Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Telugu Movie Review - Anand - Manchi Coffee Lanti Cinema

I was at a friend's place the other day and we were watching parts of this Telugu movie, "Anand". Being impressed with those bits and pieces, me and another friend (this guy has already seen this movie two times) rented out the DVD from the desi store right next to my apt. and watched this outstanding movie. The story is quite simple and the songs are simply superb. Kamaline Mukherjee (I am thinking she is a Bengali), looks awesome in this movie, her acting is alright but her looks and the character that she portrays in the movie completely match with each other. I felt that she was a very good fit for her role in the movie, inspite of her so-so acting (Idlebrain.com tells me that her voice was dubbed by Sunitha - seemed almost seemless). The DVD had subtitles which helped a lot (I learnt a lot of buzz words in Telugu, which I can now use with my golt colleagues). Direction by Sekhar Kammula is top-class. This is more of a director's movie.

Music by K.M. Radhakrishnan is very infectious (Raaga.com search finds only this movie, so I am thinking he is a new guy). I have been listening to the songs for over a week now. "Yamunatheeram" by Hariharan, Chitra and "Nuvvena Naa Nuvvena" by Shreya Ghoshal, K.M. Radhakrishnan are ultra-infectious. So is, "Vachhe Vachhe" by Shreya Ghoshal. Lucky Ali aka Maqsood (s/o of Comedian Mehmood) has sung the "Charumathi, I Love You" song, a decent one.

This is my first full-length Telugu movie and I am really looking forward to more of this kind. Any recommendations? Also, I am surprised why there is no remake of this in Tamil, although I hear from my friend that they are going to remake this in Hindi.

If you are open to watching a sub-titled movie filled with freshness, then I would certainly recommend this movie! ...<Read More>.

PS: "Manchi Coffee Lanti Cinema" means "Like a Nice Coffee".

Monday, May 30, 2005

Bunti Aur Bubli

Saw it tonight. Went to AMC Theaters and saw it in a really huge theater. This was, by far, the biggest theater I have been to in the US. Went a bit early because I heard it was house-full on Friday. The theater was more or less empty at 5.45 for the 6.15pm show, but when the movie started it was almost packed.

The movie is an enjoyable comedy. Dont go there for a story, there's none. It's a very hilarious comedy movie. Abhishek and Rani have acted very well (or was it more of a director's movie, either ways - I enjoyed the movie). It's a complete timepass movie. One of the song (Kajra Re) features Aishwarya Rai and the Bachchans, this one is beautifully sung by Alisha Chinoy, Shankar and Javed Ali. This is the first movie where I felt for myself that Aishwarya looks really beautiful (earlier, it was more of a hearsay).

Music by SEL is good. When I first heard it, I thought it didnt have the Oomph factor that I have begun to expect in SEL's compositions, but as I heard it more and more, I began to like it well. Almost all of the songs are good if you hear it more that once (and then judge it).

Friday, May 27, 2005

Mrs. World 2005

While I was flipping the channels, I chanced upon a re-telecast of Mrs. World 2005 (It took place sometime in Feb. 2005). I wouldnt have stayed for more than a minute, had I not seen Malaika Arora on the show - she hosted it along with a firang. When Malaika mentioned something about Ambi Valley, Sahara Lake City I thought this must be some exotic location in Fiji or something like that. An immediate google search told me that it was right there in India (Maharashtra, to be precise - close to Lonawalla is what Google tells me). Three Indian women represented their countries - Jeevikka Shah (Of course, Mrs. Jeevikka Shah) rep. India, Angie-Dillon Rai rep. Canada and Poonam Mehndiratta rep. Australia. And among the audience, I noticed Aditi Gowritker and Borris Becker.

Noteworthy snippets:
It seems India is the first Asian country to host the Mrs. World competetion.
Shiamak Davar's Junior Dance Academy (remember the "Mohabbat Kar le Kar le Re" song by Shiamak Davar) did a dance number - nothing outstanding, just ok.
Judges: Vijay Amritraj, Ashutosh Gowariker, Mrs. America 2004 - Heidi Dinan, Fomer Mrs. Sri Lanka - Rosy Senanayake, Sapna Roy (Sahara MD's wife).
Mrs. India and Mrs. Thailand seemed like the only ones married for the longest time - 16 years!
Mrs. Phillipines' been married for 5 years with 6 children (No typo there).
Mrs. India didnt really have a good answer for her question. I think, she will do well at Oratorical competitions, her answers were at best by-hearted well, it seemed like a vomit out of rote memory.

