Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Avatar Experience

One. I opened the REAL-D glass at exactly five minutes into the movie to see things look without. Screen looked exactly like how Doordarshan did back in 80s when a strong afternoon wind moved the rooftop antenna from its perfect alignment with the "tower". Two or three able bodied men would immediately rush to the roof, one person with better eyesight than imagination would keep staring at the screen down. There would be back and forth communication between the two groups till the exact alignment is restored, evident from a 'good picture'. Only if we had these cool 3-d glasses back then.

Two. The major problem with a perfectly shot 3D movie is the new way to deal with who I call the popcorn pirates. These folks probably have perpetually bad toilet at home and find theater popcorn more gourmet than anything at French Laundry. In normal movies you can strategically maneuver your legs as they pass through the tiny isle to hurt them real bad. In such well executed 3D, it's indeed confusing to figure out whether these creatures in front are Popcorn Pirates or just a few oversized folks from a different planet.

Three. My wife keeps stalking Abhishek Bachchan in Twitter et al. She'd told me Abhishek thinks Avatar is a lot like Hindi movies. I was still looking for a Johnny Lever among Na'vis who would ape humans, or a veteran Omprakash - modern Aloknath type Na'vi who would want to hand over the planet to humans with no axe to grind. Hint: Na'vis were mostly arboreal. Not Na'vi as in Navi Mumbai!

Four. Stephen Lang (the nasty colonel) is 57. Seriously? Or, his muscles came from the same data center Na'vis' tails did?

Five. During the climactic fight, I was literally Wii-ing my hands to punch the colonel or take out a couple of planes. It was, to paraphrase Gulshan Grover, 'a bit more than games, a bit less than classic'.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kevin Khekra et al

How about who all I am talking about? Extra credits if you name the movies along.
  1. Heera Singh
  2. Kesariya Vilaayti
  3. Tapasvi Gunjal
  4. Bob 'Odzhora'
  5. Tyson
  6. Sir Juda
  7. Kali Babu
  8. Inspector Sher Singh (this, I have to give movie name -- "Cheetah". Inspector Sher Singh in Cheetah. Ha ha)
  9. Kevin Khekra
  10. Dost Khan

(Courtesy: Filmfare, Oct 14, 2009)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Snowflakes on the Bald Tree

Moment 1

1995. A bunch of thin, clueless and boasting Engineering students keep bunking all classes. During the college fest, suddenly they enroll to a "Computer Training" to learn Unix and C. Two evenings every week. He would be there the first every evening. While the instructor waits frustratingly for others to arrive from different joints within the city, he would open his tiffin box and munch things in extreme peace with himself. The instructor does not look too happy when others show up. Finally.

Moment 2

1997. The bunch of thin, clueless and boasting Engineering students are chatting inside the 'pavilion'. As it happens at such times, people are cutting each other with random sentences. One of his was (obviously translated) - "The most important thing is where we will be in another ten years. First five years, I want to get out of this coding business. After another five years, I want to get into Management. Coding sucks." People laugh. He was damn serious.

Moment 3

1998. He just started 'seeing' someone in his first job. A friend visits Bombay from Chennai. Three of us meet to plan to go to Khandala / Pune for a couple of days and just drink throughout. He bailed out seriously pissing off both of them. Did not even come for the drink session that evening. His reason? "Borivali te national park ache. Rate bagh beroy. Oke bari chere dite hobe.' (Tigers sometime come out from National Park and roam around in open after dark. I have to drop her to her place).

Moment 4

1999. He is in Canada for work. Spends several thousands of dollars in a month to call his wife (the same one he escorted home).

Moment 5

2001. He shows up at Amber Calcutta every Saturday usually direct from a shoe sale. Or, clothing sale. Or, some shop. He loves to buy. And to eat too.

Moment 6

2003. He and a couple other friends would phone conference during the world cup and analyze the games. The analysis often ran for hours, with no seeming stoppage of liberal opinions on non-performers.

Moment 7

August, 2009. He calls up a friend, this one in fact. Practically ambushes him on why he does not "keep in touch" anymore. He also mocks at the lame excuse of "recession, boss" at any serious questions he asks. Talks about Madhuri Dixit sightings in Denver; Mamata Banerjee's accent; Subhash Bhowmick's Coaching camps; Fate of aging programmers in US; State of the Economy - and especially a few companies he and his friend knows about; the not-so-funny moments of home-ownership and a whole bunch of other topics. While doing so he also kept a close eye on his 5 yr old daughter playing in park. As she finished playing, he keeps the phone promising to call back. Soon.

When someone leaves, he leaves a lot of moments behind. His social networking site "Title" reads -- "enjoy every moment of life". He surely did. His activities read - "getting limited day by day :)". We saw him coming to college on bike, almost every day. Unsurprisingly, his favourite movie list starts with "Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar". His fashion sense reads -- and shows as he sips into a cool cocktail in the profile pic -- "trendy". Some guy even wrote in his page "abe woh phot change kar... kudiyon ko phasa raha hai... abhi tu buda ho gaya.." Another close friend commented - "uuf, gola chhobi to re...pechhone line diye meyera nacha nachi korle aro bhalo hoto".

One of his professional recommendations ends with -- "He will be a good asset to wherever he goes!"

He is not here anymore. Only The Good Die Young.