Monday, June 30, 2008

Sunday Double Bill

The weekend started with a meal at McDonald’s and their resurrection from their fall from grace after my last visit. The service was back on track and I got my meal alongside the cashier returning me the change due. Now that is fast. The rest of Saturday was spent catching up on sleep and TV.

Yesterday was spent watching movies back to back. So after a late lunch we headed to Fame Highland Park to catch ‘Chalo Let’s Go”. Yes I finally watched it. We caught the 5:20 pm show and I must say that Anjan Dutta is on his way to becoming a filmmaker of repute. The film is decent in all aspects yet lacks that finish that couldn’t catapult it into a major blockbuster. I felt some of the cinematography bordered on amateur work. But I enjoyed the film all the same. The good part is that Anjan Dutta created characters that every bong can relate with.

After Chalo Let’s Go, we made a dash for the next film we wanted to watch. It was at Fame, South City Mall and showing at 8:20 pm. Chalo Let’s Go finished at 7:20 pm and so it was going to be a mad drive or so I thought. To my amazement we were there in 20 minutes and had enough time to do some lukhagiri in the mall before we went in to watch 21. Yeah that’s the movie’s name. It’s about how a college kid genius, Ben Campell (Jim Sturgess), gets lured into gaming in Vegas. Casinos and high rolling tables and how one could beat the system if one counted cards well. Black Jack was the game and hundreds of thousands of dollars to be won. His love interest Jill Taylor (Kate Bosworth) is also one of the gamblers on board the team created by Prof. Micky Rosa (Kevin Spacey).

The plot was decent and so was the acting. All in all it was a one time watch movie.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Cholo Let's Go with the Music Folk at Some Place Else

I am sitting in a hospital right now biding my time writing about last nights event at Some Place else. I have just filled up the forms to register myself for a long overdue medical check up.

So about last night; I had bumped into Anjan Da a couple of days ago just as I had come out of Music World on Park Street. The first question he posed to me was whether I had watched his latest film, Cholo Let’s Go. I replied in the negative which disappointed him but promised that I would this week. In fact I had wanted to go watch it as everyone I know who has watched the film have good things to say about it. As a parting note thought, he asked me to drop into Some Place Else on Thursday as he and his band were playing there to promote the music from the film.

So come Thursday night and guess where I was? Well at the Atrium to begin with, as I had to grab a bite before 8:30 pm. You’re wondering what’s with the time business right. Well I had booked myself into the Apollo Gleaneagles Hospital at 8:30am for today and had to keep a 12 hour fast before coming in for my health check-up.

So anyway after dinner and a decent wait, Anjan Dutta finally took to the stage. He started off the show with his customary tribute to the great songwriters of the 50’s & 60’s who weren’t given much reverence by the younger generation of today for their contribution to music. The show got underway with Country Roads followed by Travelling Light by Cliff Richards. The mood had been set and Green Green Grass and Jamaican Farewell brought on actress Churni Ganguly to lend voice to these songs.

What followed was a Solo by Neel Dutta doing his rendition of a Dylan classic called “DON'T THINK TWICE, IT'S ALRIGHT”. HOMEWARD BOUND by Paul Simon and Naa Jaane Kyon from their music for the film Cholo Let’s GO led to the talented Tanya Sen (vocalist of Crystal Grass) taking stage and wowing the crowd with a stupendous performance of “AMAZING GRACE”. It’s about time the young lady got a decent break and recognition for that power-packed voice of hers. I felt her performance was the highpoint of the evening.

Several songs later and the theme song from the movie Cholo Let’s Go had the crowd humming and singing along. But like all show’s this one too had to come to an end and Anjan Da announced the last song Hundred Miles and got the crowd singing along, only to be urged to sing one more and so he wound up the show with an apt going away song singing Leaving on a Jet Plane to the claps of the audience.

As for me, I'm back at work with all tests done. Hope I don't need to change any parts after I get the results tomorrow.

