Thursday, July 1, 2010

What's your favorite movie?


"I believe in America” is the line with which my most favorite movie of all time begins.

What can I write about the movie which almost every other movie fan believes it is their most favorite movie ?

Everything about the movie, including original story, flawless direction, powerful dialogues, memorable sequences, inspiring performances and the background music of the movie is a classic amalgam to be considered the best movie ever made.

Whistling in a Movie Hall on the first appearance of a Superstar categorizes me into those few rustic moviegoer who enjoys participating in the experience of movie watching. Even Last month, I whistled during the “ARR” show and while watching “Raavanan”.

I do not have a preference for a specific genre. “Bollywood” musicals and sob stories, Chinese Martial arts flicks, Foreign Language Drama’s and Hollywood blockbusters have been watched with equal fervor. Each one has left a distinct impression. The list of movies I like includes HAHK, DDLJ, ”Shankarabharanam”, KKHH, “Nayakan” ,”Kill Bill”, “The Shawshank Redemption”, “Forrest Gump”, “The Beautiful Mind”, “After The Wedding” and so on.

But the movie which has been number one favorite of all time is “The Godfather”.

“The Godfather insists on hearing the bad news immediately” – Mario Puzo

Every month at least once I use this forever classic line from the movie “The Godfather”. Over the years, I have met a  lot of people who love this movie.

One can safely mention “The Godfather” is most influencing movie ever. Every year there are innumerable remakes of the whole movie and many scenes re-enacted frame to frame.

Let me keep this note short for keeping the inspiration to write another day.

N.B. : First day of the second half of the year. Thanks to NaBloPoMo email, hopefully this month I will have a post every day. Are you Listening ?

Monday, June 14, 2010

The “Mozart from Madras” Show


Click here to see Pictures of the Show

Expectations were sky-high ever since we had booked the tickets for the Jai-Ho Concert (For me personally, it was higher than the next gen iPhone announcement from Steve Jobs). Last June, we were enthralled by Sonu Nigam, Sunidhi Chauhan and Team at the Patriot Center and this year it was the turn of “Oscar Winner ‘Sir’ A. R. Rahman”.

20100613 Jai Ho A R Rahman Performance at Patriot Center VA 125Ever since his Debut into Mainstream Cinema, year after year, ‘Sir’ Rahman has churned out melodious, foot-tapping, soulful numbers exceeding the expectations of all his eager fans. The win at Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire was a recognition which ‘Sir’ A.R.R. deserved was granted for taking.

For us this year has been the year of Shows. We were mesmerized by the ‘O’ Show and were shaken by ‘BeLIEve’ show at Las Vegas. The Musical programs organized by Local Talents Shruti Washington DC and the Charity Show for Lotus Venketeshwara Temple by SPB and SP Sailaja were a prelude to the A.R.R. Show.

For 3 hours non-stop since the first key, Maestro ‘Sir’ Rahman kept the Audience involved and thrilled with songs from his own collection evoking Loudest Cheers and Memories of delight.

Some songs which again stood out in Awesomeness were ‘Yeh Jo Des Hain Tera’ (Swades), ‘Thodi See Dhool Meri..’(RDB), ‘Chaiyaa Chaiyaa ‘ (Dil Se) & ‘Humma Humma’ (Bombay)

Some Key Highlights of the Show :

  • Tribute to Michael Jackson where ‘Sir’ Rahman Sang Black or White.
  • Respect to the one and only ‘Lata Mangeshkar Ji’ where ‘Sir’ Rahman dueted with a Hologram. 20100613 Jai Ho A R Rahman Performance at Patriot Center VA 183
  • Singer Hariharan’s rendition of ‘Bharat Humko’ (Roja) & ‘Hai Ramaa’ (Rangeela).
  • Formation of the ‘Ashok Chakra’ through various artists.

I recorded some of the songs and uploaded it to my youtube account.

You can watch them here.

(First Video)

(Last Video)

Click here to see Pictures of the Show

 20100613 Jai Ho A R Rahman Performance at Patriot Center VA 036 20100613 Jai Ho A R Rahman Performance at Patriot Center VA 161 20100613 Jai Ho A R Rahman Performance at Patriot Center VA 077 20100613 Jai Ho A R Rahman Performance at Patriot Center VA 078

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Random Post


Wisdom is something acquired over the years from experience with facts and the reactions to it. The experience could be one’s own or from others.

