Saturday, July 31, 2010

And the Saga goes on


After watching the third installment of the Twilight Saga, my mind is eclipsed by the thought of being dragged to the viewing of the next. Well in all fairness though, I'm looking forward to the next movie in the series just to see how painful this Bella character can be. Throughout the movie with all its action and intrigue of Vampires VS Warewolves and stuff, there's one person I felt like getting into the screen and slapping to make her come to her senses and that was Bella.

For those who haven't read the books or watched the earlier installments, don't bother watching this one till you got and catch the first two. once you're up to speed with who's who and what is what and why is why, you will get it.

The movie is well made and the plot is racy, all except the character of Bella who is absolutely insipid. She is more frigid than ice, well except in the last scene where some colour and life comes into her being. I guess Kristen Stewart played her part well. Robert Pattinson on the other hand with his Ice Cold looks definitely will have all the young girls swooning yet again.

Its a well made movie and definitely worth a watch, but only if you've watched the first two.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

For Moments Like this

I had got home early and was out on the balcony checking on our Finches when I saw this beautiful dragonfly on the cable wire next to the door. I thoguht to myself, this would be awesome to shoot if I had an SLR Camera. Hello! I do have one, I realised and rushed in, grabbed my Canon EOS 1000D and started shooting. Here are the results.


After The Wall

After last night’s soiree at THE WALL where I had gone on an official yet casual gathering of work colleagues and others, I headed back home. I skipped eating dinner to head back home to have a home cooked meal with my wife. So I got home by 11 PM and as I settled down to have dinner, the power went. So we waited for a while in the hope that it would come back as it usually doesn’t go for more than half an hour in our neighborhood. But then the time was a bit odd too and I had the worst feeling that this wasn’t a regular outage but a breakdown somewhere.

Finally after a sweating it out for nearly an hour, my wife suggested we go out for a drive and hopefully by the time we came back, the power would be restored. It was close to midnight by the time we got out and suddenly my wife had a craving for Ice-cream. I was like if we were in Delhi I’d go straight to India Gate, and she was like that was exactly the thought I her head that led to the craving for Ice-cream. Well so we drove around from Highland Park till Jadavpur and back and not an Ice-cream man in sight.

All that driving around and the pitch darkness all over indicating that the blackout was still on and the whole craving from and not getting any Ice-cream had both of us now ready to settle for any food. We didn’t want to go back home and eat in that heat and darkness, so I pulled up to the roadside just opposite the Ajoy Nagar T-Point on the E. M. Bypass where there were some Dhabas witht heir Lanterns throwing light on the food.

I immediately jumped out and went to survey the delicacies on display. Believe me at that hour anything looked delicious. So I got the low-down from one of the cooks and we ordered a plate of Chicken Curry with 2 Paranthas for my wife and Plate of Egg Curry with 3 Paranthas for me. We had the Ac running and the radio on, while we saw them get to work making fresh Paranthas for us. It hardly tokk them 5-7 minutes and our food arrived at the car.


4 pieces of chicken in a thick gravy, 2 eggs in the same gravy, 5 paranthas and bottle of mineral water later, I we were licking our fingers. Roadside Food just has a taste of its own. And all this for Rs. 72/-. We even left a tip for the guy who served us and he didn’t understand why we were giving him the extra money. In fact I could have given him more for that meal it was so good. We washed our hands using a jug of water and then went back to our Colony.


Still no sign of light as we parked the car, so we stayed in there with the AC running and listen to the radio for the next hour or so, when the power finally came.

Finally back home I saw what was originally cooked for dinner, Ilish Mach, Aloo Posto, Dal and Bhaat. Well I know what I’m having for lunch tomorrow I thought to myself as I went to sleep.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

SomePlace Else Revisited

So after The Basement it was good old SOMEPLACE ELSE. Man, it had been ages since we had been there and the completely renovated driveway was witness to that. I loved what they had done to it, no more chaos with proper lanes and all in place.

We popped in and to our surprise we couldn’t recognize even one of the boys behind the bar. Man the staff had done a once over in our absence. Anyway we grabbed to pints of Kingfisher Beer after we had watched The Saturday Night Blues Band perform their last track and headed to the front right side for a vantage point to check out this new act. Well new to us at least, since we hadn’t been witness to the changes that had occurred in the Mecca of live music.