It was a Friday Night and I just had to party. So I headed out to meet up with friends at The Apartment at City Centre, Salt Lake. I walked into the place and couldn’t find them anywhere? So when I came back out the bouncer enquired if I was with the group of seven? Yes I was, was my immediate reply, not really sure if that was the group I was with. He led me back in and Voila! I discovered the little closed private room in which my friends were. It looked like one of those rooms at a spa where people took a steam bath. There were towels rolled in the corners for effect.

As usual the DJ was too good and belted out oldies and we danced and drank beer which was complimented with some amazing snacks.

After we were done with The Apartment, I was kind of hungry, so we decided to stop by at the Café Coffee day in Sector 5 in the Infinity Tower building. This place is open 24x7. I think we cleared out his puffs and sandwiches for the evening. Cold Coffee with Ice-cream woke me up and I enjoyed the drive back home.

Magic Number means time for Service

A couple of days ago, I noticed the magical number 9999 on the tachometer of my car. I was thinking to myself, what are the odds of most people seeing that magical number on their car’s tacho. And within moments it went to 10000. When it did, it suddenly struck me that my car was due for service at 10000kms. So the beats was sent to the workshop and has come back retuned and serviced and driving like a breeze.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Beating the Blues on Monday Night

After such a hectic weekend one can’t just let the tempo off, so Monday night I headed out to Heka at The Stadel in Salt Lake and met up with some friends. It was pretty decent in the sense that the DJ hadn’t come in and we could engage in some conversation without exerting our vocal chords. The evening was nice over a couple of beers and then on the way back home I decided to check out a restaurant I crossed everyday on my way back home. It’s called Sanjha Chula. Well for all practical purposes to put things in perspective, it’s a high end Dhaba. The Tandoori chicken and Kulchas were good and I finally got to eat here. So now I know where to make a pit stop if I’m ever hungry on my way home and there’s no dinner made.

Kolkata Sightseeing Finally

Sunday morning I was beside myself with joy. The agony of waking up early was more than made up with the fact that “Mission Kolkata Sightseeing” was going as per plan. A slight setback at the Mcdonald’s at Mani Square put us off schedule by about 40 minutes, but we weren’t going to be stopped by their inefficiency. I had ordered a McChicken, Filet-O-Fish and a Coke. The McChicken came to me after 15 minutes and the Filet after half an hour and that too after complains to the manager. All of one counter was open at 11 am and the kitchen was still being put in place for the day. I was really irritated with the fiasco. To add to that an entire glass of coke had been spilled at the counter and was adding to the chaos of now what seemed to be a swelling numbers of customers.

Anyway leaving that behind and getting on with the mission at hand we drove to Dakhineshwar. I had wanted to visit the temple for a long time and finally was glad we made it there just in the nick of time. They close for lunch at about 1 pm and re-open again at 4 pm. We were probably the last people to get in after leaving our shoes at the shoe counter and walked around the inner sanctum of the temple complex where the actual offerings are made to the numerous deities. We came out from the other gate right onto the “Ghat” on the river bank where people were taking “Holy Dips” in the River.
A little further down on the embankment I noticed a row of boats that had been anchored. So we headed back and collected our shoes and came upon a boatman with whom I negotiated the deal of taking us up to “Belur Math” and back. I had always wanted to go to Belur from Dakhineshwar by boat. In-fact I always pictured doing it in a traditional fisherman’s row boat. Well these were the same only that they had a diesel motor concealed in the middle. So once the deal was struck for Rs. 400/- the three of us got onto the boat, which otherwise would be used to ferry dozens of people from this side to the other side of the river.
Over the next hour we went down the river to Belur. As soon as we set off, we went under the Bally Bridge and the new Vivekananda Setu. It was quite a breathtaking experience going under the two bridges. The boat maneuvered through the currents and headed towards the other bank and we soon came upon Belur Math. Even though we didn’t go ashore as the place was closed for the afternoon, it was just calming to see the expanses of lush green lawns of the famed ashram of Swami Vivekananda.

