterjee
Actors: Ashok Kumar, Vidya Sinha, Amol Palekar, Asrani

Another comedy with some hard hitting truth, this is the story of a simple boy who wants to woo a girl but does know how to. Each time he tries the suave romancer steals the show and the girl from him. Will he get street-smart and learn the ways of wooing? That’s the story.

3. Angoor – 1982


Director: Gulzar
Actors: Sanjeev Kumar, Moushumi Chatterjee, Deven Verma, Aruna Irani

Based on Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, this is the story of two identical brothers and their man Fridays who are also identical. What follows is a complete mix up and confusion when they get switched.

4. Chupke Chupke – 1975


Director: Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Actors: Dharmendra, Sharmila Tagore, Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bhaduri

A newly wedded husband takes up a challenge from his wife to test out her Uncle who is an astute judge of people. With a little help from friends and support from his wife he goes on to baffle the Uncle and create hilarious situations as he plays the role of a driver in the Uncle’s house.

5. Gol Maal – 1979


Director: Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Actors: Amol Palekar, Bindiya Goswami, Deven Verma, Shubha Khote

Amol Palekar plays the role of Ramprasad and invents his twin Laxman Prasad when his finicky boss catches him at a football match. The boss Bhavani Shankar played by Utpal Dutt has very strict rules and believes an man without a moustache is a man without character. The maintaining of a fake twin brother leads Ramprasad into a series of wacky situations.

6. Saudagar – 1973


Director: Sudhendu Roy
Actors: Amitabh Bachchan, Nutan, Trilok Kapoor, Padma Khanna

This a movie with a lot of depth, that it also has awesome music is a bonus. I watched this movie first as a child and have enjoyed it since then. Each rewatch bringing more detail to the forefront. The story is about Moti who collects and sells gurd. He is in love with a PYT but cannot afford to marry her. So, he actions a plan of marrying the woman who makes his gurd to save more money and divorcing her to marry his PYT when he has enough saved. How it all works out is the story.

7. Khatta Meetha – 1981


Director: Basu Chatterjee
Actors: Ashok Kumar, Rakesh Roshan, Bindiya Goswami, Raju Shrestha

A feel good movie that makes me smile. Lots of moments in this movie that I love. Centred around two Parsi families that become one, this is a story of coming together, learning to love, adjusting, sticking it out and standing up for each other.

8. Anand – 1971


Director: Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Actors: Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Sumita Sanyal, Ramesh Deo

A complete tear-jerker this is the story of Anand who is suffering from lymphasarcoma of the intestine and is destined to die in a few months. His impending doom though does not stop him from bringing a smile to many a face.

9. Masoom – 1983


Director: Shekhar Kapur
Actors: Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, Tanuja, Jugal Hansraj

The illegitimate child of a man turns up one day at his doorstep with a letter saying his mother is dead. What is the impact of his arrival on the unsuspecting wife, his legitimate children and the man himself? Most important what happens to the child who is innocent of all indiscretions of the adults?

10. Khubsoorat – 1980


Director: Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Actors: Ashok Kumar, Rekha, Rakesh Roshan, Shashikala

Manju’s sister Anju marries into a very strict matriarchal family. The family don’t like the rulings of their mother but go along to keep her happy and keep the peace. That is until Manju turns up to visit and then turns their world upside down.

11. Bawarchi – 1972


Director: Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Actors: Rajesh Khanna, Jaya Bhaduri, Usha Kiran, Harindranath Chattopadhyay

This is a hilarious movie about the Sharma family of Shanti Nivas who have been unable to hold on to any cook beyond a few months. Their squabbles and arguments drive every cook away until a young man named Raghu turns up. Raghu gets a grip of the kitchen and the family pretty quickly and soon they cannot do without him.

12. Pestonjee – 1988


Director: Vijaya Mehta
Actors: Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Anupam Kher, Kiron Kher

I have seen this movie just once and be warned this one is serious and has depth. I’d like to watch it again and understand it better. The story is about two friends who fall in love with the same girl. One is a serious man and the other happy go lucky. And then the story rolls as the years go by.

I may have made mistakes with the stories and such for all of this is from memory or how I remember the movie. That said these are still 12 movies that have made a mark and deep enough that I remember them even after years.

I used to watch and rewatch some like Chupke Chupke, Khatta Meetha, and Chhoti so Baat repeatedly but even that has slipped by in the last 7 years. I’m looking forward to catching up with these movies through this year.

Each one of them will bring along 3 hours of smiles and nostalgia. :)

Photo Credits: Wikipedia – Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, Chhoti Si Baat, Angoor, Chupke Chupke, Golmaal, Saudagar, Khatta Meetha, Anand, Masoom, Khubsoorat, Bawarchi & Webamall – Pestonjee

February 24, 2015   No Comments

The Pawsible Weekly – 1st Edition

I’ve been meaning to start this series for a few months now but I’ve just not gotten down to it. I kept putting it off thinking a intro would be needed and introducing 6 dogs is a lot of writing. So I did what I do best sometimes – procrastinate.

