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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Chand sifarish... @ HTS Utsav 2006

Don't know why i never put this up before.

My experience of leading my company (Honeywell Technology Solutions Pvt Ltd - HTSL) music band, for the first time, at the company annual day.

16 Dec 2006

Singing in front of an 8000 strong crowd, at the Palace Grounds in Bangalore, it was one of the most heady, and memorable experiences in my life.

This song, Chand Sifarish (originally from the movie Fanaa, sung by Shaan) was the opening song of our twenty minute performance.

The team of performers consisted mostly of people who had never performed in front of such a big crowd ever in their life. Despite this, the confidence with which they performed, and the sheer hardwork they put into gaining that confidence, was what made the show such a huge success. The cheers of "Once more! Once more!" and crescendo of applause that greeted our show, made our efforts more than worth it

video


Looking forward to rocking HTS again, at Utsav 2007
The coutdown has begun...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The watcher in 'the' eye...


Model - Canon EOS 400D Digital (SLR)

ExposureTime - 1/250 seconds

Exposure mode - Tv-priority

FNumber - 6.30

ExposureProgram - Shutter priority

ISO - 400

Monday, September 10, 2007

Movie Review: Heyy Babyy

Name: Heyy babyy!

Genre: Comedy

Director: Sajid Khan

Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Fardeen Khan, Ritesh Deshmukh, Vidya Balan, Boman Irani and Johaina :-)

My rating: 3.5/5

Boys will be boys. Or will they be?

A story of three boys, who grow up from being playboys, to loving fathers, with the arrival of an unexpected ‘Angel’ baby in their life, Sajid Khan - Sajid Nadiawala’s “Heyy Babyy!” is a comedy-cum-melodramatic flick, which will leave you with a sweet feeling tingling in your heart.

Aroush (Akshay Kumar), Tanmay (Ritesh Deshmukh) and Al(i) (Fardeen Khan) are three happy-go-lucky young men, living as a family in Sydney, mostly flirting and dating. Their adventurous life goes into a tizzy, when one morning, they find a few-months-old girl child on their doorstep. After the initial blame game, as to who the child’s father is, and a vain attempt, to find the child’s mother, they are left with no option, but to take care of the kid. But this task, not being their cup of tea, they lose their sleep and peace of mind, which causes them to mess up their jobs, and they get fired. Blaming the child for all their misfortunes, they decide to get rid of her, by abandoning her. But an unusual turn of circumstances, and a miracle, which saves the baby from death, changes the hearts of the young men, who make the child, the center of their lives, and bring her up as their child, ‘Angel’.

Enter Esha (Vidya Balan), the mother of the girl child, who comes as a nightmare, in their fairy tale life, and takes the kid away from the father-trio. This is when they realize, that the child belongs to Aroush, and that Esha wants to avenge his betrayal to her. Aroush tries to apologize to Esha, and expresses his desire to marry her, but she is hell bent on teaching Aroush a lesson. The rest of the story is about the ardent attempts of Aroush and his friends, to try and win the Esha’s heart and get their bundle of joy, back into their home, assisted by Esha’s father (Boman Irani)

While the first half hour makes you roll with laughter, seeing the endeavors of three men trying to handle a child, the rest of the movie tugs at your heart, watching their fervent attempts, to try and see the child in some way or the other, and to regain her from her mother. Akshay Kumar delivers a stellar performance both in the comic and sentimental parts of the movie and the rest of the characters evolve around him very well. On one hand, his superb comic timing will have you in splits and on the other, his fine acting in the sad scenes, especially the ones, in which he is separated from his child, will bring tears to your eyes. He is very well supported by Ritesh Deshmukh and Fardeen Khan who play their roles with great finesse. The way three of them gel together in all the phases of the film, make them very endearing. On the other hand, after the sweet girl-next-door kind of roles in Parineeta and Lage raho Munnabhai, Vidya Balan, who plays a hungry-for-revenge girl and mother, who is cheated by the person she loved, is a revelation in the new kind of role she plays. But the most memorable part of the movie, easily, is the babyy ‘Angel’ (Johaina), who looks so cute and adorable, that you can’t help but wish, that you had a child like her. Her expressions in the entire movie fill your heart with unbounded joy.

Music by Shankar Ehsaan and Loy is above average – the title song, and the ‘Mast Kalandar’ songs being the best in the album. But a couple of songs in the movie, which break the pace the story, by unnecessarily being in there, could surely have been done without. But the beautiful background score and the signature tunes in the movie make up for this, by adding flavor to the story. Although the movie does contain a few moments, which could embarrass a family crowd, it is a good entertainer, and definitely worth a watch.

Official site: http://heyybabyy.erosentertainment.com/

Friday, September 7, 2007

Book review: Q & A

Name: Q&A

Genre: Fiction

Author: Vikas Swarup

Publishers: Doubleday

Price: Rs 395

My rating: 4.5/5 (Must read)


It starts with “I have been arrested. For winning a quiz show”

It ends with “I don’t need it anymore. Because luck comes from within”

And throughout the 300 pages in between, it keeps you riveted, and leaves you simply mesmerized. Whatever be the genre of books you naturally enjoy, this is one book, you will definitely enjoy.

This is the story of an 18 year old boy, from the slum of Dharavi in Mumbai, who goes on to win a billion rupees in a quiz game show called ‘Who will win a Billion’. The boy – Ram Mohammad Thomas – narrates the story of his life, and how he won the game show, and also found a wife, a life long friend and a sister – all this, despite being a poor, uneducated orphan.

