Friday, 31 December 2010

Things that kept us online in 2010

Well, another year of news-worthy events has passed us by, and in keeping with tradition, here's my list of what made the news, kept us glued to our screens and scratching our heads for one-liners to post on Twitter in 2010.

1. Hockey team Strike
2. No Pak players in IPL 3
3. Shiv Sena vs SRK & MNIK
4. Nithyananda
5. Shoaib Malik - Sania Mirza
6. Haiti earthquake
7. Chile Earthquake
8. Pune German Bakery Blast
9. Sachin hits 200 in a ODI
10. Lalit Modi vs Shashi Tharoor
11. Mumbai local railway motormen strike
12. Dantewada
13. Pratapgarh Stampede
14. Gyaneshwari Express derailment
15. Kasab Judgement
16. Celebrities on Twitter
17. BP Oil Spill
18. Mumbai Oil Spill
19. Mangalore plane crash
20. Bhopal Gas Sentence
21. Ayodhya verdict
22. Football World Cup
23. Commonwealth Games
24. Kalmadi
25. Adarsh housing scam
26. Chilean Miners
27. TISS rape verdict
28. Obama in India
29. Mahut vs Isner 
30. Zulqarnain Haider disappears
31. A.Raja & the 2G spectrum scam
32. Big Boss 4
33. Antilla
34. Radia Tapes
35. WikiLeaks
36. Julian Assange
37. Varanasi Bombing

As before, please let me know if I've left anything out.


Thursday, 16 December 2010


Everyone gets lonely sometimes. Especially around weekends. And holiday season. When you're at home without any plans. When all your friends have their own plans. When you wish you had something interesting to do, more friends to hang out with, more people to talk to, to party with. When you wish you didn't have to go to bed so early.

This is normal. It passes. Just concentrate on your hobbies, your likes, what excites you. Do what you like to do - read books; watch movies; go to plays, concerts, performances, screenings, seminars; travel; take a walk; take photos; play a sport, games, etc. You will meet people. Talk about common interests. Stay in touch. Over time, you'll gather like minded souls to you. Don't worry about the intermittent lonesome days/nights.

While I'm on the subject, I remember one of my psychology professors back in college telling our class about depression and that even though more men than women suffer from depression, men are better able to cope with it, as society allows men more freedom to do things that might counter depression. For example, a man who's feeling down can always go out for a late night movie by himself. Not so for women as much.



Thursday, 9 December 2010

The Lady and the Stranger

July 5, 2008. Toto's Garage. We're just about to leave. The 3 people at the table beside us are also leaving. 2 of them get out of their seats. The 3rd person remains seated, his head down. He seems tired, drunk, asleep, I can't tell. He's nodded off. The lady from our group decides to have some fun. With a nod to the stranger's friends, she sits down next to him, her shawl around him and her head on his shoulder. I immediately see, as if on cue, at least 5 people around me fish out their cameras to click pics. I do the same. Lot's of laughs all around. The stranger is oblivious to all this attention. He's still in dreamland. As we go out, I see the stranger's friends wake him up and tell him what's just happened.

I haven't met the lady or seen the stranger since that day. I wonder what they're doing now.


Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Movies Seen: Kick Ass, District 9

A 2010 superhero-themed action-comedy directed by Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, Stardust) and based on the comic book series of the same name. Loner kid decides to be a superhero, and in the process meets real superheroes with a vendetta, becomes a target for a crime family & has the adventure of a lifetime.

The narrative is good; the acting is good; it's well written, funny; it has a good score, lots of action. This is one of the freshest and best films I've seen this year.

A 2009 sci-fi movie directed by Neill Blomkamp (his first feature-length film).

The film begins in documentary style, giving us a short history of how alien refugees who landed in Johannesburg are presently settled in a temporary shelter which is now a slum. The government, through a private military contractor, is now planning to move the aliens to a new camp. The documentary then follows Wikus, an employee, as he visits the slum to help coordinate the transfer. He comes into contact with an alien liquid, and gets sick. The rest of the film resumes normally, following the next few days in Wikus' life as he is experimented upon, escapes, and joins forces with the aliens to find a cure for himself, while the government hunts him down and the aliens have plans of their own.

One of the best films made in 2009, and one of the best films I've see this year. The movie has a good story, the script is realistic, the narrative is excellent, the editing is crisp, and the special effects are above par. It's emotional, personal, raw & action-packed. This is quite simply one of the finest sci-fi movies ever made.



Monday, 6 December 2010

Independence Rock 2010

So I went to Independence Rock at the Chitrakoot grounds in Andheri with friend ND yesterday. It was much better than I expected. I was prepared for hot, loud, crowded, etc. but it was all O.K. We got in easily. Entry was free. We had arrived a bit late, maybe 6.00 p.m, so lines weren't a problem. The area was reasonably cool. We had space to ourselves. And the music was great. The only pet peeve I have is that so many people there were wearing black t-shirts. I mean come on, how cliched can you get. Isn't Rock supposed to be about rebellion? Independence? Why the uniform?

Sheets were laid out across the grounds, and people were using them to sit down on and relax, at least towards the back, which is where we headed to, near the snack area. The area near the stage was wee bit too loud and crowded for our taste. No mosh pits for us. We settled down, simultaneously talking and listening to the metal-heavy music of Scribe & Demonic Resurrection, and then the singing guitars of Axetortion, before Farhad Wadia and gang came on to play more nostalgic stuff. We left at 9.00.

Here's the quick Indiecision review of the event. 

I hadn't met ND since he left the company a few months ago. His new job took him to Oz for training, and he had just returned, so we had a lot to catch up on. He told me he didn't miss Australia until he was caught in traffic coming to Andheri from Bhandup today. He stayed in Perth, which was a mostly dead place. O.K for families maybe, but not bachelors, even though he was rooming with both male and female colleagues. There just wasn't that much to do out there, he says. And that he was closer to Indonesia than to Sydney. And saw more Chinese people than locals.

But there were good and interesting experiences too. He recalls how everyone is so nice and polite over there, and how they all drink black coffee, and do things themselves, like build their own holiday homes, etc.