But here I am now starting off just like that. Along the way I introduce you to my pack. Kind of like how I got to know them, they came into my life at different points in time not only in my life but in theirs too.

The idea of this post is to make a weekly update of all that’s dog here. A way for those who know my brat pack to follow them and a way for me to keep record. This is all about them, whats happening to them, what they are doing and everything else.

Now, just so you know them, here’s a quick introduction, in age order.

Buddha, my wise old one, the oldest in my pack, he’ll be 11 this year.


William, the majestic one. He’s a golden who thinks he’s a ;ion with a full mane. Going to be 10, he’s a cranky loveable one.


Max or MaxiTaxi as I love calling him comes next in the line up at 9 and loves to eat and sleep. Ah yes, he loves being petted too!


Cuckoo the Bird-Brain, thinking she is a bird and even after 6 years we haven’t managed to get her to believe otherwise.


Sentimeter or Senti can kill you with love and licks. He believes he was born to lick every price of exposed fresh throughly and completely. (Also 6)


And then there’s Elu my free spirit. She’s just turning 1 and is the life and heart of this pack.

Alright so that’s my six, I’ll eventually introduce each one in detail and tell you their stories.

Cuckoo was our first and then the rest have just come in one after the other. They fill my life with joy. Somedays they are a handful and tiring but I’ve never regretted saying yes to Che when he picked up that small patchy mutt from the dustbin and asked if we could keep her.

The current news is that they all did well while I was away and have been good doggies. That said there were a few glitches.

Max has been having an explosion of ear wax for a while now and while I was away Che discovered he had mites. A through cleaning with hydrogen peroxide and over a week of daily cleaning with ACV is showing results. The wax formation has drastically reduced and hopefully will be fully under control soon.

The other glitch was Elu, who started showing signs of pain a day before I was due to return from Calicut. She has a bump on her back and refused to allow anyone to touch it. Considering the insects she demolishes, we figured it was a nasty bite.

Then the next day she broke out into bumps. It looked like a swarm of mosquitoes had descended on her and had a meal. A visit to the Vet brought up two options – a toxic bite or a bacterial infection. It seemed to have gotten bad too fast for a bacterial infection, so the conclusion is a nasty bite. For now the little one is on antibiotics and seeking coconut oil & medicated baths.

And after a few days for not being herself, she is back to being herself – My silly wacky puppy. Destroying every leaf and miscellaneous other things in sight. 😀

That’s it for this week. I’ll be back next Monday with another update. :)

February 23, 2015   No Comments

The Week That Was: Week 7 & 8

The last two weeks have been immense fun. I’ve been away from home, work, my blog and life as usual but still it’s been an eventful time.

I spent my first week away in Calicut attending my cousin’s wedding. I’ve been looking forward to this for almost a year now. And all that prep paid off as I enjoyed my time away without having to worry about the dogs or home.

Big thanks are due to the Hubby and Devisri who managed the show without a hitch. Devisri Sarkar is not only a dog behaviourist but a superstar doggie-sitter and if you have a dog, you should follow her on Urban Dawg on Facebook.

Here’s some photos that I hope will tell a little about my wedding week. 😀


Starting off for Calicut. Three generations of women.


My Grandmom loves mehendi!


My first view of Calicut from the balcony of the apartment we lived in.


One more photo please… We managed to squeeze in a little shopping too!


Super sour chopped marinated mango topped on crushed ice. I love maraaf-golas’s and sour stuff but this combo was too much even for me!


Coconut pulp, coconut milk, coconut water, Milk powder, sugar and elaichi makes for an absolute yum drink!



Me as I am rarely ever seen. This is a Rida, a version of the burkha, a compulsory requirement when you go to any community areas.


The Bride


The groom. How can he not say Qabul when thats the bride…


My lil niece who’s a doll!!

I got back all tired yet happy and promptly went for a hair cut. It’s been 5 years since I have had short hair. Short hair feels awesome! 😀

Two days of running about completing the incompletes and we were off again for a quick holiday. (After a wedding there must be a honeymoon, no? 😀 ) Che and I took off for a couple of days to Red Earth in Kabini.

I’ll do a review of the place soon but for now let it suffice to say, the place is great. Great ambience, stay, food, people and service. This place rocks!

Here’s a few photos I took while there…


Sunsets…




Some of the life at Red Earth. There’s a lot I didn’t take pictures of, like the 20+ species of birds I saw…


The jacuzzi in our cottage. It was my first time ever in a jacuzzi.


Sunrise on the Kabini Reservoir…

My time way has left me refreshed and rejuvenated. Now it’s back to the grind. 😉

What have you been up to?

February 22, 2015   No Comments

Video Wednesday: 50 Shades of Grey

50 Shades of Grey the movie releases this Valentine’s Day. And this is one book I haven’t read. It’s actually on my DNF list! Well, I couldn’t get past the first 5 pages.