Ram is arrested on charges of having cheated to win the game show, by the producers of the show, who cannot – and do not - believe, and feel that it is utterly preposterous, that he had won out of sheer luck. He is saved by a lawyer named Smita, to whom he reveals, how he was able to pull off that unbelievable stunt. For each question in the game show, he recounts an incident in his life, from which he gained the knowledge that helped him answer that particular question.

The story is told in a non-chronological fashion, and is sequenced, instead, according to the questions he was asked in the quiz. As such, there are some episodes of his life, which occur at further stages in his life, being presented earlier in the book. Each of the episodes is a short story in itself with a fresh starting, a problem coming in the middle and how Ram solves it heroically, or escapes by chance. This is followed by the question that he was asked in the quiz. This line of narration increases the charm of the story and will keep you interested and guessing. Towards the end, the there are several twists in the story, which increase the thrill-factor to a crescendo and finish it off with a beautiful flourish.

The author Vikas Swarup touches upon several evils in the Indian society like child abuse, exploitation, fraud, murder, prostitution, through which the hero goes through. The writing style is artistically brilliant. Vikas Swarup paints his characters, situations and events in a way akin to the screenplay of the movie. This adds so much of life to them, that you can actually “view” the story, and not just read it. It is a ready-to-make Bollywood movie story, complete with all the typical masala and one, you will thoroughly relish!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Resaturant review: Lazeez

Name of the restaurant:

Lazeez

Address:

Jyothi Nivas College Road, 3rd block Koramangala. (also on Commercial street) Ph: 4104271

Specialties

Mughalai and tandoori food, rolls

Average cost for two

Rs 200 – 250

My rating

4/5

If you love mughalai food, and want to taste some of the best rolls you’ll ever get in Bangalore, this is the place, you must just not miss, (rather “bookmark). Period.

I was suggested this place by a couple of my friends here at office. But what aroused my curiosity to try it out at the earliest, was the fact I was told by a Bengali friend of mine, that this place is run by a member of the family which runs an extremely popular restaurant in Kolkatta, called Shiraz.

The restaurant is easy to spot, in Koramangala (I haven’t yet been to the Commercial street branch), on the way to Jyothi Nivas college from the Intermediate ring road, which is a one way. It is in the basement, and you need to look carefully on the right, to spot the blue board, at the level of the road itself. Parking is on the road, on the left side.

I went there with great expectations, and Lazeez more than satisfied me. Between four friends we tried as many as 14 dishes of different varieties. The menu of Lazeez is very extensive, and it will take me, on a decent estimate, atleast ten times to try all of them. But almost all of them I tried were great – so, it’s a good guess, that the others will be delicious too. Some of them I would suggest are the Chicken Roll, the Mutton kati roll, Chicken Kati kabaab, tava chicken and Kalmi kabaab. For the vegetarians, there is biryani, and some good gobi items. Although we tried just one Gobi peshawari, going by the taste of the Chicken biryani, the veg biryani, could be another suggested item.

But something, which will remain in my memory, is the rotis they serve there – in over a hundred restaurants I have tried till date, Lazeez wins hands down for their awesome, thick and fluffy rotis. Don’t count them. Just eat your fill!

One thing I was glad when I came out, was that we went for a brunch there, in an extremely ravenous condition – it helped enormously to hog a lot. And the pleasing part was that, despite this, it cost us roughly 160 bucks per head! If you eat normally, you can be done within 100-125 rupees per head.

Now why didn’t I know about this place before!!

Monday, September 3, 2007

A go at karting!

Had a great time karting this previous weekend. It was the six of us - Arif bhai, Ranu bhabhi, Daada, Bhavin, @mmi and me. Amongst us, only Bhavin had tried his hands at it before and played 'coach' and motivator.

We biked our way to the arena - Grips Go Karting, on Mysore road, and reached there in about an hour. The few people who were already driving on the tracks gave us a glimpse of what was in store for us. It wasn't the best trailer we could see, since a trio of friends, who weren't concentrating too well on their karts, crashed right in the middle of the track, and were subsequently pulled up, and forbidden from driving thenceforth. Although they sustained very minor injuries, the sight was enough to give us a big jolt. It scared Ranu bhabhi so much, that she decided to stay out. It took Arif bhai, quite some cajoling to convince her, albeit, after arranging for a custodian there, to drive alongside her for a couple of laps, till she found her courage.

The rest of us found it easier, once we were on the karts, and drove a couple of laps. Apart from a particular U - turn, which was the most menacing (and in which Daada crashed into the tyre walls twice), the rest of the track was easily manageable. By the end of the first race, everyone was confident to go for it another time, and drove at much higher speeds than the first time.

The other great part of this outing was Bhavin's Canon EOS400D SLR camera. A powerful camera and a great place to shoot is an unmatchable combo. This time, tried the zoom-past effect, where the surroundings are blurred, and the speeding object is caught static in the middle.

Used a 1/60 s shutter speed for these...





Other photos





Vital Stats:
The Place: Grips Go Karting
Address: Anchepalya, Bangalore - Mysore highway (Mysore). Approx 4 km beyond Kengeri, approx 20 km from Bannerghatta road.
Cost: Rs 100 for 7 bhp engine karts, Rs 200 for 10 bhp engine karts - six laps each
Track length: Approx 500 m
Value for money: Awesome!
Ideal place for half day outings, team outbounds etc.