Saturday, March 25, 2006

'Media has become a monster' - Amir Khan

Amir Khan never ceases to amaze me. to think of it, he is but just another actor. its a commonly understood fact that only dumb people, who can't make use of their brains at all, compensate it by straining the rest of the parts of their body to the maximum. people like amir khan stand tall to defy the same belief.

not a person who has interacted a lot with the media, amir has gone where no other mainstream actor has gone before. talking to the Tehelka magazine, amir has said that "Because they want more advertisements, they are destroying what is a very important part of the society - news reporting. It is wasting important national space that should be used in a more productive manner." well, not just a true statement Mr. Khan, but quite a daring one too. tell me, how many people from the showbiz today would dare to confront the mighty media in such a fearless manner? Amir adds, "[In the beginning,] you were cutting yourself off from fans if you didn't speak to film magazines. I understood that, but I chose to do what was right."
He is not just daring, but sensible too: "The media is meant to be the watchdog of society, not its lap dog! Some restraint you have to show."

this is not the first occassion where amir khan has impressed me - whenever i have read/watched his interviews, we had some very rare opinion to share with one another. like his definition of the Devdas character(that its a weak, not a heroic or a strong character), his take on actors becoming politicians(blame the actors who make for a poor politician, not the custom itself), his understanding of the basic foundation of Lagaan(not a fight against the british, but against the oppression and exploitation by the powerful), the strict rule that he follows to NEVER respond to the rumours about his personal life - because its none of their business etc. i think exactly the same about all these issues. its difficult for me to think of anyone with whom i agree so much on so many points.

"Some news channel has to get up and say I am not indulging in this. It might lose viewership for the first month or so, but it will establish that it is not indulging in all of this, and I am sure people will come around." i promise that, if not anyone else, i would atleast be the one person to permanently switch to such a channel. its a frustrating experience these days to watch any kind of news on the tv news channels. Aaj Tak is the worst of the lot. followed by NDTV and TIMES NOW. CNN-IBN looks slightly better than the others. the less said about Star News, Zee News etc, the better. i currently stick to Headlines Today, which has got the minimum of the "opinions" and mostly a summary of the latest news bytes.
i am too selective regarding the print media; and won't touch anything but The Hindu(daily), Tehelka and Frontline magazines even from a 6 ft distance. all the others are total crap.

overall, amir khan is a thinking and an intelligent person; at the same time a very honest and a courageous person too...which i think shows in his approach towards his work, i.e. acting too. pick up the latest Tehelka magazine, or check this out:
Media has become a monster - Amir
(thanks to one of my friends somsuj for pointing this out to me)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Its raining movies out here

after a long time, managed to watch some really good films in the past few days. all of them were of top quality, it would be a really tough job if someone asks me to rate them according to the points. so here is the list in random order:

1. Yahaan: an average fair. doesn't compare with the rest of the films. loved the songs and the scenic beauty of kashmir though. urdu was properly pronounced!

2. Black Friday: this was mostly a documentary, not a film in the general sense. i appreciate the impartiality of the film-maker in documenting the events surrounding the bombay bomb blasts without any personal bias. this film was by far the best of the lot, both for the amount of research that went into writing the book on which the film was based, and the effort that went into converting it into such a high quality film. the editing of the film was very confusing though - i need to watch it another couple of times to digest its content fully. a must watch for everyone in my opinion.

3. Anaahat: this has a slow, boring start. but amol palekar always has a surprise or two "up his sleeve." enjoyed the twist in the tale, but thought the end was a bit forced, a premature one, in a bid to give it a happy ending.

4. Matrubhoomi: a completely unapologetic and 'in your face' kind of a movie. the film-maker did not get carried away by the theme of the film - the effort was still there to make it as good as it can get. the screenplay was particularly noteworthy - the camera always keeps the viewer busy and engaged in the proceedings. after watching this movie, when you come across a news item that talks about killing of the female foetus, and if you don't get a scare, then you immediately need to contact your family doctor. insist for a complete checkup.

5. Khamosh Paani: this was also an authentic picturisation of the life in a pakistan village in the 1970s. was as realistic as Black Friday - just the plot was different here. loved the twist in the tale in this movie too. Kiron Kher was at her best - she single-handedly lifted the movie from being an average enterprise, to a really praise-worthy one. screenplay and editing were very good.

what else? couldn't watch Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi and Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Maara. others to follow in the list are Water and Amadeus.

btw, watched Pride and Prejudice in the PVR Cinemas last saturday. the film was not in the true spirit of the book - film buffs might have liked it, but for a diehard fan of Jane Austen's books, i can never watch Elizabeth Bennett giggling like a silly girl, just like her other younger sisters. Keira Knightley looked good, acted well, but never seemed to have completely understood the character that she was portraying. some of the 'improvised' scenes were very well shot(the party scene where all the music/noise is balanced by the loneliness being felt by Lizzy at that time, capturing the mood of the bennet family through their window panes, some important scenes shot at the lake side etc). amount of footage for the different characters from the book was extremely well balanced - Wickham, Bingley, Collins were hardly visible in the entire film. not even Jane; it was a Lizzy and Darcy show all the way. 4 out of 10 for the movie.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Blog about the other blogs

this is a blog about some of the other blogs. there are several reasons for me to write this post, which i hope you will discover after reading the rest of the post.