After we were done with The Temple tour, we decided to head back into the city and explore the beautiful gardens and the museum which housed the history of Kolkata at the famous Victoria Memorial. We bought Rs. 10 tickets each (Foreigner are charged Rs. 50) to enter. The memorial was built in honour of Queen Victoria’s visit to India, I think. Anyway what I know is that she was the Queen of England when India was brought under the British Raj. I shouldn’t draw comparisons, but at times I feel that the VM (as popularly called by Kolkatans) is much bigger and more impressive than the Taj Mahal. Of course the Taj has more history and romance attached to it.

Anyway while we explored the interiors, there were beautiful marble statues of all the great Viceroys of the Raj and also Busts of famous Indian Nationals of the time. Apart from that, huge canvas paintings depicting life in the era of British India were on showcased. There were scale models of the various battles that had been fought and also items of clothing and weapons that were used in those days.

A special section is also dedicated to the history of Kolkata and Bengal from the days of the Raj.

The blast from the past got me working up an appetite and when we were done with the sightseeing, I needed food to keep me going while the girls needed shopping to keep them going. So to kill two birds with one stone the closest place to go was Vardan Market on Camac Street. The girls went in to indulge and I indulged in some street food. Chila (somewhat like a dosa), dal pakodas and kulfi washed down with Soda Sikanjee. If you’re ever in the vicinity and want some quick yummy snack kind of street food, try this place.

Later that evening we went to indulge in some more shopping (actually just plain lukkhagiri) at South City Mall. All that also kind of got me hungry and we went to this restaurant just off Southern Avenue called Mandarin. Yeah! As the name suggests, Chinese food it was. Parking was a pain, but I got some place 100 meters down and then when we got in, the place was kind of packed. We had to go up a narrow flight of steps to the mezzanine where there must’ve been 6-8 tables, but it was a tight squeeze. We got ourselves straight to business and ordered a half Thai soup, Mixed Hakka Chow, Mixed Fried Rice, Schezwan Chicken and 2 Cokes. While we got on with the meal, the place got jam packed with people. Sorry, jam packed with Bengalis. It seems this restaurant is like the paradise for Bongs as far as Chinese food is concerned. And I’m not kidding. There wasn’t a non-bong in the restaurant. I stand corrected. Save the two of us.

The food was decent and enormous in quantities. We packed and I was going to be having this for dinner in the week ahead some day.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Get Smart and watch this Movie

Saturday was spent completely indoors at home till finally by night the urge to get out and do something led to me going to watch a neat movie called 'Get Smart". Anne Hathaway looks sizzling and Steve Carell is splendid in his dead pan comedy. The movie also has a great supporting cast with some big names, but I'll leave that to you to find out when you go to watch the movie. Its an Entertainer.

Friday Night Partying with Friends

Friday evening was quite a blast. Went to ONE STEP UP with a gang of new friends and then headed to ROXY and for a change just lolled around on their mezzanine floor comfy sofas. Of course beer and interesting conversations was the mainstay of the evening. The evening led to a great plan for Sunday. The Plan was to go sightseeing in Kolkata and we finalised the places and things to do that night.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Lunch at the Big Mac

So Mani Square Mall has finally opened. Maybe not officially, but with the kind of footfals its going to be the new hangout of Kolkata. And thanks to them McDonald's is finally back in Kolkata after a long hiatus following the mishap at their Park Street outlet. Fillet-O-Fish, McChicken, Fries and Coke...What more could you want for a quick yet sumptuous bite? And that is exactly what I did for lunch today. Now to look forward to some Partying on Park Street tonight.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Atrium has a New DJ while SPE Rocks on

A couple of days ago I bought a mike. Why? I’m trying making a music room. I bought a Shure SM58 audio mike. Last evening after a quick stop at Music Messe to pick up a few more cables to connect my computer to my amplifier, I headed to Some Place Else.