I learnt first hand about a wrong judgment interpretation thought line also known as gambler’s fallacy in my last week’s trip to LV which states that “past results do not prejudice the future outcome”. Two more lessons for me were “the house always wins” and of course “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”.

When we were kids, story books, comics and light reading material which we consumed influenced and drove the thought process to big imaginations of a parallel world. The facts learnt were registered as true and it often comes as a culture and strong impact shock. For e.g. I always thought I knew Zero was invented by an Indian Mathematician Aryabhatta. But if you google this you will be in for some surprises. Similarly another question about inventor of Chess or Origins of Sudoku all are commonly unrecognized.

Because of Omni-present Internet, it is very easy to fudge facts by diluting with other probable lines of thoughts and influencing the reader to be more confused and unclear than ever before possible in history.

When I recently re-read “My experiments with truth” by MK Gandhi, I was totally blown away by the sincerity of the writing. Nevertheless one of the questions that occurred to me was this is one side of the story, however honest and truthful the individual has been. Similarly other Autobiographies (controversial or otherwise) also put up the perspective of the story from a single dimension. But as an Individual, Society or the Country, the question is how much should be believe and take it up at face value ?

My Limited History knowledge suggests that every individual that was mightily praised had their share of enmity with some other individual or clan and also some unethical and/or illegal actions.

Without the religion restrain and discipline, the only lesson I learn is be at peace with yourself and keep others at peace (another resolution for life).

Monday, March 1, 2010

What is Wrong With GLOBAL WARMING ?


The Fact of Life is, If You Ignore the Facts, The Facts will Ignore You.

The only thing wrong about Global Warming is “The People Taking Credit For Predicting the accuracy of Global Warming”.

Humans have proved themselves to be Curious. For years now, there have been individuals who have attempted to learn and unravel the mystery of nature. Nature on the other hand follows its own course and has proven to be un-tame-able so far. The best things about Nature is, it follows it own path, following the rules of science.

What humans know about Science is still less than what humans need to know to change the way world behaves. Every time there is a envelope to be pushed, a barrier to be crossed, Humans being Humans put up a theory and believe in it totally until proven wrong later on.

Pure science is a fascinating exploration of theories and applications based on truthful observations and factual data. Pure science is accepted and adopted by the Scientific community based on numbers provided and experiments conducted with consistent standard results. [Based on my limited knowledge, I understand that there is a fair amount of approximation and tolerance allowed in the results and data.]. Every theory is extrapolated based on the considered ‘set of data’ however large or miniscule it is compared to the actual available data.

The Limited History of Humans we know had recorded Civilizations Rise and Fade Away, Migrate from one place to another because ‘Natural’ calamities and ‘Human’ interference. The only things History has taught us is that ‘History Repeats Itself’. But about Nature, History has taught us nothing except that is had proven itself Unpredictable.

Comet Sightings, Meteor Crashes, Change in Planetary Positions impacting Human Behavior, is still a mystery to be scientifically understood and resolved. Every historical/Scientific event recorded is little or more ‘biased’ or ‘impure’. Also my personal experience has shown that the ‘messenger’ is as important as the message. How many times have we shot the messenger to discover the ‘message’ was indeed useful. But that is human behavior at work.

The latest allegations and retractions in news about the inaccuracies in findings and typos in year of prediction has led to another round of questioning the messenger.

The question remains now is ‘Is Global Warming Prediction Correct’ ?

The way I feel is ‘It is an eventuality which will come true irrespective of ‘selective’ actions taken by societies as a whole’. The best thing to do is to be prepared. Global Warming is one of the several challenges the world faces for its survival in future to come.

Raising awareness is one of Right things to do and allowing the community to debate and learn is another.

That is what I am after and I know in time, truth will reveal itself and we will be able to make a choice when we have time at hand.

Lactose Intolerance


In 1988 I read Maneka Gandhi ‘the animal rights activist’ state in a interview that genetically ‘Indians’ did not possess the enzyme to break down Milk. I was 13 then and found the idea crazy.