one of my favourite blog writers Vinod Ganesh - the best thing about his blog(apart from being murderously humourous) being the featuring of a pic of his taken at the gun-point, the denial of the same by Vinod not withstanding - has won a cute iPod Nano mp3 player as the award for the best blog by what more can i say, no other post deserved the award more - my hearty congratulations to him.

one of my friends maintains his blog here. posts a lot of interesting stuff, sometimes useful too ;) best thing being, most of the posts are short and simple. if not anything else, you gotta love the design of his weblog - powered by wordpress/Travelogue theme and more than 20 plugins installed!! contact the author to get a list of them. the Clustrmap service you see installed on my weblog is a stolen idea from this very person's blog.

not in a mood to bore you with any more blogs that i visit regularly(there is no reason to do so), if you were expecting a big list of interesting blogs in this post, then head straight to; you can find a running collection of some of the interesting blogs written by indians from all over the globe there. if you are an experienced blogger, and know a thing or two about blogging, then please contribute towards the new wiki project that is started by the same webiste. details are here and you can start contributing here.

(if you still cannot figure it out, i wanted to congratulate vinod for the award, credit my friend for the idea of clustrmap and spread a word about the wiki project started by desipundit. my goal was to take MORE than 30 words to accomplish this ;) )

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Best joke ever...

it continues to amaze me how many hits this " blonde joke" keeps year and still going strong. time to include it on my weblog too:

Best Blonde Joke Ever

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Three Simple & Addictive PC Games


SuDoKu is the new craze the world over today. played since the 1980s in japan and the surrounding places, it did not take a long time for it to be adopted by everyone around the globe. highly addictive, it can be played on a paper, on a PC, even on your mobile phone(that's where i play it...wheneve there is a power cut ;)
you don't need to wait for the daily papers every morning to play suDoKu;
Download a PC version from here
Mobile phone version(series 60 phones)

Mummy Maze

the rules of this game are simple. you move one step and then the mummy moves two steps. you need to reach the exit of every maze without getting in contact with the mummy. not fair? well, if you can't outwit the dumb mummy with your human intellect, there is a game called "PinBall" :)
Download a PC Version from here


Link the adjacent letters together into words and score points. as simple as that. score more points by making long words, take care to get rid of burning letters, make bonus words...then come back here and profess about how addictive this game is.
Download a PC version from here
Play the online version here

Use Google to search for the other versions of the same games. they may have different user interfaces, but the concept is always the same.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Memoirs of Geisha: Treat to Watch

Memoirs of Geisha is a film rich with the visual imageries. that's the first impression you get when you watch this movie. "lush", "exquisite", "beautiful" are some of the words people will attach to this movie after watching it. every frame is filled with colours and work of artistry, transporting one to a completely different time and age. and place. the soulful background score, able performances, slightly slow but engaging screenplay and top class photography means that you can't miss out on the rich experience of watching this movie. watch it to get a sneek peek into the Japan of the 1950s. watch it to celebrate the colours of life. watch it see the immensely popular book with the same name come alive on the screen. you need a crash course in japanese names if you don't get lost in the names of the characters in the film ;)

warning: the film fails to touch the audiences at the emotional level though. the romance of the book is missing to a large extent. even the pain of separation of the lead character from her parents, and later from her sister, doesn't quite wrench the viewers. the only scene in the entire film with some sting in it:
A long time ago, you took something from me, the only thing I ever truly wanted. you know how it feels.
the film is nominated for 6 Oscars. this is what has to say about it:
There's no doubting that Memoirs of a Geisha is a lush motion picture, and it has much to recommend it, but this will not go down as one of the great screen romances of the 2000s. The love story, although competently told, never soars and, while satisfying, it doesn't cause the heart either to break or take flight. [...] It's not surprising how sumptuous the movie looks, or how rich it is in atmosphere.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Creative Zen Sleek - Impressive mp3 Player

i have been using Zen Sleek for the past few months and i am completely satisfied with its performance until now. when you are buying a product from Creative, you can be rest assured of one thing - the audio quality. i am a bit picky when it comes to the quality of the audio, and the decision to go with a Creative mp3 player instead of an ipod was because of this very reason. i must say that i am very happy with my decision. casual listeners may not find a big difference between the two, but passionate music lovers should easily be able to feel a significant difference. ipod is a few notches below creative when it comes to audio quality.

Zen Sleek is one of the new models from creative which is very small in size and is also lighweight. it has a storage of 20GB and it gives a battery lifetime of more than 10hrs. the transfer of media is extremely fast using the USB 2.0 interface. the quality of headphones is above satisfactory. the interface is easy to use, including the touchpad, which works best for me when i set its sensitivity to a minimum level. the two added features are the microphone and the FM Radio. the only thing that i miss in the player is a search feature!! the player comes bundled with useful software which makes it easy to copy music and create/manage playlists. either the propriety tool or the windows media player 10 can be used to manage the music. one major complain about this player has been the accumulation of dust inside the screen surface. i have to wait and see for that. a part of disk space available on the player can be used to store general data. if you can afford to go for a non-ipod mp3 player, then Zen Sleek should be a very good choice. read more reviews at:

Edit: Added a picture of the player(from Engadget).