Do you like mysteries? Is there a King Solomon or an Indiana Jones hiding inside you? Is your favourite book “Treasure Island”? Have you ever contemplated Sudoku over Sex? Did you like Nicholas Cage better in “National Treasure” than “Leaving Las Vegas”?
Venkatraman Ramakrishnan is a pioneering scientist. Am sure his body of work will someday affect my granddaughter’s protein consumption.
its 12:30 AM at this hotel room in Dadar, as this city is being invaded from all around!!!
- Mylapore smells the same, but for a whiff of Davidoff in the air
- Theres traffic jam on mount road at 11:30 PM on a thursday
- An Apollo “1066” ambulance (siren blaring), for heart related emergencies was stuck with me in the same jam. We both took an hour to go from little mount to guindy. Ironically, their tag line is “every minute counts”.
- Am definitely having the “1066” episode in my film
- Aachi masala is presenting “National Treasure – book of secrets” in the city
- After years of yearning for it, finally made it to a family wedding. Filter kapi, Nadaswaram, the smell of sweat+jasmine+Davidoff+homam+pongal, paati, chiti, gorgeous relatives…..life’s good!
- The foodworld in city centre has snickers, mars and cigarettes near the checkout counter
- Have been holding on to Shantaram for a long time, but surprisingly have not crossed page 11. I think I will start Sujata’s “Kanavu Thozhirchalai” instead
- There is no “comedy central” in dad’s satellite TV plan
- Went to Akkarai sisters’ violin kacheri. I am now a fan!
- I think the 100 rupee note is the new 10 rupee note.
#10: You can categorize your things how much ever you want – Clothes, ties, books, CDs, fancier ties, the stuff you bought from the india store but never used, etcetera. However, the sad reality of the 11th hour is that all of ’em go into either of the 2 bags that you plan to travel with. In fact, there are only 2 categories – bag A and bag B.
#9: “A friend with a gift is a friend indeed” (I tried rhyming that, but gave up!), is a myth. After the first beer in a reunion, almost nobody will care.
#8: There are things and there are Things! How much ever objective you are in getting rid of stuff, you are always going to end up with a set that “you can neither sell nor throw away…..nor pack!!!”. Like your bookshelf, your IKEA lamps and your pressure cooker!
#7: When you moved into your apartment, you chose the top floor because you did not want kids running above your head in surround sound? Bad Idea. BAD IDEA!!!
#6: When you were 24, shopping for your friends meant that you hit music stores, duty free shops, game sites and book stores. When you are 30, most of your gift shopping happens in ‘Babies R us’ or ‘Toys R us’. Its scary!
#5: Sell your car first. Shop last. Not the other way round.
#4: That 1955 8mm mechanical film camera that you bought from a remote antique store in Wilmington, might be special….but that issue is between you and the camera. You cannot expect your suitcase to relate to it!
#3: Buying a CD every time you visit the ‘Half price book store’, is not cool anymore. Especially not, if it becomes 20% of your travelling mass. It is about time you started buying music from iTunes.
#2: You cannot afford to be emotionally entangled with your coffee mug.
#1: Packing is work. You are not supposed to be enjoying it!!!
Its weird how you feel at home in the most unlikely of places, isnt it? Tired of buying vegetables at Walmart and HEB (It has become so mechanical that I bet I can shop blindfolded in both these places!), I drove a longer distance to the ‘Hong Kong Market’ today. True to its name, the place was littered with neon signs and smelt of fish and saltgrass…even at the car park!!. I dint even take a cart coz i was so sure I wouldnt find anything there that I could cook…..but five minutes into it….there it was…..the most stunning of all sights……i found ‘vazhai poo’ (‘banana flower’ for my non-tamil speakin friends) in one of the aisles……would you believe it???…. it is such a rarity that even indian stores here dont carry it!
‘Thick Brush’ is the literal translation from spanish. I am not entirely sure why they called it so! Matagorda island is a good 180 miles south west of Houston, by the Gulf of Mexico. It was my pick for a ‘less picnic-sy’ and more ‘solitud-ish’camp site for the June weekend. That is precisely was the websites told me.
So after days of scheduling and re-scheduling and re-scheduling, Vikrant Gandhi, Kiran Unni and yours truly finally picked up our brand new camp equipment and hit the road on a super warm saturday morning. The idea was to hit the port by early afternoon, take the ferry to the island and spend the night there, in the company of mother nature and fellow campers. At least, that was the idea on paper!
2:00 PM – We arrive at port-o-connor after a thankfully uneventful drive, except for the weird, dark restrooms of that lonely gas station!
2:59 PM – I realize we forgot the beer. Thankfully Ron has backup in his ice box!
5:30 PM – We begin the walk to the other side to say hello to the Gulf of Mexico. Little did we know at that time that it will be our longest and most terrifying hello ever!
7:15 PM – After losing our way 5 times and not spotting a single rattle snake (it was supposed to be the rattler’s country), we are still a mile from the gulf….but at an interesting cross road and sign!
8:45 PM – The sun is still out and surprise surprise, we are still alive…what better time for relief!
after an entire day’s vigil for rattle snakes and alligators, mother nature uses her alternate weapon of mass destruction on us….fire ants!!! shock & awe! as we tried to sneek in….
camping lesson 1A : Never pitch a tent on grass, if you have an option.
Thats not all….surprise surprise, the other campers have called it a day. That means that we were the only homosapiens on that island for the night. Not exactly the saturday night plan we had….and with the ant revolution, it was time for a frantic call to ron the ferry guy!
No sign of Ron’s boat….but we had company….distant sound of Coyotes……(very) ugly! With Vikrant and a kitchen knife standing between us and a potential argument with a pack of wild coyotes…..we wait for the boat…which eventually docks in pitch darkness….with the help of a fancy gps system.
Back home at the apartment. Red wine and fast food. Not the ideal camping night we had in mind, but hey….I am not complaining!
Been the most relaxing weekend in a long time. Spent most of it at home….surprisingly, havent done that in a long time bcause of the moving and then friends and family coming over, etc. Saw Guru finally and also managed to catch 2 other films on TV – both of which I have seen atleast 5 times. ‘Titanic’ and ‘Goodwill Hunting’. While the latter has been a personal favorite for a long time just for the way it has been written (matt damon/ ben affleck co-wrote it), I got the feeling that Titanic has been a critically under-rated film unfortunately.
Many of my friends slot it into the infamous ‘chick flick’ pigeon hole. I guess that is justified as a genre for this film. However, as I saw it today for the millionth time, I could see once again how smartly written that film is. Agreed, Di caprio mouths some very trite cliches, which sometimes border on the mundane…..but that doesnt really break the spell all that much….I think cameron has done a fantastic job of crafting this film with the greatest common denominator, so a majority of homosapiens can relate to it.
Guru was as expected, very good. I think it is the closest Mani has come to ‘engrossing’ cinema that is both believable and entertaining at the same time. Am thinking…if it takes someone like Mani roughly 2 decades to hone his skills to this level….what about shaky-kneed part-timers like me? Time is running out, I guess….I might see it again just for Mithun!
By the way….bought a new couch through craigslist. This website continues to freak me out. I wonder how popular it is back home. I see a packed page when I go to chennai.craigslist.com. have attached the couch image. I think it might have broken the record for the largest piece of furniture I have bought in my lifetime. All of 8 feet long and 3 feet tall