Hits and Pits of 09

My favorite part of 09 – the year end lists. Lists that showcase the best, the mediocre and the worst. From movies to celebrities, scandals to scams, fashionsta’s to fashion faux pass, music to ads, food to drinks. Anything that can be counted and classified will be listed in the top/bottom 09 lists. Most of the 09 countdown/top/bottom lists are gibberish by nature and used as fillers by television channels.

I look forward to a few 09 lists. One of them is Rajeev Masand’s Hits and Pits of 09. The list is a collection of Rajeev’s personal choice. I swear by Rajeev Masand and his show ‘Now Showing’ on CNN-IBN. Per Masand, the hits include – Kaminey, Luck by Chance, Wake Up Sid, Gulaal and Rocket Singh Salesman of the Year. The Pits include – Blue, Chandni Chowk to China, What’s your Raashee, Luck and Kambakkht Ishq.

Damn! My ongoing hiatus is the culprit for the absence at the movies. Masand’s hits list will have to be faithfully carried over to the next year. The only movie I have seen from the Hits list is Lucky by Chance. From the pits, I have seen Chandni Chowk to China (on cable) and Kambakkht Ishq (downloaded). ). Dev.D, A Wednesday, Welcome to Sanjjanpur should have made the cut to the hits list. Pits should have included Paying Guests, Life Partner and numerous other slapstick badly timed comedy turned tragedy for the viewer that were rolled out this year. Kambakkht Ishq should receive a Razzie and Razzie life time achievement award should go to its director. To ask the director what he was thinking would be undermining your own intelligence.

Cinema is an art form. Agreed that cinema should not be pirated or downloaded due to the amount of work and effort involved in making the art. I follow a personal, slightly biased rule before dishing out Rs. 150-250 to watch a movie in the theatre. I am driven to the theatre because of the director, the cast and pointers from Now Showing.

I have always wondered how people go to the theatre to watch a movie like Blue, Kambakkht Ishq or Luck. What part of their cognition allows them to deduce they want to dish out Rs200 for self inflicted torture?

The review of Luck had me in splits –

“Luck came with the stupidest climax you could possibly imagine: Imran Khan’s character escapes death despite being shot at point blank range, because – listen carefully – turns out he’s one in a small minority of people whose heart is on his right side, not left” – Rajeev Masand.

Here is Rajeev’s Hits and Pits list of 09.

Did anyone watch ‘The President is coming’?

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Feast for Bridezilla’s and Wanna be Bridezilla’s

Weddings disturb me. Actually these days anything related to weddings disturbs me. A syndrome I developed from the universe yet to conspire an impending arranged marriage for myself. The more I avoid remotely related to marriage links, the more I stumble upon them. Good to know that Murphy and Finagle still dot over me.

Bridezilla’s and wanna be Bridezilla’s, here’s a treat for you. Style me Pretty, their tag line couldn’t be more apt – Obsession for Brides. Love the wedding photographs, the design, the décor. Simplicity makes weddings looks so amazing. Each photograph successfully captures the emotions behind the shutters. I am sure your inner monologue will utter at least one awwww.

Shout out to Elizabeth Messina, love the way she captures life in photographs. You can check her work here. Love her wedding photographs. The West does such a commendable job on capturing the heart and soul of a wedding. Don’t get me started on photographers at South Indian weddings.

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Wear the old coat, buy the new book & stack em on your self made bookshelf

I take immense pleasure in displaying my books. Yes! I do enjoy showing off books I love. Stacked books can change the look and feel of your room. They bring about special warmth. I drool over most bookshelves I see especially the ones from Ikea. The invisible book shelf came to my rescue.

Came across this simple, awesome and inexpensive way to display your books. The books are stacked horizontally and appear to float on the wall. This doesn’t ruin the book, saves space and you can show off your collection in style. Definitely affordable. All it takes is a few L brackets and screws to get an awesome invisible bookshelf.
You can find step-by-step instructions on how to get the invisible bookshelf here.

Wear the old coat, buy the new book and stack them on your self made invisible bookshelf.