Being a TamBram (Tamil Brahmin) raised in Maharashtra, My daily consumption of Milk was upto half a gallon in one form of the other.  As a matter of fact, Milk is one of the essentials of a daily diet of an average Indian.

For the past couple of years or So I was troubled with an upset stomach and extra flatulence 24 x 7. Of all the discoveries the Doctor made, No medicine was able to control or cure this.

Finally I had given up assuming it to be a Psychosomatic disorder. But mother of all surprises a controlled and careful diet over the past month has revealed the ailment to be Lactose Intolerance.

Oh Geez, Come On !!! How can that happen ? Freaking Unbelievable it is, but its true.

I have switched over to Creamer Free BLACK Coffee at work and Lactaid Milk at home.

What goes around comes around. My Theory is that somehow everything a human body consumes has either a positive or a negative impact. Over the years, staying away from Home Food and consuming a lot of tasty food at different places has had an eventual but unavoidable impact. It has collapsed the Lactose breaking enzymes, ringing in ‘Maneka Gandhi’s’ statement ‘Many Do not possess the enzyme to break down Milk’ or rather to put it mildly ‘Over some time, the Enzyme Breaks down unable to break Lactose’. Sigh !!!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Will you Cross the Skies ?


“When Love Happens. Love hits you” – VTV

My Wifey and I were majorly impressed with the latest Tamil Movie “Vinnaithandi Varuvaaya”.

Almost every other Tamil movie we have seen in the recent past has had us regretting the very decision why we had gone all the way to the Cinema Hall. But VTV stumped us throughout the run.

Showcasing old wine in a new bottle takes a lot of talent, conviction and brilliance. Hats off to Gautham Menon for coming up with a simple and down to earth presentation of the interaction between a boy and a girl who have fallen for each other at first sight. The cinematography is brilliant and eye pleasing capturing Kerala and New York with the same oomph.

The funny one lines of Ganesh and his excellent side kick role enhance the dilemma of Karthik. Simbu is brilliant and restrained as ever and Trisha looks and acts the part.

Overall a wonderful movie with lingering music.

Thanks to Loehmann’s to improve their Cushion Seating and Screen.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Softricks !!!

Laughter is the best medicine. – Anonymous

Now more than ever, I acknowledge that a bad memory enables one to laugh at the same joke again and again.

Surprisingly some jokes/anecdotes are too brilliant and have a universal appeal of evoking laughter in spite of recognition. Below I am listing a few such anecdotes/incidents/relates which I always react to.


Before China manufactured electronic items became universally available, Ulhasnagar(*Usa) of Thane, was notorious for its manufacturing of duplicate goods for products like TV/VCR/Mobile phones.  Name any branded product, you could easily locate and buy the same lookalike locally manufactured and made in Ulhasnagar (Usa).

The funniest anecdote related to Usa I heard was about ‘Cashew-Nuts’ scam sold for One-Third of the Wholesale price.

Even today I cannot help laughing explaining someone that it was (groundnut) ‘peanuts’ powder molded into Cashew shaped moulds.  I still cannot fathom how many customers were taken for a royal ride.


One inspiring activity I practiced with my close friends was to let our imagination run wild discussing whacky ways to change the world and its experiences. Those brainstorming sessions practically filled my head with many ideas that a instant recollection or mention triggers a insanely unstoppable laughter.

Today as I read about “Avatar” breaking box-office record collection, I remember the ‘brainstorm’ idea we had discussed to make it even an better experience for the audience. By introducing the 4th and 5th dimension in selective IMAX theatre’s where moviegoers apart from experiencing the vibrations of explosions and take off and landing seat reclines, it would be enthralling to experience ZERO GRAVITY along with some sequences of dragon flight.

For me, the suggestion of my friend, flooding the cinema hall with knee deep ice water during the sinking of Titanic in the movie always makes me roll and laugh.



