Saturday, June 28, 2008

Animal Instincts

Animal Instincts is a humorous take on slang. The animals featured in this comic strip indulge in all kinds of colloquial word-play that they themselves identify with. However, no animals were hurt during the creation of this comic strip. Take a trip to your wild side!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Waking Strife

10 PM, Monday

Today is the time for self-change. I’ll hit the sack right away. Set the alarm for 5 AM. Tomorrow is another day. And here comes another man, me. No more late nights. No more 15 minute deadlines for shower, shave and catching the 8:15 train. No more missing the 8:15 train. Tuesday morning, a new chapter in my autobiography, will be titled “The Awakening”. Ha!

10:15 PM, Monday
Humm, it’s just a matter of time before I fall asleep. Ok, so what do I title my autobiography? Humm… “Deja Boo: Have you had this nightmare before?” Tch tch! Think positive! Ok… “ When I sleep 8 hours on the trot, there is usually a great awakening”? Why am I still thinking of sleep? Hai Hai! Humm…what if I write a book without a name? I wonder if that’s been done before. I write the autobiography about a loser! Since everybody feels like a loser at some point of time in their lives, they’ll surely relate to it. < A triumphant smile> ahh… and the title is left to the reader’s imagination. Why limit the subject with a title, I say! Yea Baby! It’s a smash hit. An absolute bestseller! Ha! I can sleep for the rest of my life with the money I make from it!

10:45 PM, Monday
Ho humm! It’s been 45 minutes already. I know what’ll put me to sleep. My dream job! Let’s direct the last of the Harry potter series. Let us change the cast a bit! How about giving Salman Khan a role? As one of the wizards? Yea I know what’ll work. The only magic spell he’ll pull off successfully on screen is a vanishing act! Ha! Let’s add Katrina too. Oh yea! She’ll make a “ghost” appearance! Ha! Wow! This is turning out to be quite a blockbuster! What about Bachchan senior ? He can do any role in his sleep…oh ! sleep…yawn…

11:58 PM, Monday
Yawn! I’m still awake…so much for awakening! I wonder who said “ If you have a dream to realize, stop sleeping” What a moron! I’d really want to ask him something. These days, even in my dreams, I’m trying to fall asleep. So now how do I realize this dream of mine?? Huh?? What?? No reply? Sleeping or what? Yawn!

12:43 AM, Tuesday
Oh god! There’s no way I’ll wake up at 5 in the morning. I’ll set an alarm for 7. That’ll still give me an hour. Ok let me go thro my To-do list tomorrow. Joggers Park! Forget it! Shave, That’ll take 5 mins. Shower, 5mins. Ok, let’s go have a Shower now…Capital idea my hearty! Har har!

1:03 AM, Tuesday
Yawn! Humm, I love the feeling of a fresh towel! Talc after a shower! A fresh set of pyjamas! New Bed sheets and pillow covers! Perfect! Bliss! Yawn!

2:09 AM, Tuesday
Yawn! Now what do I do? Lets go thro my to-do list again…A copy for Valley View Health Resorts! Humm… ok 30 miles from the city…ok…I could do with a weekend there! Humm…30 miles to go before I sleep! AH! THAT’S IT! Even Robert Frost would’ve taken a break from poetry at Valley View! Wonderful! We all need a vacation don’t we? Brilliant! Now let’s think of a visual…something really enticing! Humm… yawn! Something very striking!...humm… yawn….hummm something…hummm…on the lines of…hummmmm…ok, let me ..yawn..sleep over this one…

2:42 AM, Tuesday
< heaves a sigh> ok now lets try Sweet Dreams…humm…Ok, I’ll ask Ekta out tomorrow…for coffee! Yea, that should be good! < thrilled> I’m finally gonna pop the question! < blushes> …no wait, she’s been having a fight with the < gestures the air quotes > loowe of her life < < closing air quotes >…How did I forget him…!#@!$$%# … Are there any single women left?? Man, I’m in the wrong country! Yea, for centuries, we’ve killed infants till a boy pops out…criminals…illiterate hooligans…ppl who practice foeticide should be castrated…but what’s the connection…man! Why I ruin my sleep over these ills of society…lets dream of Ekta…hummm…man! Even in my dreams I’m being a nice guy…humm….even in my dreams I’m an intellectual whore…humm…an coolie who offers to carry her emotional baggage…humm….when all at once that moron turns up and shatters my miserable dreams…hummmm….Even in my dreams….hummm…I don’t get to sleep with her….yawn…. ok let me count the number of times this has happened…this’ll put me to sleep….yawn!...

