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Posts from — May 2015

Video Wednesday: 5 Awesome Ads starring Ranveer Singh

I as hunted around for today’s video to share I stumbled upon Ranveer Singh’s latest ad for Akshaye Patra. This guy has a wacky sense of humour, I really like him. Good looks, an cheeky smile, stunning body, brains and a witty sense of humour is an excellent combination in a man. 😀

After one, I went on a hunt looking for more ads done by Ranveer Singh. He’s been doing some really wacky and weird ads lately. Here’s 5 ads I really liked.

This one’s killer. Until I saw this one I used to think only his Durex ad was cheesy. 😛

 

And here’s the much talked about #DoTheRex ad. Ah ha ha ha ha, ah ha ha ha aha… Do The Rex. 😛

 

And another performance for Ching’s.

 

This guy is a good talker too. Like here in Chup – The Durex MTV Rex Talk

 

And finally the ad that started it all. Ranveer Singh’s latest – India Ke Hunger Ki Bajao.

 

I loved all these ads of his but my favourite is the RUPA Frontline one. It doesn’t get cheesier than that. 😛 What’s your favourite?

 

P.S. – Day Twenty-Three of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge.

May 27, 2015   No Comments

Tuesday At The Movies: A Mixed Bag

Last month was a bumper at the movies. I watched 11 movies in total and a lot of them were old Hindi movies. It’s fun to go hunting for movies to watch on Youtube, especially when a lot of them are free (but not ad free). Here’s the last set of four movies from April…

 

Do Ladke Dono Kadke

 
Rating: ***/5 – Could Watch!!
Release: 5 January 1979 (India)
Language: Hindi
Running Time: 1h 57m
Director: Basu Chatterjee
Actors: Navin Nischol, Amol Palekar, Moushumi Chatterjee, Asrani, Keshto Mukherjee, Dina Pathak, Ranjeet
Music: Hemanta Kumar Mukhopadhyay

 

 

The story of two broke young robbers who impulsively kidnap a child that was supposed to be the target of a kidnapping gang. What forms is a triangle of sorts, the pros are demanding ransom while searching for the stolen child, the amateurs are caring for the child and making novice demands, and the parents and police and in knots trying to untangle the multiple calls and demands.

I picked this movie to watch on a whim and wasn’t disappointed. But I wasn’t sold on it either. It’s supposed to be a funny movie but I didn’t find it humorous. Palekar’s falling in love with a widow and immediately turning a good leaf is cliched in both departments. The end also is very unbelievable. It as if the director got tired of doing his thing and ended the movie with the first ludicrous happily-ever-after idea he thought of.

 

Chhote Nawab

 
 
Rating: ****/5 – Should Watch!!
Release: 1961 (India)
Language: Hindi
Running Time: 2h 22m
Director: S.A. Akbar
Actors:  Ameeta, Mehmood, Johnny Walker, Helen
Music: R. D. Burman

 

 

Chhote Nawab isn’t chhote, he is a 20 year old who behaves like a 5 year old because he was born on February 29th. Spoilt and pampered he has no understanding of the world and it’s ways. When his father suddenly passes away Chhote Nawab is left floundering. A friend of his fathers find him and takes him away to Calcutta where he grows up rather quickly.

An old movie but a gem, not only for Mehmood but also the ideas, emotions and situations explored. There are a lot of layers to  this movie. My only complaint though is the sudden jumps in time the director made maybe because he was running out of time. the pace of the first half and second half are mismatched.

Excellent music! Especially ‘Matwali Ankhon Wale’, it was a treat to watch Mehmood dance with the beautiful Helen.

 

Tahaan

 
Rating: ****/5 – Should Watch!!
Release: September 5, 2008 (India)
Language: Hindi
Running Time: 1h 45m
Director: Santosh Sivan
Actors: Purav Bhandare, Anupam Kher, Sarika, Rahul Bose, Rahul Khanna, Victor Banerjee
Music: Taufique Qureshi
Cinematography: Santosh Sivan
Editing: Shakti Hasija

 

 

Based on the life of a little boy in Kashmir who is trying to reclaim his donkey that the family lost to debt. This is a story of borders, militancy, violence and the people of Kashmir.

The story explores various things, but what stood out for me was the ease with which children can be used for terrorism. Their innocence misused. That said the intelligence of children is also shown. An good movie both for children and adults.