So suddenly we see this waif like girl who had been trotting about get one stage with the rest of the band and we realized that she was the lead singer. This was going to be interesting. They looked like kids but once they started playing things got interesting. Initially they did a sound check with some nifty riffs and then this girl came on stage and started to sing with them. Woah! Man! Was that her voice? She had a deep Dolores O’riordan meets Gwen Stefani meets Lauryn Hill meets Tina Turner kind of voice. Anyway these guys rocked.


To start with they had a guest Bassist who everybody seemed to make fun of, but he did play extremely well. It seemed like his first gig, his feet glued to the same place on the stage as he grinned like a schoolboy every time his name was called. After several numbers the bassist changed and I noticed that the guy playing the bass at The Basement where we had just been was gearing up to play here. In fact he seemed to be their regular bass player. Well he did like to bounce around unlike his predecessor on stage and added that funk to the act.

The lead singer pumped up the crowd with her vocals and the lead guitarists went into frenzies of solos like a man possessed.

When the last track was announced and we got our final two beers, we realized that the Kolkata Police was adamant to enforce the 2:00 AM clamp down. Just when things were livening up, we had to call in a night.

I have to admit though that after the two performances we witnessed tonight, Michael Jackson is definitely being raised from the dead. While he was alive I never heard anyone attempt his songs and now that he’s dead, he is the toast of every musician. Anyway I must say it was fun catching such a fresh act after a long time. I’m sure were going to be hearing a lot more of them.


A few of the covers performed by them were:

Zombie by The Cranberries
Holiday, American Idiot by Greenday
This Love by Maroon 5
Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson (the Alien Ant Farm version)
Come Together by The Beatles
Come as you are, Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana
Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
Break on through by The Doors

The Band: Pseudonym

Suyasha Sengupta (Vocals)
Devapriya Sinha (Guitars)
Sompratim Das (Guitars)
Bijit Bhattacharya (Bass) and
Rajan Bhaumik (Drums)

Gig @ The Basement

I had heard so much about The Basement and how it was the new destination for live gigs, so after watching the movie, we headed there. Once we got down the stairs, this place truly was a basement. It had the ambience of being someone’s personal hangout pad with a little bar at one end, a small stage and a wooden dance-floor in the middle and some cozy lounge type seating on the other side.

We headed to the bar which had the best view of the band and while I got a Pint of Kingfisher beer, my wife was a bit more adventurous and ordered a Pinacolada. We watched the bartender prepare the drink and wondered if he knew what he was making, but when we got the final product, it tasted fine. Sure it was Vodka instead of White Rum, but what the heck, we weren’t complaining.

While sipping our drinks the band started to play and I remembered seeing these guys playing at Some Place Else long ago. I wasn’t really sure if they were Urban Reflektion or Catch 22, but the Vocalists definitely sand with both those acts. Anyway as we headed towards midnight, the band played some freakier tracks and put on some interesting covers of Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix and the like.

We were most amused though with this one young fellow oscillating between the bar and the stage in front of the band. He was like this inebriated groupie and made quite an ass of himself. But who were we to say anything when we were getting free entertainment. One of the funniest moments was when this chap came up to the bar and asked the bar tender for whiskey. So the bar tender started from the top – Laphroaig and other Single Malts, which went down to the Johnny Walker and Chivas, and still down further till it came to the Teachers Highland Cream sitting on the bar counter. Well that was expensive stuff too, but like our boy knew better. He was more caught up in the act of drinking whiskey than actually savouring the taste. Anyway the music came to an end, and our groupie followed the band into the back attaching himself like a leach while we settled the bill and thought of our next destination as the night was still young.

Well The Basement is a cosy little place and if you’re going out with a group of friends this might just be the place to hang out and listen to a band as though they were your own private entertainment for the evening.




Friday, July 23, 2010

SALT could've done with some Pepper

We had been waiting to watch this much hyped movie with Angelina Jolie as a secret agent called SALT. Well the movie was a bit of a disappointment till the interval as it was more drama than action. The building up of the story in the entire first half did take a little away from the action thriller. But then the second half was racy and the story was quite twisted. Suddenly you couldn’t guess who the good guys were and who the bad guys were, anymore.