3:36 AM, Tuesday
Yawn!...what’s up dude!! Cant you @!$#$#$ sleep…hummm…need a “crash” course huh? …yawn…ok lets watch a movie… How about “Insomnia”? … What if I fall asleep while watching the movie…hummm…what an irony… … Ok if I ever go on to direct the longest movie ever, probably with a duration of 6 hours or so , I’ll call it “A Cure For Insomnia”…hummmm…..

4:29 AM, Tuesday
Yawn!... I’ll do this…I’ll type all these thoughts of mine and upload it on my blog…hummm…probably reading it will help me fall asleep tomorrow night…err…I mean tonight…whatever…yawn….Even if it doesn’t help me…it’ll help the few people to muster up enough courage to read it…yawn…good karma you know!...yawn….

7: 02 AM, Tuesday
(Alarm rings)…(opens one eye)…(eyes shut again)…(snooze alarm rings)…(turns it off)…(Snooze alarm rings)…(Changes settings)…(sets up new alarm)…

7:51 AM, Tuesday
(Snooze alarm rings)…(Jumps out of bed, alarmed!)…GODDAMMIT! ONLY 20 MINUTES MORE!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Departed

Movie directors are like cooks. Each have their favourite ingredients. There are those who take their time to make their first decent dal tadka, after which they master it to perfection and serve it every time a guest desires a hearty meal. There are those who start off with a splendid serving of paneer butter masala, subsequent servings of which leave a poor taste. So they are forced out of their comfort zones. Only a few possess the motivation to master a seven-course meal, even it requires them to lose some of their best years and several customers during the endeavour. However, for everything else they stand to lose, what they never forget are the ingredients that have worked over the years. Martin Scorsese is one such director and “The Departed”, his last offering was the proverbial seven-course meal that took 24 years in the making.

Watching “The Departed” is like nostalgia trip for any Scorsese fan. The celebrated director picked up a script that had worked earlier, a 2002 Hong Kong crime flick “Infernal Affairs”. He studied the plot like a research scholar, found many areas that could do with some sprucing up, recalled all of his favourite recipes and carefully chose all his ingredients. He conjured up a few newer concoctions with the flair of a druid and laughed his way to his first oscar. It’s pretty interesting studying this directorial odessey which has assumed Homersque proportions in the Hollywood Pantheon.

Like many of Scorsese’s movies, this one has an element of identity crisis among the protagonists. Like in Mean Streets, the protagonists have inherited the life of crime from their respective families. More often than not, they seem ill-equipped to live a life of lies and deceit, but then they go through the motions more as an obligation to their employers. However, unlike in Mean Streets, the lead characters serve the two ends of the spectrum. Instead of a kid who dreamed of growing up to be a mobster, we have two kids who grow up as imposters: One becomes a cop who goes undercover as a gangster, and the other becomes a gangster who goes undercover as a cop.

The movie has its share of organized crime scenes in the grocery, which could have been from Goodfellas. However the characters have come of age vis-à-vis the early 90’s counterparts, well-versed with the nuances of technology used in computers and mobile phones. And these devices have been deftly incorporated in the plot, adding to the chaos that comes with being a trader in loyalties between the cops and the mob. The traps and betrayals are well summarized in this one scene where a character says to one of the moles, “I gave you the wrong address. But you went to the right one.”

Another of Scorsese’s trademarks is to get the best out of a high profile cast, be it Goodfellas, Gangs of New York or even The Colour of Money. Marty pulls it off again in “The Departed” with consummate ease. In Matt Damon and Leo DiCaprio as the two moles, the prospect of a Jason Bourne-Frank Abignale dogfight is highly anticipated and it lives up to your expectations. Both actors convey this agonizing inner conflict so that we can sense and feel it, but not see it. Jack Nicholson plays his meanest self since Joker in Batman. He commits obscene acts and speaks in cynical taunts, but his poise doesn’t waver till the very end. . His is a character that is slowly losing his mind much like Travis in Taxidriver, and while he is a goofy old man when he wants to be, he is also very, very menacing. His virtuoso swearing with more than liberal doses of philosophy can at best be described as – eloquence in profanity.