…. To be Continued Later.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Guest Post by my Bro – Vj – About Sathabhishekam

It was a grand gala event celebrated at my Home known as Sathabhishekam and also another celebration of Sashti Purthi.
Last weekend, I had the good fortune to attain my Uncle's (Attimber) 80th b'day celebrations & 60th b'day celebration of my Cousin and it was a fun filled event. It was an occasion for the entire family to gather around the great relatives.
Events as taken place:
21st Jan 2010
2030 hrs: I Reached Home (Roha)
2100 hrs: Dinner (wow dinner on Banana leaves). Made me remember the marriage foods
2200 hrs: Mehendi program for the couples and relatives (Me the art maker: Four members for Mehendi and I completed all in almost 15 minutes….without thinking for perfection just finishing the work..)
2300 hrs: sleep
22nd Jan 2010
0400 hrs: Woke up its Good Morning and celebration & ceremony time.
Rangoli Time: Radha Attai wow instantaneously drew a rangoli of a Raath (Chariot as it was raathsaptami day) & other kolam.
0600 hrs: Kangal event (Washing of feets, Oil bathe, aarthi & so on done to the couples)
0700 hrs: Getting Ready. Everyone was busy in getting things ready.
- Cleaning the room
- Moving the Dewan to other room (making space)
- Vijay mama arranging the flowers and others materials needed for pooja like sweets, garlands, dooruva, fruits, & so on
- Dad went to get milk and other small things
- ME trying to capture all images
0730 Hrs: Getting ready for occasion.
- Typical cultural style.. Truly worthy & awesome.
- Need patience to dress up and carry on till program ends..
- Dhotar and Navvari Saadi
Check with snaps.
- Dad was dressing Uncle's & Mohan Anna.
0800 hrs: 2 Brahmin arrived, one came after 10 minutes and last one in 20 minutes (lost)
They were dressed in Dhotar's ekdum Brahmin style for puja)
0810 hrs: Pujari making preparation for puja
3 Puja ceremonies was Fixed:
Wedding Ceremony:
Hawan: the smoky hours:
SatyaNarayan Puja:
0820 hrs: Bringing the bricks, Sand for havan, asking for almost everything needed. Just like a Bazaar around
- Bricks & sand for Hawan.
- Ghee, Rice, Supari, oil, Prasad,
- Flowers, garland, Wooden seat,
0830 hrs: chanting and preparation.
It was amazing to see the Brahmin preparing for the Puja. All well adjudged and perfect work of them.
- The Rice rangoli's for Ganpati God, the Nav Graha & others
- The Supari's resembling the different God's, Goddess & devotes where amazing
- The Wooden small Mandap where decorated by them
0845 hrs: The first Puja was the wedding ceremony
- The Bride Groom where asked to sit in front of all this Rangoli's
- The Brahmins started Enchanting the different Sholka's and Mantra
- One of the Brahmins was guiding the couples to follow the instructions as narrated like
- Zaapa
- Some mantra to say
- Touching the
1020 Hrs: The groom ties the sacred 'taali' on the bride
It was really a great time please doing see the video of this event..
1115 hrs: After Tea for Brahmin they started for the next Pooja
Homa or Havan: Lighting of the sacred fire
- The Pujari lights the sacred fire in honor of the nine planets and the gathering keeps the fire ignited by pouring 'ghee', along with other scared wooden and other materials.
- The fire was not allowed to go off till all the ceremonies were completed; Nor was it burnt fully. (This made a smoke all around the home. it was very Smokey all over, no one dared to be neither in that room nor even in kitchen room. everyone tried to sneak out of house to catch some clean air..though peeping into get the ceremony glimpses..ME too did the same and missed to take videos of the further event)
- The Enchanting of mantra's continued for another 2 hrs
- With couples making appearances on Puja place for few minutes
- The Havan was receiving the different materials for different peoples to keep it alight like Dad, Mohan Anna and Brahmin's.
1300 Hrs: The Havan Puja was finally over and the smoke was clearing now. It could be seen that everyone was dying for hungry. but still a Puja to Go
- Everyone kept Patient for Food to Arrive(It was ordered to one the Brahmin's who was doing the ceremony.)
- The Cleanness was carried out like moving the Havan to another room and other stuff to make place for next puja.
This was quickly wrapped up like cleaning the floor, sweeping & so on.
- The Two Brahmin left to collect the Food and remaining Brahmin made the needed preparation for the Satya Narayan Pooja.
1330 Hrs: The Pooja started
- Ranjani Akka and Attimber were asked to sit for Puja.
- The Pooja was started and enchanting of Mantra's was what we could hear.
- There were as many as 5 stories narrating the different stories on Satayanarayan and reason behind this Pooja.
1420 Hrs: The Food arrived along with the sweet aroma of taste and made us eager to Eat
- The Puja concluded with Aarthi's..Satyanarayan aarthi and so on
- We took the blessing of the God and Couples took the blessing of the Brahmin who has conducted the Pooja Successfully.
1445 hrs: Food Round One:
- It was Marathi Brahmin food. Wow..
- Poli(Sweet Roti) with Ghee
- Dal, Rice, Aamti(lller to Sambar)
- Papad, Kooshibir & so on
- Everyone was enjoying the good food
- Mom, Dad, Anna, Radha Attai everyone one was serving
1500 Hrs: Round Two
- It was my turn and almost those remaining along with the invited guests:
Aunties: Kunal Mom, Supriya's Mom, Ankur Mom
- I glutton the food in minutes...Yummy Kya!!
1515 hrs: Everyone has finished the food and there was last puja still to be done(astoundised naa..The pooja to do the disassembling of the Pooja)
- it was done in few minutes and the small wooden table with SatyaNarayan was moved an inch towards right.
1530 HRS: Blessing and Gifting time
Blessing was going around. Everyone was trying to get the blessing of the elders
1645 HRS: Mom had her Friends came for Bhajan's
- Hear some recording in the videos
It was real true and auspicious time.
Latter on visited some temples in Roha from Dhavir Mandir to Hanuman temple to Sai Baba mandir in our Area.
Snaps Link:
Video Link:
Do forward to others whom i missed