Anyway by the last scene I kind of figured it was a decent action thriller and the action scenes were well choreographed. Jolie does a great job as agent gone rogue trying to prove her innocence.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Finchy Egg Hatching

I had reached office and my wife called me all excited and said she witnessed the most amazing thing. She saw one of the eggs hatching and baby Finch coming out. She even managed to capture some pictures of the event and mailed them to me.

Here they are:



Saturday, July 17, 2010

FNL @ Big Ben

This post was originally written for the Buzzr blog where I am an active blogger. Read my posts on

When my friend Diptanshu invited me to watch him and his band perform I made sure that I went considering I had missed their last performance too. They were doing a gig at Big Ben which is the night club at The New Kenilworth Hotel. Well that in itself was an added bonus, having never been there, I’d get to see a new act in a new place.



Wasn’t surprised though that when we got there at about 8:30pm, things hadn’t yet kicked off as was supposed to, but then that’s IST (Indian Standard Time) for you. That gave me enough time to scope out the place. After one round only I liked it. It reminded me of a place I used to love to frequent in Delhi; Djinns at The Hyatt Regency. Anyway my wife and I found ourselves a place at the bar from where we weren’t in the middle of things and yet could view the performance. We chose the bar, as it had been a while since had actually sat on high bar stools, and these ones were really comfy. The other reason was that at a night club, this was the best place to get prompt service.



Finally NO STRINGS ATTACHED, well that’s what Dip’s band was called got underway. Their music transported me to the Rocky Mountains camping on a lakeside under a starry sky with the crackle of the campfire and the faint sounds of the coyote in the background. Well not that I’ve been to the Rockies but the bluegrass music and Dips fabulous fingers on the fret board and strings of his Mandolin really set their act apart from any of the bands I’d heard in Kolkata in the past. Of course I wouldn’t want to steal anyone’s thunder in that band as they are a tight pack that delivered a compact 45 minute gig.



A bit about the band, NO STRINGS ATTACHED comprising Diptanshu Roy – Mandolin, Sujoy Chakravarty – Guitar, Vocals, Mirna Guha – Vocals, Vinayak DasGupta – Guitars, Subhayu Mukherjee – Bass, are a Kolkata based band whose repertoire consists of folk blues, bluegrass and jazz music. Their live shows are a blend of jazz standards, bluegrass hoedowns and original swing/jazz oriented material. The emphasis is on group improvisation, melodic-ism and a deep desire to swing hard and play music that is cerebral on one level and eminently danceable on another.



And here are some of the songs they played
Georgia on my mind
Summertime
Old home place
Freight train
Waltz for karie ( original)
Hard times ( original)
Spanish steps ( original)
Why do I love you ( original)



After their performance and a couple of mugs (believe me they’re giant mugs) of Draught beer, the next act of the evening came up. ABHISHEK BASU & HIS WORLD MUSIC PROJECT "ISM-IMPROMPTU SYMPHONIC MIND"

I saw the next Indian Ocean in the making. But that wouldn’t be true as these guys had their own unique style and I just loved what they did with the percussions. Abhishek set the beat for the rest of the evening.



Blending ancient and modern instrumentation and spirit, ABHISHEK BASU's project "IMPROMPTU SYMPHONIC MIND ISM " bridges the gap between primal and futuristic. Setting themselves apart with their intoxicating sound and extraordinary live performances, they take the audience on a soul inspiring journey that transcends this world, tantalizes the senses, and moves the body with waves of pulsating rhythm.

ISM – IMPROMPTU SYMPHONIC MIND are:
Abhishek Basu – Tabla,
Indradeep Ghosh - Violin,
Indrajit Dey - Keyboards,
Iman Das - Vocal,
Aditya - Guitars,
Joy Bhattacharya - Drums,
Arnab Majumder - other Percussions,
Sankha Subhra Ghosh – Bass

We hung around way past the performance and it had been a long time since we went out night-clubbing. Enjoyed a relishing and unique new dish called Bacon Chicken Olivettes and drank lots of beer. We got the low-down on the new law that had been passed and came into effect from today. All night clubs would have to shut shop by 2:00 AM. Man, are they trying to make this another Bengaluru or Mumbai. Kolkata is used to partying till sunrise. What’s wrong with these law makers? Anyway the staffs were quite happy; at least they could get off work earlier.