 

Lucy

 
 
 
Rating: ****/5 – Should Watch!!
Release: July 25, 2014 (USA)
Language: English
Running Time: 89 minutes
Director: Luc Besson
Actors: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Choi Min-sik, Amr Waked
Music: Éric Serra
Cinematography: Thierry Arbogast
Editing: Julien Rey

 

 

The normal everyday man uses only 10% of his brain. What would happen if he used more? That’s the premise of this movie.

Lucy gets used as a drug mule, the substance leaks into her system and give her powers. She is able to use more than 10% of her brain. What happens when you use 100% of your brain is the story.

That’s it from April. What did you watch in April? Any outstanding movies?

 
P.S. – Day Twenty-Two of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge.

May 26, 2015   No Comments

Pawsible Weekly: Poop Queen

Disclaimer: this article is shit, is about shit and everything shit, so if you are not into shit or eating at the moment, don’t read further.

For 29 years of my life the only poop I knew intimately was my own, then the dogs came along. Now I am a professional Poop Inspector and Investigator along with being an expert Poop Hunter and Collector. That’s a lot of titles so let me explain them.
 

Poop Hunter

 
Each of the dogs have their poop zones, their favourite spots, but sometimes I think the pressure comes on suddenly or they decide to set up a treasure hunt and then the shit could be anywhere. Even in the middle of the hall!
 

Poop Inspector

 
Having six dogs means somewhere between 6 to 12 piles of shit. As a well experienced, researched and studied Inspector I can tell whose shit is whose at a distance mostly. By close-up inspection my guess would be right 95% of the time. 😀

Poop Investigator

 
Identifying poop is just half the battle, the second half involves observing, identifying and tabulating what the turd indicates. Special points are given on finding bone shards, coloured nylon chewie shavings, balls of hair, fur and grass. Thankfully I’ve not found anything else, yet.

 

Poop Collector

 
Poop comes in various states – dry and crumbling, dry and firm, wet and sticky, soft and gooey, liquid gel. The dry and firm variety is the simplest and easiest to pick up. It comes clean of the ground. All the others need a little ingenuity, experience and skill before the art is perfected.

 

Why is Shit so Important?

 
Shit holds a lot of secrets. I’m not kidding, it’s true you know. Your poop can tell you a lot about your body and health. It’s colour, consistency, ease of passing and smell are indicators of many a thing. Looking at poop can tell you about excess vitamins, malnourishment, bleeding, infections, and much more.
 
I started out a novice, but in the last six years of picking up poop, it’s amazing how much I have learned about and from SHIT!

 
P.S. – Day Twenty-One of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge.

May 25, 2015   2 Comments

The Week That Was: Week 22

“Hi, Five year old wife” was Che’s opening statement today. Yep, it’s our anniversary. We’ve survived five years, it’s a milestone! I can’t believe it, it doesn’t feel like five years most days and sometimes it feels like forever.

But all said and done, if the past five years are a taster of what’s coming, and I had a chance to do it all over, I’ll choose Che every time. 😀

So much has happened in the last five years, we started to full time freelance (and yet manage to pay bills!), we’ve moved from a flat to a two storied house with a garden, made love uncountable times and had BIG fights an equal number of times, enlarged our family to we two, ours six (dogs, that is), travelled alone, together, national, International, … It’s a long list of memories that make me smile as I think of them today.

It’s been a good five years.We celebrated with food! :)

 

Blog

I can feel myself getting into the groove of things, albeit slowly. This week I talked about sleeping with the dogs , my experience of Kaziranga National Park  – the first part, and my thoughts of Twitter.

I also shared some of the old Hindi Movies I watched. If you are into that sort of thing, I’ve posted the links to the movies in Youtube too.

 

Reading

I didn’t read as much this week. There were too many things happening but I did read and reviewed Choked by Bharath Sarma Rejeti.

Phew! Finally I’ve started with my last Perry Mason – The Case of the Phantom Fortune. It’s inbetween in the series as I had to order it when I found it missing in the set and it finally arrived just yesterday.

 

Here and There

Michele over at Angels Bark shared her thoughts on a quote and got me thinking too – “Choose being kind over being right, and you’ll be right every time”. I enjoy reading Bernie’s posts on her day to day life, she has in splits constantly, you should check out her latest on Cousin Connie the Cougar!

Kari who’s on a mission to travel the world talked about Traveller’s Remorse. Have you ever experienced choosing between what you should do and what you want to do?

 

Gardening

A lot of what I sowed last week is sprouting. It’s a joy to watch the little leaves shoot out. I’ve got my fingers crossed for survivors, they are so delicate at this point.

I need to get the planting beds ready next week so it can sit and settle for a bit before the transplant.