<Read More>.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Movies I watched recently

The Incredibles: Good movie! It's been a while since I saw an animation (last one was Finding Nemo), if you havent watched it yet, it's a good watch.

Star Wars - The Revenge of the Sith: The second Star Wars movie that I have seen. The last one was the Attack of the Clones (Back then we all took some time out from work, including the Mgr. and saw a DLP version of it, although I think the Attack of the Clones is better than the latest, maybe because of the War in it). Now I want to try and understand the complete story of Star Wars by watching the other parts (the adv. of watching it in DVD would be that I can see it in the right sequence).

Waqt: Pretty good movie. I really enjoyed the comedy in the first half. Comedy by Amitabh, Rajpal Yadav and Boman Irani (His tagline in this movie is "Kuch bhi nahin hai") is excellent. Good acting by everyone. In between, the movie seems to lose it's pace a bit, but catches up well, right away. The last 20 minutes is quite sentimental. Overall a very good watch. Music is good by Anu Malik. He also makes a cameo appearance in one of the songs. All of the songs are good. Subah Hoge - Melodious, Meeraksam and Let's play Holi - Racy numbers, Toot Gayaa - Sad one by Kailash Kher (he was introduced in Swades' Yuhin Chala - he's got a solid voice).

Kana Kandein: Excellent Movie! Dont miss this one. Very good acting by Srikanth, Gopika and Prithviraj (He's a Malayalam actor. He is the villain in this movie). Vivek's comedy is quite good. Prithiviraj's acting is very convincing and without any noticeable flaws. Music is also good, by Vidyasagar. Two songs really stand out: Chinna Ponnu by Sayonara Philips and Chinna Chinna by Sunitha Sarathy and Tippu (Harini's husband). The english piece in the Chinna Chinna song is quite funny (just like the one in Tirupachi).

Monday, May 23, 2005

Girls have beat boys in the CBSE XII results

Girls' pass percentage: 83.17
Boys' pass percentage: 73.78

Chennai region had the highest 90 per cent pass percentage among the five CBSE regions. Delhi which stood third in the results last year was pushed to the fourth place this year after Chennai, Ajmer and Chandigarh, CBSE Chairman Ashok Ganguly said.

I have been a hardcore CBSE education fan, and am happy to see Madras beating other cities in the 90 percent pass percentage. <Read More>.

UPDATE: Here is another piece of stats that is an indication of the number of students studying in CBSE schools (in the XII std.):

The Central Board of Secondary Education Chennai Region comprises of 1,216 schools spread across Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, Pondicherry, Lakshadweep and Daman and Dieu. Of the 33,148 students who had registered for the examination, 32,365 candidates had appeared for the Plus Two public examinations at 530 centres.

<Read More>.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Scams - Low tech (Ore Ore Sagi) and High tech (Evil Twins and Pharming)

Low Tech:
Heard about the latest scam in Japan? It's called the "Ore Ore Sagi" (ore ore means "It's me! It's me! Scandal" in Japanese). So far the maximum a single person (atleast the reported ones) has lost is $120K in this scandal. It seems there are several organized groups which take special training for conning people using this technique. I read about this a while ago in WSJ, but only now found it on the web...<Read More>.

High Tech:
Heard about the "evil twin" scam? Simply put, this is a different form of "phishing" but this is done using wireless hot-spots. According to eWeek "The Evil Twin is essentially a wireless version of a phishing scam — users think they're connecting to a genuine hot spot but are actually connecting to a malicious server, which can then extract information such as bank details. The attack can be carried out by anyone with the right equipment in the vicinity of a legitimate base station, according to Dr. Phil Nobles, wireless Internet and cybercrime expert at the U.K.'s Cranfield University." ...<Read More>.

And another high tech scam currently becoming notorious is "Pharming". According to CNET, "Rather than spamming you with e-mail requests, pharmers work quietly in the background, "poisoning" your local DNS server by redirecting your Web request somewhere else. As far as your browser's concerned, you're connected to the right site. The danger here is that you no longer have to click an e-mail link to hand over your personal information to identity thieves." ... <Read More>.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

I was speechless...totally!