We finally called it a night when they were ready to implement the new rule on us. All-in-all it was a fun night, 2 new bands and one new night club checked out and all of them get a real thumbs up from me.

Hole in the pocket for the night:
Bacon and Chicken Olivettes: Rs. 400
Draught Beer (7 Nos): Rs 1540
Corona Pint (2 Nos): Rs. 600

Sub Total: Rs. 2540
VAT @ 12.5%: Rs. 50
SLT @ 20%: Rs. 428

Total: Rs 3018




NEW KENILWORTH HOTEL
1&2, Little Russel Street,
Kolkata - 700071
Tel: 91 33 22823939/40
Fax: 91 33 22825136

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's A Wonderful Afterlife

INCEPTION

I just watched INCEPTION thanks to a friend of mine; Ekdum free ka movie at FAME South City. He also told me the movie would be best viewed from the middle of the hall and so my wife and I opted for row E instead of our customary Row A/B/C and were sitting plum in the middle of the hall. The screen looked quite huge from here.

The opening scene introduced us to our Protagonist, Leonardo Dicaprio washed up on a beach. And after that starts the madness. The guy who conceived the script, the guy who directed it and the people who have acted in it must have spent a lot of time getting used to the entire concept. The entire first half is about familiarizing you with the concept. If you’re not paying attention from the word go, you’ll completely lose track of the movie post the interval.

So what’s it about, well it’s about dreaming and how people can be influenced in their dreams. Explain the concept would require me to be on some sort of “stuff”, so I’m not even going to go there. All I can say is that if you want to get blown away, go watch the movie. You’ll either come out intrigued or disgusted. The movie will definitely make you think.

Dicaprio is his usual intense self in the character of the man who invented INCEPTION.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Kasan - Flavours on India

This post was originally written for the Buzzr blog where I am an active blogger. Read my posts on

My wife and I had a 10:20 pm appointment at the multiplex at Fame South City. It’s nice when you have friends in the right places; we’d been invited to a special viewing of the Film “INCEPTION”. Infact we were going to be the first people in the city to watch the film. So we had time to kill from 6:30 pm till then. I had suggested Momos at Elgin Road, but while she was on the way to meet me at Park Circus, she suggested we do Chinese and that too at “Kasan”. It didn’t sound like too bad an idea, it was close to my office and they did serve draught beer.

The Entrance

So Kasan it was. Well Kasan, though we still refer to it by that name, changed hands from its original Chinese owner several years ago and is now called Flavours of India, but for most people it’s still Kasan. It’s located on A.J.C. Bose Road, just short of the Lamartiniere for Girls School back gate if you’re coming from Theatre Road or Park Street.

Anyway I got there first and got straight down to the business of beer at a table for two which was positioned strategically between the bar and a view of the entrance so I wouldn’t miss a single person who entered. The restaurant has an old style bar counter where a bunch of young fellows were sitting on high bar stools enjoying an after office drink together. I did eavesdrop a bit while I waited. It was the normal big talk that young guys indulge in after a couple of drinks and I’m not going to get into that though. A pitcher and two glasses, were on my table and I knocked back a glass, before my wife arrived.



As she did, the manager suggested that we go up, as this place was more of a watering hole. So we followed him up a winding staircase and came upon what seemed like a mezzanine floor which had several tables, but he led us on and opened the door to what seemed like a cosy private section of the restaurant. A couple were getting cosy in a corner table and we made ourselves comfortable at a table right in the middle so that we had a view of the entire place. Our beer followed us and immediately we were toasting to yet another new place we were trying out.

Women definitely have better judgement and though I had downed a glass, it didn’t occur to me that the beer was a bit flat. My wife immediately got me to do the needful. The service was excellent; they apologised and replaced the draught beer pitcher with a bottle of Kingfisher Premium Lager Beer. The entire drum of draught they realised had gone flat. Well that’s something that could happen anywhere and I didn’t mind that at all.





Though we had plans of Chinese dinner, I suggested a plate each of Cheese Onion Masala Kulcha and Chilli Chicken Dry. After downing the first round, we ordered another beer and another plate of the same Kulchas, Both of us just freaked out on them. One of my friend’s had told me about the Kulchas at Kasan and believe me, after downing your first round you’ll definitely order another.