 

Health and Fitness

This area has been in bad shape. We slipped up and dropped off on our swimming challenge. As always, life caught up. I really need to fix this.

I also need to fix my stomach, which has been giving me hell this week. I’ve had 4 disturbed nights due to extreme pain. I didn’t ever think gas could be this painful!

 

Delights

This week started out hectic with me and Mom shutting up and down the city getting our flat painted and ready for the next tenant. Its was quite a cleaning job, but we got it done! 😀

Then there was the pretty sarong Anitra get me from her road trip across Sri Lanka. Isn’t it lovely! Another one for my lungi collection. 😉

I came across these pretty caterpillar. They fascinate me with their colours, shapes and designs.

I think I’ve saved the best for last. But these chocolate bars are addictive and crazy heavy on the calories. We couldn’t stop with one. Well, it’s finally over. :(

So, that was my week. What have you been upto?

 

Photos Credit: Free Images

 
P.S. – Day Twenty of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge.

May 24, 2015   2 Comments

Saturday Social: What is Twitter and How to Work it?

 
I have always thought of Twitter as a cocktail networking event, only online. It’s a place filled with lots of varied people and diverse conversations. Just about anything under the sun is discussed on Twitter, from traveling to teleporting.

Imagine a room full of on-going conversations, the place filled with chatter so indistinct, it’s noise and noisy when you first walk in. It’s also overwhelming and disconcerting like a a real room full of people you don’t know.

But if you squared your shoulders, took a deep breath, smiled and stepped up to the bar, things would start to change. Take a sip of that cocktail and look around, listen to talk around you.

As you listen the indistinct babble will start to pop words. Some may be interesting to you and you’ll gravitate towards the conversation that most catches your ear. After hanging around on the fringes slowly you’ve venture an opinion and before you know it you are a part of the conversation.

Soon another word in another part of the room catches your attention and you move on to the new conversation. And so on the evening goes, talking and meeting new people.

Working a networking event takes time and patience. It also requires listening skills as no one wants to only listen. These rules apply to Twitter too.

When trying to figure out how you can use twitter personally or for your business, the best way to start is to sign-up and then sit back and listen. Let the conversations come to you, get a feel of the pulse of the space, and then say what you’d like to say.

Follow people because you genuinely want to follow them, not because they are celebrities. Interact with those you follow. Be genuine in your conversations. Be yourself.

P.S. – I’m going to be talking more about Twitter as the weeks go by. I’m taking this on my chin, so please let me know what you think of this post. Did it help you? And leave me questions you have in comments and I’ll try to answer them. :)

 
P.S. – Day Nineteen of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge.

May 23, 2015   1 Comment

Book Review: Choked! by Bharath Sarma Rejeti


Title: Choked!
Author: Bharath Sarma Rejeti
Paperback: 172 pages
Publisher: Partridge India(December 17th 2013)
Genre: Fiction
Read: Paperback
Stars: ***/5
Buy On: Buy On: Amazon | FlipKart

 

Summary: (Goodreads)

What will you do when someone chokes you off?

It happened to him, a victim of a conspiracy. He was all alone, vulnerable, and pitted against the mighty and juggernaut, but being strong was the only option he had. He knew that it would be difficult to win, but quitting the fight would be devastating. He had too many things at stake – a non-negotiable promise, his land, life, and livelihood.

Unrelentingly, he began the revolt with just an indestructible desire to win. It was indeed a war between two unique men – one preferred to confront head-on, and another chose to be invisible. The war was also one of its kind – the victory was not in plotting violence but in terrorising the enemy.

This is the story of a small businessman who was pushed to fight with a corporate gorilla.

My Review:

Note: Thanks Bharath Sarma Rejeti for offering me your book to read and review :)

Cover: Confusing!

Paper and font: Black and White

Readability, language: Easy on the eyes and mind.

Why did I choose this book: The premise of a fight of small businessman vs corporate gorilla sounded interesting.

One morning out of the blue, Aditya loses everything he and his father have built over two generations. His business is suddenly shut down and he is left on the streets. Like a bigger fish eats little fish, his business has been snatched from him by a bigger businessman. After a period of mourning Aditya decides to take up the fight and goes after the big shark to take revenge. Will he win and how will he do it is the story.

The title ‘Choked’ started to make sense after I had read the book. The cover confused me before I started the book. The smoke in the image along with the title had me thinking that the story was about factories and fires. But the blurb dispeled this misconception with a cryptic intro to the story.

The plot itself may not be new, a wronged hero taking revenge is an age old plot but set the old story in new Bangalore and things change. The conflict between the two businessmen is clear within the first few pages of the book, and the rest of the story revolves round the two adversaries.

