Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Off for sometime

I have not been in the blogging scene for sometime now. Other important things in my personal life have taken the front seat. Dont know if I would get back with the same vigor that I earlier had for blogging. Till then, please do check my favorite bloggers on the left hand pane.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Life in Googleplex

Time had an online photoessay about life in Googleplex, Google's headquarters. Here is the link to it. And here is how their Gourmet meal looks. BTW, Google employees get gourmet meals completely free.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Coming Home

Going to Madras next weekend. Would be glad to meet fellow madras bloggers. Send me an email, if you would like to meet.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

My Favorites from VH1's Top 40 of 2005

In no specific order, here are my favorites:

Black Eyed Peas - "Lumps" <--- Pretty cool song
Foo Fighter - "Best of You"
Dave Matthews Band - "American Baby"
Gwen - "Rich Girl" <--- Gwen and Eve are a success formula, remember their "Let me Blow ya Mind"?
Will Smith - "Switch" <--- Infectious
Green Day - "Wake me up" <--- Good Rock Song
Madonna - "Hung Up" <--- Magical
Kanye West - "Gold Digger" <--- Extremely Infectious
Shakira - "La Tortura (With Alejandro Sanz)" <--- Cool song
Gwen Stefani - "Hollaback Girl" <--- An alright song
Green Day - "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" <--- Another good Rock Song
Weezer - "Beverly Hills" <--- Good one
Black Eyed Peas - "Don't Phunk With My Heart" <--- Another good song from BEP

Following are other songs that I liked (not on the VH1 list)
Akon - "Belly Dancer (Bananza)" <--- Infectious
Snoop Dog - "Drop it like it's hot" <--- Doggie Dog is just too good
Daddy Yankee - "Gasolina" <--- One word, Reggatone
James Blunt - "You're Beautiful" <--- Good song
Daddy Yankee - "Rompe" <--- Another of Daddy yankee's good song

Time permitting, will jot down my other favorites for 2005 in Hindi and Tamil.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Music Review - Rang De Basanti

Rang De Basanti: Rahman is slowly getting back to his grove, after his abysmal music in "The Rising". That was a total letdown, this one seems much better - but just like the other songs of Rahman, one will start to have a liking only after multiple listenings. But in this movie there are some instant catch-ons, for instance, "Paatshala", a peppy song sung by Aslam and Naresh Iyer. The other version of this song (Paatshala - Be a Rebel) features Blaaze along with the other two. Blaaze is considered the Indian version of the famed, Shaggy. He actually is featured in a lot of college/hip-hop kind of songs in the recent Rahman movies (plus other MDs as well).

"Rang De Basanti" is another interesting song which has a peppy-westernized-punju feel to it. It's sung by Daler Mahendi and the South-Indian singer Chitra (I had been to one of Daler's concerts in Madras and the host of that show was Javed Jaffrey. That's when I knew first-hand about the talents of Javed Jaffrey...he was able to keep the crowd in complete control with his jokes and anecdotes. In that he mentioned that Daler Mahendi should be called Dollar Mahendi - that was when Daler was at his peak).

For some reason, there's a lot of craze for middle-eastern music in the recent times, and this movie does have a track to cover that area as well. "Khalbali" sung by Aslam, Nacim and the Guruji Rahman himself. The best thing that I like about Rahman's music is his extreme talent in using the right voices for a song. Like other MDs (read as Anu Malik) he doesnt sing a song unless it suits his voice absolutely well. He adds a superb touch to this song with his excellent voice. He has also sung "Roobaro" along with Naresh Iyer. Another good trend that Rahman pioneered is getting in fresh voices to the Indian music industry. I see a lot of fresh and strong voices in this movie, just like his other ones. Another musical marvel that Rahman introduced to the Indian music industry is Madhushree, the most recent nightingale. Btw, Rahman was the one who gave her this name, her name was Sujata Bhattacharya before. I started noticing her after her amazing performance in Tehzeeb. I am actually surprised about the fact that she's mostly remained in Rahman's camp and not many MDs are using her vocal talents. There are two female singers whom I absolutely love, regardless of how bad the song is - one is Madhushree and the other is Harini (Tamil singer). Another song which features Lata Mangeshkar and the Guruji Rahman is "Luka chuppi". A couple of years ago, I was totally annoyed at hearing Lata Maneshkar's voice (and the South-Indian singer Chitra's as well), as she was featured in almost all the songs at that time. But after hearing her in Rahman's music my view has changed a bit. He somehow brings a new side of a singer with most of his songs. Now I dont mind listening to Lata (or Chitra), especially if it's a Rahman's movie.

On the whole, this is a good album with a mix of trendy and melodious songs and will certainly make a good listening in your car or your stereo system.