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The Facebook Fiasco

New social encounters usually end with, “Hey, I’m on Facebook, will add you on.”
“Are you on Facebook/Twitter?” makes the cut as this century’s redundant question. Rule of thumb, anyone who has access to the internet has been bitten by the online social networking bug.

Facebook envisages you ‘to connect and share with the people in your life’. There is no love loss adhering to Facebook’s vision. This noble thought is many a time responsible for changing your privacy setting often from prying eyes of your grandparents, cousins whom you have conveniently lied to, those you never want to meet, parents, professional friends, pseudo friends. Facebook has successfully embraced all ages. Infact when it comes to the sub continent, there is just too much of connecting and sharing.

I was a Facebook junkie. My day began with a cup of kapi (coffee) and logging to Facebook. After checking my page, it’s straight to the live feed section. The live feed as the name suggests is an overdose of information. The live feed brims of status updates, wall posts from friend of a friend who forgot to set his/her privacy setting, photo albums, application messages, updates and the virus more deadly than Ebola, Farmville updates.

As a country that thrives on voyeurism, there is no surprise that people enjoy sieving through the live feed. The honeymoon with live feed section and eventually Facebook does end due to the nature of information that hits your sensory sources.

There is no shortage to status updates on these lines,

“Thanks honey for the amazing candle light dinner”
“Yay! Going to Greece again for two weeks. Ciao soon”
“We are standing next to the statue of liberty”
“Fingers crossed for my second promotion this year”

There is a trend in the way status messages are written. Most of them echo a pseudo, complete show off, fairy tale, yet extremely vital to human sustenance tone.

There are wall posts from a friend of a friend who didn’t meddle with the privacy setting. These wall posts often echo good times only.

“Where were you? Me, neha, Arathi, Rahul and the gang went out. Missed u. Hugs”
“Damn! You missed it, you should have come ya”
“We had such an awesome time in Hardrock”

Facebook does take care of those who aren’t camera shy and loves to upload every picture they possible have and actually have the patience to sit and tag each picture. Everybody loves pictures. Even if a single album contains nearly 250 pictures titled, ‘Night Out’, ‘I love my work’, ‘Weekend’, ‘Me’. Yes, the ‘me’ category is predominant.

Application updates are a sore for your eyes. Farmville has taken the sub continent captive. Hardly a few left who hasn’t given into the temptation of online farming. The live feed section over flows with updates reminding you to adopt your friend’s lost calf, reindeer and sheep, asking you to fertilize your friend’s farm, congratulatory comments on your friend’s farming abilities.

Poking is equivalent to a, “Hey! Wass Up! Hows you doing conversation’’. Virtual gifts are regarded as thoughtful, commenting on photographs, liking status updates, adopting lost cows, attacking your friend’s profile by your home breed werewolves, updates on your friend list constitute of sharing and connecting with people in your life.

In short, Facebook might get on your nerves at some point. Then what do you do? You can shift your loyalties to the micro blogging site- Twitter. Deleting your facebook account is not such a wise idea. What if you could commit social networking suicide? You read correct. Online social networking suicide. Well, that’s when you click here.

I came across this via Swiss-Miss aka my favorite designer.

You ain’t alone. Many are fed up of social networking and turn to committing social networking suicide. Web 2.0 suicide machine lets you sign out of social networking sites as Facebook, my space and linked in forever. The idea behind Web suicide machine is that you will meet your real neighbors again!

“Liberate your newbie friends with a Web2.0 suicide! This machine lets you delete all your energy sucking social-networking profiles, kill your fake virtual friends, and completely do away with your Web2.0 alter ego. The machine is just a metaphor for the website which moddr_ is hosting; the belly of the beast where the web2.0 suicide scripts are maintained. Our services currently runs with facebook.com, myspace.com and LinkedIn.com! Commit NOW!” – Text from the site

Don’t wait or hesitate, its time to save your energy, calm your inner monologues when you see mindless updates and connect in real person, real time with the real world. Time to go say hi to your neighbor and friends than poking them.

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Horoscope Translation

Woke up and read this –

“Out of all the 365 days of the year, this one is very very special. I don’t mean that they sky will open or the earth shake, but the seeds which are sown today will eventually transform your life for better. A spot of confusion might be inevitable, but you can work around it.” Peter Vidal, The New Indian Express Horoscope.