Set in Bangalore for the large part, the story also moves around to Chennai, Mumbai, and Silluru to support the story. Rejeti’s knowledge of the layout and recent history of Bangalore city shows when he mentions and uses landmark establishments around the city in his story.

Aditya and Singhania the two adversaries of the story seemed true to what I know of business men. Aditya seems the type of man who buckles easily under strain but he comes back to fight with a vengeance. I would have liked to have got to know of more about Singhania. His character seemed really strong and colourful. There are other characters too, some taking an active part in the story while others like Aditya’s family made for good decor.

The story is evenly paced and builds toward the climax. Rejeti’s has put in some surprises and twists but none of them performed well enough to take my breath away. I also did not notice any sub-plots as such but neither did I notice any loose ends.

Choked is Indian and very Bangalorean in every way. The language of writing and the dialogues of the characters are very colloquial and local to Bangalore. It almost like you are reading a book translated from Kanada or Hindi to English. Rejeti also uses some Kanada and Hindi to add to the dialogue. All non-English dialogues in the book have translations though.

A short and fast book, Choked is easy on the mind. Though the book is readable by all ages, I think the younger crowd in the late twenties will enjoy it more. I would have liked the story to have been a bit tighter but over all it’s not bad.

If you like stories with business complications and conspiracies, you will enjoy reading Choked. Especially if you are Bangalorean or have lived in Bangalore for a while.

About the Author:
Bharath Sarma Rejeti is a marketing professional and works in a software company in Bangalore. Choked! is his debut novel. You can find out more on the book’s facebook page

Buy On: Amazon | FlipKart

 
P.S. – Day Eighteen of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge.

May 22, 2015   1 Comment

Thursday Travel: Kaziranga National Park and The Rhino

I had been to Kaziranga National Park for the first time about 6 years ago but back then I just past through the park and except for rhino’s didn’t see much at all.

Then in March I landed up there again as a part of the Journeys with Meaning trip. This time though I wasn’t just passing through and I got to know the forest so much better.

There is so much I learned and experienced in a little over one day there. The night before the safari, Dr. Firoz Ahmed, a Wildlife Biologist at Aranyak made time to come and tell us about Kaziranga and answer our questions.

The Rhino

Dr. Firoz has spent many years in Kaziranga studying the Rhino and trying to save it. And they’ve achieved it! In spite of poaching, since the park was formed in 1904 rhino numbers have been steadily going up. There are over 2000 rhinos in Kaziranga today.

Kaziranga National Park is a combination of grassland, marshland, and dense tropical forests criss-crossed by 4 rivers. It supports not just the rhino but also a large number of other animal, bird and fish species that come together to form an excellent eco-system. Here an adult Rhino does not have any predators and lives 8-10 years. It’s horn and very sharp teeth keep it safe from most attacks. Even Tigers would think twice.

Poaching

However in spite of the skin of a rhino looking tough and like armour, it is delicate and very sensitive. One well placed shot from poachers can bring this beautiful beast to its knees and after that it’s just one or two hacks of an axe to get the horn. The entire operation is so quick that it’s almost impossible to catch the poachers.

Most poachers work hand in hand with locals. A local guide is needed for a successful slaughter. Aranyak works in this space, trying to educate the locals and protect the rhino.

The Horn

It is a myth that the rhino horn is used in Chinese medicine as a aphrodisiac. The truth is it is used in fever medicine. The horn can be harvested with out killing the rhino if it is not dug out but the rates for the horn (80 lakhs or so for 250gms) makes poachers want to take all of it, every single bit.

Rhino horns are used not just for medicine, but also as ornaments and status symbols. The extremists use them as a way to fund their activities, buying guns, ammunition and such.

Kaziranga has more rhino poaching than tiger poaching and tiger numbers here are high (over a 100). The tigers are pretty safe here as there is very little human-tiger conflict due to the large supply of water and prey in this extremely fertile land.

Continued Next week…

 
P.S. – Day Seventeen of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge.

May 21, 2015   1 Comment

Video Wednesday: Why Mutts are Better in Dogs

Most people want dogs with a breed. Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Cockers, Boxers and such are hot favourites but few understand the history of breeds and its side effects.

Dogs were quite like mongrel-wolves until man interfered. Man started to tweak the mongrel to create dogs that looked and did specific things. Each breed had a purpose. Some were retrievers, others hounds, some herders, others sniffers, and so on.