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Short Vacation Trips


The last two weeks of 2009 are now etched in memory because of ‘planned’ two short weekend trips to Ocean City, MD and Miami/Key West Florida.

December is not an ideal month for a visit to Ocean City. Our trip’s aim was to idle away in isolation away from home. The Hilton stay was exactly what the doctor ordered. A break from the routine. After a year long stressful work, a planned trip really emerges as refresher.

The Christmas weekend trip gave us a glimpse of the summer treat we can expect at Ocean City. The 4 hour drive from our Hendon VA was uneventful. Driving across the Chesapeake bay bridge during daylight is always a sight. The continuous sound of waves as we slid open window glass door soothes even the most shaky nerves when approached with the correct mental attitude. The weather predicted gusty winds made the front door whistle eerily. The picturesque view of Sunrise from the Ocean front hotel room, the Sea gulls flying around, people walking/jogging on the beach in pairs or with surf boards were all impressive. Ocean city, we will come again.

Florida is supposed to be warm,hot and humid during December, the contrast of weather in Virginia. As you can guess it seemed as if we carried our weather all the way to Miami.

The light snow/sleet covering the airplane had a delayed take-off, prompting us to miss our connecting flight. For the patient me it was a leisure time at Atlanta airport, reading off the nook and praying for a safe trip. Luckily for us we arrived in Miami FL to be picked up by my friend SM and his wife who gave us wonderful company throughout the trip.

First evening, we walked around south beach cafe’s/pubs and welcomed new year 2010 witnessing the fireworks display there.

Second day our plan to visit the crocodile lake at gator island got disrupted because of unforeseen thunder/lightning forecast. Alternatively we visited the sunset plaza and watched Avatar in IMAX 3D. The line for Avatar in its third week show was very long. However I thoroughly enjoyed “3 idiots” viewing and it made up for a wonderful stay in Miami.

On Saturday we 4 drove to the ‘southernmost point in USA’ in Key West across the 7 mile bridge. The bluish green ocean and the sunny weather made the drive fascinating.

My Wifey and I parasailed for the first time ever. It was hugely crowded at Mallory point where everyone had gathered to witness the beautiful sunset. The fire jugglers and other street performers were good.

On way back almost every other mile, we noticed a Cop car ready to pounce upon over speeding vehicles. Review of the visit to two Indian restaurants “Imlee” and “House of India” made it to the Yelp which I discovered whilst there.

Sunday the visit to the Sea Aquarium and South beach shore, combined with dolphin show and dance at “Mango” made another memorable day.

Mouth watering and tastiest food prepared by our ‘kind’ hosts made it a fantastic short vacation trip ever.

Looking forward to visiting again.

Oh Yes !!! and here is the link to the Florida trip photos 

Comments are Welcome !

Wish you a Happy New Year 2010 !!!