There was a slight pitter-patter and the perfect weather to catch a beer. What better place than Some Place Else. When I got there the DJ was belting out some good rock music as usual. I hung out while I waited for the band to start and they did a bit after 10 pm. Hip Pocket as usual got their gig going and a couple of Beatles tracks set the mood for the night. The music faded into the background as I got busy chatting with a couple of chaps I met there. Beer and conversation and Hip Pocket dishing out their fare of great music got me through a nice evening.
The high point of the evening was meeting Hitesh after an eternity. We caught up, rolled up our sleeves and exchanged views on the recently acquired tattoos we both had and then he knocked me out with news that he was the new Dj at Atrium the coffee shop on the first floor of The Park. So after I was done with Some Place Else at about 11 pm, I just had to go and check this out. My man can spin some good music. The same way he can spin those ladies on the dance floor when he’s giving Salsa lessons. You can catch him there from 10 pm to 1am everyday, I think.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Rains are Here

This morning I stepped out onto my balcony since I heard the droning sound of the rain which had been coming down incessantly through the night. Yippie! I looked down at my car and realised that there was only one way I was getting into it. I hard to wade through a foot of water. The entire colony was inundated. Welcome Monsoon!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Partying Culminates with Pub Rock Festival

After a crazy night at Dublin with over two dozen Sri Lankan lads on Thursday, I decided to go to Some Place Else on Saturday. RSJ Pub Rock Festival had brought the Mizoram based band, Boomerang, to town on its eastern leg of the multi city festival. The boys got the crowd crazy with some headbanging and hardcore Rock music. There was alot of alcohol and grass consumed there that night and not to mention that I have never seen the place so crowded ever. Well except that one time when Indian Ocean performed and I couldn't get a peek into the joint.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A visual Treat

The fourth of the series from George Lucas and Steven Spielberg is a visual treat. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull takes the Archaeologist Adventurer globe trotting yet again and saves the day after some of the craziest chase sequences.

A visibly older Harrison Ford still has what it takes to be Dr. Henry Jones or Indy as he is affectionately called by his friends. The movie also stars Cate Blanchet as the crazy Russian Scientist who is after Crystal Skull and hopes to achieve world domination through it.

Personally it is a slick film, but when you come from a generation that has grown up with Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade, this film seems a bit pretentious in its attempt to conjure memories of the whip slinging adventurer of the old days. It’s as though Lucas is trying to capitalise a franchise (milk a cow), the same way he did with the Star Wars saga. The first three were cult drivers and the next three seemed like an attempt to revive the cult.

But Lucas fails to realise that the cult was the cult back then and it still is the cult, but only with our generation and trying to infuse that in the modern generation is not going to work with sequels and prequels to his earlier movies. If he wants to capture the imagination of the modern generation X, Y, Z or whatever they call themselves, he’s got to conjure up some new tales and characters.

Of course I’ll still say it’s worth watching because it Lucas Spielberg magic in motion movie making.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Movie Masti after a long time

Sex and the City, though a spin off from the popular TV series of the same name on HBO and featuring the four protagonists is a must watch movie for all adults and those that want to get into doing adult stuff. Tchk.Tchk. Not only the adult stuff that your dirty minds are thinking of. The movie delves into relationships and age as a non entity to the fact that love is something that can drop like a bomb at any age. Yet that love is something that just doesn’t only fall into your lap. It’s what you do with it thereafter. Like all things it has got to be nurtured and cherished and if you lose objectivity due to your petty ego, it can drop you like a ton of bricks plummeting towards the asphalt and hitting you smack on the face.

It’s about the life of four friends in New York and their adventures with the elusive Love. The movie while it talks about love and the four girls also has a great take on the Big Apple and how treacherous and affectionate and lively it can be.

Once again a must watch if you have the stomach to reach deep down into your own personal delusions of love and life. Sarah Jessica Parker triumphs in her depiction of the storyteller.

Mumbai: My Last Day. Jai Hind!

Mumbai: The Reason For My long stay

Mumbai: Awesome Weather, More Eating & Drinking