Scene at restaurant:
Costigan( Leo DiCaprio): Frank, how many of these guys have been with you long enough to be disgruntled, huh? Think about it. You don't pay much, you know. It's almost a fuckin' feudal enterprise. The question is, and this is the only question, who thinks that they can do what you do better than you?
Costello(Jack Nicholson): The only one that can do what I do is me. Lot of people had to die for me to be me. You wanna be me?
Costigan: I probably could be you, yeah. Yeah, I know that much. But I don't wanna be you, Frank. I don't wanna be you
Costello: Heavy lies the crown... sort of thing.

Scene at his pub:
Costello: Who let this IRA motherfucker in my bar?
[the man looks startled]
Costello: [laughs] Only kidding. How's your mother?
Man in Costello's Bar: Oh... I'm afraid she's on her way out.
Costello: [walks away] We all are. Act accordingly.

There definitely has to be a mention of Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg and Ray Winstone who had their share of memorable scenes.

Also there’s the background score, with Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones & Allman Brothers band among others, very reminiscent of Mean Streets again.

And most importantly there is a moral, which eventually emerges out after a very circuitous path throughout the movie. One cannot overlook his conscience while living one big lie. Gradually, your conscience does grip your neck and wrestles you into submission. Irrespective of your motives, you could be a cop or a criminal, when you're facing a loaded gun, what's the difference?

This movie cannot be missed for the world, but then would you take the word of a die-hard Scorsese fan?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fast Forward: You know you are in 2008 when ...

1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.
2. You haven't played Solitaire with real cards in years.
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they are not on your orkut account.
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.
7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.
8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
9. You pout because nobody leaves a comment on your blog.
10. You give up on mankind because nobody reads your blog.
11. You close your blogger account and hope somebody sends you a hug on facebook.
12. Your favourite pastime is reading people's Status Message on Gtalk.
13. Your favourite conversation topic is the funniest Status message you'd read during the day.
14. You are still to watch all the movies on your system and your 250 GB hard drive because you've been busy hunting for new torrents.
15. You look for a net centre only to check out the latest notifications on facebook.
16. YOu do not have the patience to watch a cricket ODI on TV but while at work you refresh page after every single delivery of a test match.
17. You get up in the morning and go online before getting your coffee.
18. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )
19. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
20. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
21. You are too busy to notice there was no #21 on this list.
22. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't #21 on this list
23. You desperately want to post this somewhere, on a blog or a tweet perhaps!!

PS: thanks kida, this is quite an eye opener ;)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What IPL can do without in 2009

1. So what was it about Rajastan that intimidated their opponents? Shane Warne's captaincy? Sohail Tanveer's bowling action? Yusuf Pathan's belligerence? Shane Watson's sixes, which were smacked with arrogance? Warne's womanizing skills? While all of the above may have contributed to the Royale finish of the IPL, what surely gave our icons from the other teams a nightmare was Ila Arun's war-cry for her "mera walla pink" city franchise. The catchiest tune brought fear in the minds of the opposition, who continued to drop matches against Rajastan the way Indian fielders were reputed to drop catches.May be we should let the cricketers' skills do the talking, you know. "Balla" Bol!

2. 59 matches are way to many and at the end of the tournament, the ones who showed maximum fatigue were the commentators. Arun Lal never stopped talking about "Momentum" like it was the latest fad in the world of cricket, while Fernando advertised the "Key to the Sri Lankan Success" with loyalty, every time a lankan roared or even purred. This would have been a fantastic platform for Siddhu, if it was not for the fateful day when the sardonic sardar spelt his "luck" with an F.

3. Articles about "Cheerleaders". Well, I'm hoping the mere mention of them in this piece will earn me some hits.

4. Product Placement Overdose(PPO). I mean "That is a DLF maximum six!", " This is surely a Citi moment of success!". What happened to the good old figures of speech , gentlemen? " Magnificent Shot! Absolutely Majestic! That'll clear the side-screen! Wonderful, wonderful shot!" Now even this, repeated a million times will do. Lets not relive the Pepsi Huddle experience! It could get worse,Itch guard "lets start from scratch" contest or Sreeshant dancing to " Hit me baby, one more time" with a pepsi.

5. Focus on the owners of the franchise rather than the cricket their teams play. Thanks to SRK,Preity, Ambani, Katrina, Akshay Kumar and the likes, fans were denied some precious action replay of some flashbulb moments( or "citi moments of success" if you insist)!Dont we get enough of dope on these eminent personalities even otherwise? I mean, isn't a copy of Deccan Chronicle enough?

To be continued...