Over the years the purpose of breeds has been lost. Today breeds matter only in terms of looks and behaviour. And breeding or inbreeding has caused trouble.

Let me explain, quite like humans, dogs are a large group made up of many family trees. Each breed is a family. When you mate repeatedly inside the family, there are health issues and defects seen over generations.

It’s the side effects of breeding and we are seeing now. For example hip displacia is now very common in labradors and retrievers. And at the rate we are going, it will soon be a breed characteristic, and a very painful incurable one at that.

Anyway… My angst about breeds and breeding is a story for another day. For now, here’s Adam of College Humour who explains breeding and why mutts are better.

What do you think? Are you a breed fan?

 
P.S. – Day Sixteen of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge.

May 20, 2015   No Comments

Tuesday At The Movies: It’s an All Hindi Ensemble

Back to the list of movies I watched last month. Here’s four more old Hindi movies I watched. It’s been such fun discovering some of these films.

 

Itni si baat


 
Rating: ***/5 – Could Watch!!
Release: 28 May 1981 (India)
Language: Hindi
Running Time: 2:03:02
Director: Madhu M.
Actors: Sanjeev Kumar, Moushumi Chatterjee, Arun Govil, Tamanna, Urmila Bhatt, Dinesh Hingoo

 

 

A movie about role reversal and dignity of labour, Itni si Baat starts off with the story of Raja meeting Asha and falling in love. They get married and have two children as the years roll by. As the family grows Raja’s income starts to run out and Asha’s work load increases.

Neither understand the others challenges and constraints and fights keep breaking out. Then a challenge gets thrown. Asha decides to take up a job and show she can earn more than Raja. Raja in turn wants to show he can run the house better. Both learn a lesson the hard way.

 

Namkeen

Rating: ****/5 – Should Watch
Release: 1982 (India)
Language: Hindi
Running Time: 112 min
Director: Gulzar
Actors: Sanjeev Kumar, Sharmila Tagore, Kiran Virale, Shabana Azmi, Waheeda Rehman, Ram Mohanan, T P Jain, Kamal Deep
Music: R. D. Burman
Cinematography: M. Sampat
Editing: Waman B. Bhosle, Gurudutt Shirali

 

Gerulal a trucker takes up a room is the dilapidated house of Jugni. Jugni and her three daughters if marriageable age work hard to make a living. Slowly Gerulal gets to know the family and falls in love with the eldest sister Mimki.

Then suddenly he gets called away and does not return for months until he accidentally bumps into Chinki the youngest in a dancing troop. He returns to find that everything has changed for the family. Waheeda’s acting stood out for me!

 

Mera Biwi ki Shaadi


 
Rating: ***/5 – Could Watch
Release: 1979 (India)
Language: Hindi
Running Time: 2:04:04
Director: Rajat Rakshit
Actors: Amol Palekar, Ranjeeta Kaur, Ashok Saraf, Nilu Phule, Master Raju
Music: Usha Khanna

 

 

 
Not hilarious but funny at a different level this movie is about a guy who is a hypochondriac. Coincidences lead Bhagawant to believe he has a heart condition that will kill him in 3 months. Worried about his wife and what will happen to her after he’s gone, causes him to try and find her a new husband.

At this time an old friend of hers makes entry and Bhagawant tries in many ways to bring them together. His constant conspiracies leads his wife to believe he is cheating on her. All of this leads to many comical situations between husband and wife before the truth comes out.

 

Neel Kamal


 
Rating: ****/5 – Should Watch
Release: 1968 (India)
Running Time: 160 min
Language: Hindi
Director: Ram Maheshwari
Actors: Waheeda Rehman, Raaj Kumar, Manoj Kumar, Balraj Sahni, Lalita Pawar
Music: Ravi
Cinematography: Fali Mistry

 

 

This is one of Doordarshan and my favourite movies, I’ve watched it so many times on Doordarshan. 😀 This movie is about a spirit that has left the world because of an incomplete love story. For daring to love a princess, an artist is buried alive. Almost a century later the princess is reborn and the spirit awakens to try and find his love again.

The movie mostly explores the unseen and unbelievable – it starts with the disclaimer that for those who believe proof is not necessary and for those who don’t no proof is enough. Looking at the movie with today’s context though makes many more things pop. The portrayal of women, the mistrust of husbands, the classic Cinderella story, these things and more got me thinking as I watched. Maybe a more detailed post is need soon. :)

 

Got 4 more movies to share next week before starting out with the  May list. A couple of interesting ones coming up next week. What have you been watching?

 
P.S. – Day Fifteen of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge.

May 19, 2015   No Comments