A tribute to Guru Dutt on his birthday!

Born Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone in Bangalore in 1925, he was renamed Guru Dutt after an early childhood accident. It is also rumored that he was supposed to have dropped the latter part of his name because of his love for all things Bengali. Continue reading

The 83rd Academy awards – YAWWWWNNNNN!

It could have been the drugs I was on, but this was simply the worst award show I ever saw on TV. The hosts lacked talent in extemporaneous acting, and were too young and unestablished to really be in your face or iconoclastic. So she took to costume changes at the drop of a hat (reportedly advice from Shirley McLaine) while he probably took tranquilizers (no other way to explain that bit in the dress). Continue reading

Cooking a basket of veggies!

Every week I get a big basket of organic produce from the local student farm. It is full of seasonal vegetables and my new year resolution is to waste not a bit of it! So it was down to business on Saturday – and I cooked up a storm.

1. Orange and purple carrots, striped beets, garlic, onion and cilantro:
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Twi-fi – Whose awards will they be?

Awards season has begun in Mumbai and the chamiyas and chailas are practicing their dance numbers for the stage shows. In the meantime a twitroots revolution is slowly building up. Continue reading

And now for new year resolutions! ahoy there 2011

I decided to make this list before the revelry of the 31st made me lose my judgment. After a few margaritas and some loud music one tends to make all kinds of resolutions that seem foolish the next morning. And then the guilt sets in. So this year I am starting early. In 2011 I resolve to:

1. Spend less time Twittering (I know I know – it is Tweeting) and more time reading. My stack of books is growing at an alarming rate and has been ignored for too long.
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The best, the worst and the in-betweens! Adieu 2010

The year is racing to a finish, and it is time to look back at what went by, or rather whizzed by. I wish I could have read more, seen more films, traveled more places – and eaten less 😀

Films: There were some really good ones and there were some really bad ones, and then there was mostly a lot of stuff in between. After a hiatus from Bollywood I went back to watching a lot of BW films (mostly what released in theaters here), while picking my HW films with care and caution! Here is a HW list:

1. Inception – loved the film, the mind-bender that kept us thinking and discussing for days on end. Leo DiCaprio did not disappoint and Marion Cotillard was luminous.
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10 Things That Make Me Happy

Hot Buttered toast
good bread speaks directly to my sou!

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That’s the spirit for me!

I was in Dundee, Scotland and seized the opportunity to taste some fine single malts.  Continue reading

When you know the end is near…. Satoshi Kon’s last words

I usually do not post linked pieces, but this one had me nearly in tears, so I wanted to share…

Satoshi Kon’s last words

Satoshi Kon, the director of anime movies Perfect Blue, Tokyo Godfathers, Millenium Actress and Paprika, as well as the TV series Paranoia Agent, died on Tuesday, August 24th at the age of 46. (NY Times obituary.) He left behind a rambling but extraordinary document, which his family has posthumously posted on his blog.

They’re the last words of a supremely talented artist who knows he is dying very soon, with work left unfinished. It’s been the talk of the Japanese internet, and it struck me deeply. Continue reading

Perfect Monday morning!!!

First I read this gem – stupendous!  I do not know who gets the award – should it be for creative journalism or stupidity in film-making?

Bebo in chaddis!

Meena Iyer, TNN, Aug 23, 2010, 12.00am IST

Kamal Hassan – dancer extrordinaire!

We all know him for his acting and directing skills. But Kamal Hassan is also an amazing dancer. There was a time when regional language films were out or reach to Hindi speakers, subtitles were virtually unknown. A film called Ek Duje Ke Liye starred Kamal Hassan and Rati Agnihotri and was a take on the Romeo and Juliet type tale of star crossed lovers. Continue reading

Tagore – 150th birth anniversary!

8th May marks the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, Nobel laureate, poet, story teller, painter, composer. His stories were often the inspiration for films, and often were intimate tales of the lives of women. Charulata told the story of a woman bored with her life, as her husband works away at his newspaper, the arrival of a cousin who is set the task to keep her amused, and how this relationship progresses into something that enters the realm of forbidden. Continue reading

How to tell if it’s a great thriller – that certain sense of unease!

I recently re-watched (for the nth time) that great Vijay Anand thriller Jewel Thief. Clearly there is no mystery left in the film for me, and yet it never fails to entertain me, more so if I happen to watch it with someone untutored in the way this film keeps us guessing until the last 15 minutes. The reactions it evokes always manage to refresh the film for me. They also remind me of reactions I have had to other great thrillers. After much thinking, I can only sum these up as a sense of unease that stays with you until the mystery is revealed. Continue reading

Humphrey Bogart as the Private Eye

The hard-boiled tough talking private eye was created by many writers. These men lived on the verge of respectability, were often smart-mouthed tough guys who were sometimes taken for a ride by an equally hard-boiled dame! Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade and Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe originated in the same time frame in the 1920s. Marlowe was played on screen by many actors, but never better than by Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep. Continue reading

What ails the left – Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy, writer, celebrity, activist – well known for her Booker Award winning brilliant book The God of Small Things, always manages to shake things up. Whether it is talk of Kashmir separatism, Narmada Andolan, US Foreign policy, or her recent Maoist sympathies, she is articulate and manages to infuse her prose with a lyrical beauty. But are we lured by the beauty of her words to the extent that we, like her, cease to be rational and logical?
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