If you’re looking for a value for money place to dine, be it Indian, Chinese or Continental, Kasan is a good deal. It gets better if you’re looking for a regular watering hole to meet up and hang out with your friends. And might I add, they have valet parking.

Our little outing cost us:

2 Masala Kulchas: Rs. 90.00
1 Chilli Chicken: Rs. 185.00
2 Kingfisher Beers: Rs. 216.00

Total Amount: Rs. 491.00
VAT (12.50%): Rs. 34.375
Net Amount: Rs. 525.00

Flavours of India – Kasan Restaurant
6.3A A.J.C Bose Road,
Kolkata – 700 017

Phone: +91 33 22901972

Our First Baby Finches

After watching an action packed film last night, I had quite shocking morning. As usual I got out of bed and as the practice has been for the past couple of weeks, in my sleepyhead state went out to check on our little finces.

I looked into the Ross & Monica nest where there had been two eggs, and to my surprise I couldn't see the white orbs.I looked more closely and wondered where they could've have gone to. No sign what soever. That's when I started to panic and rubbed my eyes and got them to open wide.

I was in complete shock to see those two pink creatures form in-front of my eyes; tiny little finchy babies. Two of them with their beaks opening and closing. Gosh! Could the be so tiny? I went running back in and shook my wife out of her sleep.

I told her the eggs had hatched and we had Finchy Babies. That's the fastest I've seen my wife jump out of bed and kiss her sleep goodbye. One moment she was asleep and the next she was at the cage checking the little babies.

We spent he next hour or so engrossed with them.

I say what a wonderful way to start the day!

for more check out FINCHITY FINCHES

KNIGHT AND DAY

I was mentally prepared to watch an action packed movie starring the top gun and one of the Angels of Hollywood and that is exactly what I got.

Tom Cruise just cruises through roles of this sort. The plot is intriguing as the story makes your mind oscillate between wondering whether Tom is the bad guy or the good guy. I noticed that the women in the hall were drooling at the sight of the 48 year old Mission Impossible star.

Cameron Diaz on the other hand plays the enamoured car junkie. She is besotted by Tom and they go globe trotting on one crazy adventure. But wait, I would do justice if I didn't mention that she just burnt the screen in a sizzling red bikini in one of the scenes from the movie which had all the guys’ eyes popping out and maybe some of the girls too.

The movie is great for its action scenes, and the car chase scene is just awesome. Bad guys in fancy cars chasing Tom & Cameron on a bike and to add to the sheer madness of this chase, a dozen of so bulls are also thrown in as part of the scene. Cameron comes into her Angel’s action element in this scene.

Well that apart the movie is like a roller-coaster ride around the world. Fast paced, witty lines, amazingly filmed action scenes, exotic locales, bad guys, car chases et al. What more does one want from a movie?

I say go watch this movie if you’re into action movies.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Blinding Downpour

I clicked this pic while waiting for my wife. I was amazed at the intensity of the rain and how I had managed to drive through this blinding onslaught. This picture was taken in front of the Unnayan Shopping Complex.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Timepass Brunch at Coffee World

Coffee World

1 Green Apple Soda: Rs. 63.00
1 Grilled Chicken Salad: Rs. 99.00
1 BBQ Chicken Sandwich: Rs. 144.00

Grand Total: Rs. 306.00
Tax: Rs. 38.25
Total: Rs. 344.00

Cream and Fudge

1 Strawberry Shortcake: Rs. 185.00
Tax: Rs. 23.12

Total: Rs. 208.10

An Hour in Paradise


It was only 9.30 Am and my wife wanted to visit the Ice Skating Rink to get something sorted out with one of the shops she had bought a product from a couple of weeks ago at an Exhibition. There was no way in the world that the exhibition would have opened for business at such an early hour. So we wondered what we could do for the next couple of hours.

Suddenly my wife suggested we go to her mother’s work place and hang out with some little wonders. Hang out with children for a bit, that’s awesome. I was immediately in. She wanted me to see this one child in particular and told me how she thought he was so cute.

So we landed up at SICW and spent the next hour or so with the kids.







All I can say about the experience is “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”.

you can know all about their work at www.sicwforchildren.org

Some Funny Buildings