While reading Toeragz's post about "The Best Compliment", I got reminded of a funny incident during my Master's: I was working as the Electrical Engg tutor during my MS and one of the students used to come to me regularly for help with one of the toughest subjects (Electro Magnetics). It was a total nightmare to me during my BE and I was so glad to pass it in my BE.

She used to come regularly during my work hours for help with that subject and I really dont know how I helped her solve those home work problems. I will somehow make sure I get the answers at the back of the book (using all the theorems that I have ever read about). Everytime she left I was so relieved. It was the same nightmare everytime she came in for help with that subject. Finally the semester was ending and I was the happiest person to know about that (not because my classes were also ending for that semester, but just because I can get rid of her). After the exam, she comes back and tells me she scored an A in that class and had come back to thank me for all the help...I was speechless...totally!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Singer Chinmayi is blogging!

Chinmayi, the famous tamil singer has started blogging. If you dont recognize/remember the name or the songs that she has sung, check this out (Remember the song "Oru Deivam thandha Poove" from the film "Kannathil Muthamittal" ?) And we both studied in the same school - so now I know a Celebrity Junior!

Her website is at http://www.chinmayionline.com/ and her blog is at http://chinmayisripada.blogspot.com/.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Xbox 360 launched in the US

Microsoft launched the Xbox 360 (2nd generation Xbox) during a 1/2 hour show on MTV today.

It's got an impressive spec:
Wireless controllers (no more fumbling with the wires).
Detachable 20 GB Hard disk (upgradeable).
Three 3.2 Ghz Processors (compare this with the 733Mhz Processor for Xbox).
512MB Memory.
12x dual-layer DVD drive that reads DVD, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, CD-R/RW, WMA and MP3, among other formats.

Need anything else? ... <Read More>...<Read Some More>.

PS: Doom 3 (on Xbox) is keeping me well awake until an hour or two after midnight these past few days.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Kaal movie review and the weekend

Saw the hindi movie Kaal (Stars Ajay Devgan, John Abraham, Isha Deol, Vivek Oberoi and Lara Dutta - SRK and Malaika make a cameo role in a song). This is a pretty decent movie, and a very thrilling one. The background music during the entire length of the movie keeps it very thrilling. The story is also pretty decent, although I felt the ending could have been a bit better. But liked the role of Kalli (Ajay Devgan), he seems to perfectly fit that role quite easily. I am beginning to feel that he could be the next Amitabh Bachchan, not just because of this movie but his acting has been quite convincing and almost seemless with the atmosphere of the movie, quite often. Music, as I had already reviewed it here is quite different and refreshing (most of them are techno based).

One more weekend is gone :-)

Have you ever had food in a silver bowl? I did on friday at a friend's place. Don't remember if I have ever had it before, but this was quite unique. Had Kesari in a "Velli Kinnum" (Silver bowl).

Finally finished my defensive driving course for the speeding ticket that I got (took it over the internet), and managed to pass it.

And there's been a lot of good music both in Tamil and hindi - most of them are very refreshing and original. Will post seperately on them.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Ads of the previous millenium

Inspired by Ferrari's post on old ads, here are the things that I remembered from my days in Madras:

A-one cleaning powder...pathirangal pallapallaka, kannadi peengangal minnu minnuka, A-one Cleaning Powder.

Saravana Stores...Eversilver, pithalai, nagai...T.Nagar Usman Road (Kilaigal illai).

Sabena, Sabena...

Boost is the secret of my energy...our energy.

Sila Vishayame...nammidame, sila vishasheme...nammidame...(I think it is the Cadbury's ad)

Chick, chick, chick - Chicklets.

Tagline of Lifebouy was "Lifebuoy evvidamo arogyam avvidamme."

Raski rasna Rasna, rasna.

Thumbs up, taste the thunder (Thufani Thanda).

Cutticura talc...sloosy loosy or something like that.

Kadaikarare, antha voodhuvathi thanga...Edhu Ma? Ellathukkum mela irruke, adhu! Cycle brand agarabathigalai kettu vangungal!

Onida...Neighbors Envy, owners pride.