Wonder for which Gemini the above holds true. Definitely not me. Cause I am nursing a bad tooth. Sitting at home, disoriented and deciphering a few essential truths peppered with angry inner monologue rants. Losing focus too often. Have heard many stories of interns in the print media recycling and editing horoscopes for the paper when the syndicated ones would arrive late. Must be a case of that.

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Afternoon Roar – My name is Khan

The much awaited trailer of the year is out, that of ‘My name is Khan’. The movie is slated for release in February 2010. The movie brings back India’s favorite on screen couple, Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol as protagonists. My name is Khan directed by Karan Johar. The movie produced by Dharma Productions and Red Chillies Entertainment has tied up with Fox Star Studios and Fox Searchlight Pictures.

The first trailer of My name is Khan posted on the film’s website, is 3 min 01 sec. Here’s a small review of the trailer.

The trailer is build on the foundation that there are two kinds of people. Those who do good deeds and those who do bad deeds. The trailer starts introducing the male protagonist of the movie, Rizwan Khan (Shah Rukh Khan). One minute into the trailer, Rizwan, an autistic man, makes a strong connection with the viewer. Impressive dialogue delivery and voice modulation by Shah Rukh Khan. Effortless on screen persona and presence by Shah Rukh Khan does breathe life into Rizwan. Rizwan meets Manidra (Kajol) and her son. They become one big inter religious happy family. The happy trailer then cuts to 9/11 and racial profiling. The family being from an inter religious background gets religious profiled. Rizwan decides to go to Washington DC to meet the President of the United States. The trailer showcases various events Rizwan endures during this journey. Rizwan’s journey is showcased with emotional packed scene cuts.

The trailer echoes visuals on the theme –

We are stronger than our fears
Greater than our limits
More than just a name

The trailer ends with Rizwan saying,

“My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist.”

Refreshingly different piece of work from Karan Johar. Waiting to see the movie. Yes, there are parts in the trailers where the cynic in me is wondering but since it’s completely unfair to judge the plot by the trailer. I shall not make skeptical judgments before seeing the movie.

Murphy’s Law + Finagle’s Law – Karma

After fiddling with the custom status setting on Facebook, I decided to read through this year’s status messages. End of the year does trigger a reflective mood. I have been very prompt with my status updates. Perfectly sums up my emotions through the year. There was substantial amount of coverage given to Murphy’s law, desperately waiting for the weekend messages, explored the emotions of being a slave of globalization, celebrated good times, weddings, social obligations and random ones which I cant even make sense of.

Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time, in the worst possible way. Yep, this year Murphy’s Law and Finagle’s law knocked me down real hard. The year started with the evidence of Murphy’s Law at work and moved on to my social life. As the months progressed, I became Finagle’s love child. Saying this year was a roller coaster ride would be demeaning the essence of Murphy’s and Finagle’s law.

While navigating the roads paved by Murphy’s and Finagle’s law, I wondered what happened to Karma. Karma can be roughly translated as reaping what you sow or if one does good or spiritually valuable acts, one deserves and can expect good luck; conversely, if one does harmful things, one can expect bad luck or unfortunate happenings or simply what goes around comes around. I am a staunch believer of Karma; though the intensity has considerably reduced since it abandoned me. Hell, I knew people worse than myself. I saw good karma manifesting in the lives of many even in those people I completely detested, but not an ounce in my own. My Karma was embargoed by Murphy and Finagle. I decided to give my instincts a run for its money. It did betray me occasionally, when it came to choosing a movie theatre, issues at work, catching an auto, ATM machines near my house, tailors and sometimes matters of the heart.

Cradled in the lap of Finagle’s law, I started to act on sheer instinct and desire. Things ain’t that bad now. Murphy and Finagle have moved on to other full time victims. I am wearing the old coat to buy the new book. And might have to do it indefinitely. It’s worth it when you know what you want. Karma has been visiting me in the form of strangers, unknown bloggers, college friends, good old friends and doting family members. Not a bad way to end the year.

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