I knew before I started, that the book was erotica and that’s not my genre. I’m not saying I don’t read it but I don’t like it so much. I guess I can take only so much of porn. 😀

Anyway like I was saying I started out knowing it was erotica, I expected the BDSM sex scenes but I quit before page 5, before the erotica made an appearance. It wasn’t the genre that didn’t work for me, it was just the book.

Considering 50 Shades is Twilight fan fiction, maybe that explains it, since even Twilight didn’t work for me. Twilight was another DNF.

And if you ask me, DNF’s are best watched as movies. That way you waste only 2 hours, get the gist and don’t feel very guilty. 😉

So here’s the trailer of 50 Shades.

While looking around for the trailers, I came across some takes to the trailers. Here you go…

Superwoman’s Parents Reaction to the Trailer

React did a video on Elders reaction to Fifty Shades of Grey. Here’s the bonus video of it, you can see the full one on their channel.

I enjoyed these and thought they were funny, Che though disagrees. Guess we have different senses of humour! 😛 What did you think of them? Funny at all?

February 11, 2015   No Comments

The Week That Was: Week 6

This week has been a crazy week. Wait, did I just say crazy. Hrrump… It’s true this has been a crazy week, but then so is every week and crazy is my favourite word. So, lets try again with something else. 😀

This week has been maddening, chaotic, hectic, simply put crazy busy. 😛

I started the week with welcoming Mom and Granny back after their two month sojourn. It’s good to have them back…

Welcome home… Part 1… #LifeAsFreya #Mothers #LoveYouMom #Welcome #BeezPandra

A post shared by Life as Freya (@freya3377) on

The rest of the week sped past as I tried to (and am still trying) wrap up stuff. (I head out to Calicut for my cousin’s wedding on Tuesday and there is just so much to do before that.)

I visited Doctor Prince, a well known Ayurveda doctor who has been recommended so many times, I just had to go meet him for my cold and gastritis. One more attempt, hopefully my last.

This lady surprised me at the Doc’s when she switched from a Tamil newspaper to Harry Potter. I couldn’t resist asking if this was her first time.
She grinned and replied, ‘It’s my fourth time, I really like these books’… 😀

 

The dogs got a much needed bath. Well not all, two done, now it’s four more to go…

Managed to fit in a visit to Mom’s so I could put together some of the clothes I’m going to wear for the various events with it’s coordinated jewellery. Glad I did it, coz all blouses are tight! 😛

Granny though doesn’t have that worry and she was more intent on showing me her latest acquisition. Her latest gift from the Amricas…

My compost bin was overflowing and so got that one out of the way too. Got some lovely black gold to sprinkle around the garden once I’m back.

 

The rest has been just all work, which makes for boring photos so here are some cute ones… 😀

The Style Guy!

 

The toy that lasted less than a minute 😀

 

Ebony and Ivory!

 

MISS Red Riding Hood…

 

The cuddlers…

 

After trying this whole week to fit blogging in with the tight schedule, I’ve officially given up. I’m taking a two week time-out from the blog.

For now I’m focusing to getting the house, dogs, and work sorted while keeping a sane head and managing to pack all I need for the wedding.

See you guys once I’m back. Have fun folks! 😉

February 8, 2015   No Comments

Tuesday At The Movies: Wild, Birdman and American Sniper

From this valley they say you are going.
We will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile,
For they say you are taking the sunshine
That has brightened our pathway a while.

So come sit by my side if you love me.
Do not hasten to bid me adieu.
Just remember the Red River Valley,
And the cowboy that has loved you so true.

This week we impulsively decided to do a movie marathon. We haven’t done that in a while but a friends staying over seemed like the perfect excuse to go back in time. Only we had forgotten the years that have gone by and the age that has creeped in.

We used to do all-nighters at one point in time, movies ran back to back through the day and night and the marathon ran for 3 days. This time we only managed 3 movies. 😛

The lyrics at the start are of Red River Valley, a cowboy folk song that is know by many names. I remember it though from school when it was sung in memoriam of one of our teachers.

The song is short but it has stayed in my head for years and it came pouring back when I heard it again in ‘Wild’. What can I say, it’s a haunting song. Give it a listen…

 

Wild


A coming of age movie. The true story of a woman who took up a 1000 km hike across the Pacific Crest Trail to find herself. Reese Witherspoon plays Cheryl Strayed, watching the movie I couldn’t help but think that The Legally Blonde gal has come a long way… This is a movie to watch.

 

Birdman


This movie I think is about an actor struggling with his past and trying to reinvent himself. But I say ‘think’ because I’m not sure. I didn’t really get the movie and if I can manage it, maybe I’ll watch it again. Good movie, but deep (I think). Some may like it.

 

American Sniper


Based on the biography of Chris Kyle, who is considered the deadliest marksman in U.S. military history, with 255 kills, out of which 160 are officially confirmed. This movie gives a glimpse into the head of a man who is a mass murderer if you want to see it that way. A propaganda movie but, it is good entertainment and you’ll not see the end coming.

What have you watched this week?

February 3, 2015   No Comments