Solidaire for sports, solidaire for sunday movie, solidaire, solidaire....we want, we want true colors, we want, we want true sound, we know what we want, we want solidaire...solidaire!

Utterly Butterly Delicious...Amul.

Hmph, hero vayule ore natham...Arr Sugantha pakku..Thamboolam sirakka ARR.

Hmmm Ayyasami, ore natham...something like that (for Khaitan fan).

...Rathna stores, siva complex.

Suzuki Shogun, the boss.

Maan Mark kudaigal, maan mark kudaigal.

Britannia, britannia, britannia marie. Ting ting ti-ting.


Do you remember anything else?

Friday, May 06, 2005

Bombay Rockers

Heard the music of Bombay Rockers today. Their hit song, "Rock tha Party" is really good. Inspite of the liberal amounts of expletives used in the album, some of their songs are quite good. This is a band with an Indian and a Danish guy (The Desi bugger sings the Punju/Hindi part, while the Danish bugger sings the English part). It seems they already won a Danish award for their hit song. Their debut album "Introducing the Bombay Rockers" is filled with all kinds of songs, rap, R&B, fusion, but nothing that relates to rock music (for the Rockers in their name)...<Read More>.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Hindu Theme Park in Uttaranchal

If you haven't heard the scoop yet, here it is: Shiv Sagar, the grandson of Ramanand Sagar (Producer/Director of the serial Ramayan) is planning on building a huge 25 acre Hindu Theme Park right next to the Ganges, called the Gangadham. Being a very big mythological fan, I will certainly visit it after it is built. It's planned to be ready in 2007 before the Kumbh Mela in 2010 <Read More>.

Monday, May 02, 2005

How a $2 purchase ended with a $55 bill!

I went to Best Buy this weekend to buy a $2 cable for my headset (it's got a single output, but to connect it to my computer I need two seperate outputs - one for the mic and the other for the headphone) and didn't really find it there. Might have to go to RadioShack to get it, but in the process ended up buying the Doom 3 Video game for my Xbox (A $2 intention ended with a $55 bill). I have played the original Doom (was a big fan then) and have also played it over the network at my University and have played many such computer games - Quake, Mortal Kombat 3 (Kun Lao was my favorite character, used to like his powers a lot), Age of Empires to name the very best that still remain in my memory. This one, Doom 3, has been quite good so far. Initially it was a bit slow to start off, but once it started off it was all spooky. It scares you really well with the Zombie kind of characters trying to kill you all along. One cool feature of this game is you can save it anytime just like a computer game (you can't do that in many of the other Xbox games, they let you do only after you reach certain checkpoints).

PSP Promotions

If you have been watching the ads for PSP (PlayStation Portable - The new handheld Video Game by Sony) on TV and online, then most of you would feel the same way I do, which is completely amazed! The ads are too good and the music complements it extremely well, and is very infectious. For the inquisitive minds, the song is called "Take Me Out" by Franz Ferdinand. For a video of the complete song go here, and for the lyrics, go here. And finally for the link of the kick-ass PSP promotion videos (or ads), go here.

There used to be a time, when I used to regularly check out Launch's site (now acquired by Yahoo) for the top videos to keep track of the English songs. I don't do that anymore, maybe I should, to keep up with the stinking number of good songs nowadays.

PS: Don't get me wrong, I DONT like the PlayStation (although PSP is a whole different video game console, it's a handheld)! XBOX rules and XBOX 360 or Xenon or whatever they are going to call the next-gen Xbox, will rock and may have a chance to be No.1, according to Gates!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

How to Recover lost Partitions, unreadable hard disks

UPDATE on my Hard Disk: I finally got the stuff restored. It took me two sleepless nights (literally...I am up till 6am today and it was around the same time yesterday too). Used several softwares (including Knoppix), but none really worked (Knoppix was just able to give me the garbled directory structure, nothing else), except this free GNU based utility called TestDisk (This recovers lost partitions), apparently my Master Boot Record got corrupted, (even after I used the XP's Recover mode to fix it) and that fixed the issue.

They also have another utility called PhotoRec that can recover lost/deleted images from digital camera memory or even Hard Disks. This software was a real life-saver, it really saved my 200GB of hard work! Now, I can finally sleep!

Thank you Dr. Google! (you have saved me again)