Music Reviews

Among the recent ones that I listened to, some of the good ones include Bluffmaster (Hindi), Barsaat (Hindi), Chinna (Tamil), Noori (Paki-Rock), and of course, Rang De Basanti (Hindi). Here are my favorites:

Bluffmaster: Starring Abhishek and Priyanka with Ritesh and Nana Patekar as well. The music by Vishal-Shekar is really good. My favorite (I would have listened to it atleast 50 or so times so far and I listen to it almost everyday) is "Sabse Bada Rupaiya", a remixed song. The video looks cool too. It's got a cool beat to it, which gives it a 60s-70s disco feel. The next favorite is "Right Here Right Now", sung by Abhishek and Sunidhi. This is an amazing song with contrasting tones from the singers that complement themselves each other very well. The hip hop remix version has a little more coolness than the original version and is even better. The other good song is the "Boro Boro" song which has persian lyrics. It seems this song hit the Swedish No.1 spot.

Barsaat: Another good song that I missed in my previous reviews is "Nakhre" sung by Alisha Chinoy and Ishq. The Music is very good, has a good beat and this is bound to be a favorite in discos.

Chinna: Tholaidoora Nilave is a foot-tapping song that is beautifully directed by Music Dir. Imman. Another of my favorite.

Noori: Listened to this pakistani rock band for the first time and instantly liked their song "Bol" in their album "Suno Ke Main Hun Jawan". This song starts off with a familiar Creed-like music, but as soon as you start listening to it, you will be immersed in the music. The one thing that I really like about the Pakistani Pop or Rock bands is their strong vocal skills. Most of the bands that I have heard (Junoon, Fuzon, Jal, etc.) have a good leading vocalist and their music overall is good as well. Noori's latest album "Peeli Patti Aur Raja Jane" is also good. The song "Mere Log" from that album is a slow song with excellent music. I have not listened to it completely yet, but I keep seeing songs from that album in my Cable. I get AZN channel on my cable and there is a Paki-music program on weekends (hosted by a very obnoxious female host, Aman) which keeps me up-to-date with the latest in Paki-music.

Rang De Basanti: Since this is already a fairly large-sized post, I am posting this review seperately. Look above this post and you will see it.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Sarbox Sucks!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Looking for Interns/Co-ops in Chicago

If you or anyone you know (in Chicago) is looking for an Internship/Co-op position do send me a message with their contact details. My group is looking for Master's/Bachelor's students who can program well in C/C++. Also they should know the basics of Operating Systems and have a good working knowledge in Unix (preferably students of Computer Science/Engg or Electrical Engg.) This requirement is immediate, so if you know of someone, please send me their details. Thanks!

Monday, November 21, 2005


While I was checking out my former colleague's blog, I found out about a news link to the story behind the ROKR phone. Did Apple sabotage it? <Read More>.

This wired article is more insightful than the previous link.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Movies + Technology

My Wife's Murder (Hindi): Stars Anil Kapoor, Nandana Sen (from the Hindi movie Black), Boman Irani and the Pop singer (former) Suchitra Krishnamurthy. Reasonably thrilling and a decent movie, although it loses focus in between. Boman Irani has acted well in this movie. An alright watch.

Crash (English): Stars Brendan Fraser, Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon among several others. I really liked the concept of the movie. The movie revolves around a crash and how that intertwines with the lives of the people involved in it. It addresses a lot of racism that happens in the day-to-day lives of the people involved in the crash. The movie's been directed very well, it reminds me of the spanish movie Amores Perres, which also has a similar concept. The hindi picture Yuva (Ayudha Ezhuthu in Tamil) was rumored to have been lifted from this spanish film.

Majaa (Tamil): Stars Vikram, Asin, Pasupathy, Mannivannan and Vadivel. An alright watch, the movie doesnt have a solid story nor good music - both are just average and to a certain extent predictable and so-so. Begins ok, but then drags a lot.

Back to my favorite stuff, Technology:

Xbox 360 is getting released this Tuesday in the US. It's got a solid spec. and a good amount of expectation from a lot of gamers, let's see how it fares. Hopefully the jumpstart that it's got ahead of PS3 gives it an edge. And I was so glad to find out the other day that Halo 3 is going to be released sometime next year (most likely along with PS3's release to compete with it).

Got a DVR along with my TV and I truly feel that this is one of the best inventions in Electronics in the past decade. This unshackles you from the TV schedule and lets you record programs, at your will, that you might not usually watch because of the timings. Plus you dont have to watch the ads, you can forward them at the press of a button. And you dont have to wake up early on a weekend to watch your favorite shows. I think this will become a household item pretty soon.

Wireless Keyboard & Mouse:
I am typing this post from my wireless keyboard and using my Tv as a monitor. How's that for technological advancement?!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Garam Masala

I went to the theater yesterday night after a while (actually seeing a desi movie after a while). Saw Garam Masala, an outstanding comedy picture. It stars Akshay, John Abraham, Paresh Rawal and Rajpal Yadav, among others, and directed by Priyadarshan. Akshay and Paresh's acting is excellent and of course, nothing can beat Paresh's timing and dialogue delivery. I was laughing throughout the movie (so was most of the people in the theater), it's an out-and-out comedy, so dont look for a story in it. After seeing this I feel like watching Hera Pheri again to find out if this one is better than that (it's that good). John Abraham can do better. I felt that Akshay had the movie completely to himself and with Paresh's support it was a wholesome entertainer. The music is by Pritam and the songs are all peppy and disco type. I missed this movie in my previous post, but this one should be on the top. All of the songs are good with excellent picturisation.