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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

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Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is what they call a  “coming of age” film. At times it might seem preachy, but overall it’s a good film and definitely deserves a watch. I would give it 4/5.

 

The film begins with Kabir ( Abhay Deol ) proposing to Natasha ( Kalki Koechlin, recently married to Anurag Kashyap ). Before Kabir gets married to Natasha he wants to go on a 3 week trip to Spain with his buddies Imraan ( Farhan Akhtar ) and Arjun ( Hrithink Roshan ). The “3 musketeers” had made a pact with each other to go on a trip where they would surprise each other with an adventure sport of each one’s choice that the others had to participate in. The 3 arrive in Spain and complete 3 adventure sports. Along the way they meet Laila ( Katrina Kaif ) who is a part – time driving instructor. During the trip each of the friends learn about life and come out the better. How they do so during the journey is what forms the film.

The movie is beautifully picturised. One of the sponsors is Spain Tourism and the movie provides a very good promo of this beautiful country. Not only is the scenic beauty captured well, but attractions of Spain like La Tomatina festival are also highlighted.

The movie deals mainly with relationships and life. Occasionally the film can get mildly preachy – particularly the scenes where Katrina’s character teaches Arjun how to live life. Even in such scenes the philosophy does not stick out but rather blends in. By sending demon’s in each of the character’s ways and by portraying their transformation with each adventure they face the movie shows a mirror to our own fears and insecurities. Each adventure that the characters participate in proves to be a turning point for one of the characters who must take his fear head on. Towards the end the characters take on the ultimate of fears – the fear of death.

The characters have been crafted beautifully by Zoya Akhtar ( who is also the director ) and Reema Katgi. Executed well by the star cast, the audience is able to appreciate each character and realise why it is that they do what they do.

The songs in the movie as well as the shayari of Farhan’s character have been penned beautifully by Javed saab. One expects nothing less than the best from him and he delivers with ease. Shankar – Ehsaan – Loy provide the beautiful music to Javed saab’s words.

Overall it’s a nice movie. Do catch it.

Filed under review
Jul 31, 2011

Restaurant review : Four Seasons, Indiranagar

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Hi, reader. How do you do? Well fed and well watered I hope. If not, you should stop reading. That’s right. Go read something else, please. You probably won’t be able to take this post. You’re on a diet. What are you waiting for – get the hell outta here before you succumb to your tongue!

Today, i.e. July 29 2011, a new restaurant opened up in Indiranagar, Bangalore. Goes by the name of Four Seasons. What the name has to do with the food there I can tell you not. What I can tell you is how good the food there is. This I now proceed to do without further ado.

I walked into the place and noticed that only a few were there. People were just arriving. This was a good sign. The food would come faster. The ambiance was nothing fancy. Simple, but nice. The menu also stuck to that theme. Rather simplistic, but the highlight of the menu turned out to be the gorgeous pictures of the dishes listed. There were no fancy descriptions next to the items. There were a fair number of items, less organised in the menu than I would’ve liked. However, a person like me worries less about these things and more about the “meat of the matter”, in a manner of speaking. Yes, how good is the food?

A quick perusal and I noted that most dishes were North Indian or Arabic/Lebanese. With me were 2 of my friends. One a vegetarian and the other a non – vegetarian. I was a veggie for the day. We started with the err.. starters. Both were vegetarian – Veg Shangri La and some Middle Eastern dish with an unpronounceable name. The Middle Eastern dish consisted of dice cut vegetables sprinkled with salt, powdered spices and soaked in Olive Oil. This was nice. As nice as it can get – but would be a bonus for the health conscious I suppose. The Shangri La consisted of vegetables fried and coated with a chinese sauce. It had a slight sweet taste and tested quite nice. I would heartily recommend this one.

Since this was the opening night we were treated to some excellent water melon juice at first. Quite sweet and fresh. Brought up my spirits in an instant.

We moved on to the main course. The non – vegetarian dish ordered was once again a Middle Eastern dish with an unpronounceable name. Essentially it was a mutton biriyani. I cannot vouch for the overall taste, though the rice was quite tasty. As with all the dishes of the day the spice was neither in excess nor too mild. Just right. For the veggies we had roti and mixed veg curry. The roti was decent. The curry though was a different thing altogether. It was rich and thick. It excited different parts of my tongue, but there was no cacophony. It was a symphony of taste – the right amount of different spices and a hint of sweetness. The regular vegetables – potatoes, cauliflower, carrot etc. provided a good base. Together it made for a wonderful dish. Though one does not expect wondrous feeling from a dish with such a commonplace name, it managed to make me truly happy. Full marks to the chef for this one.

A note about the service. There was no one at the front desk to welcome you and escort you to your table. It’s not that kind of place. But the steward was gracious and made excellent suggestions regarding the dish to order. There were hiccups you encounter occasionally in any restaurant. When we asked for roti, naan was brought. We asked for normal water, mineral water was brought. The bottle was left unopened on the table – one would’ve expected that they would serve the contents of the bottle. However, the pleasant demeanour of the steward more than made up for these minor faux pas.

However, the real Pièce de résistance was just hiding around the corner. We indicated that we were done. Though it took a while, we were brought complementary desserts. Let me tell you my friend, I will return to that place and will keep doing so because of this dessert. It was rather simple – fresh apricots cocooned in custard on top of a layer of pudding. But the combination was so good that I threw my now broken diet out of the window and had one and half cups of this delectable dessert. It was quite cold and everything combined so well that I could cry tears of joy. I could sing, mon ami. Why do you think I felt like writing a review – the epitome of laziness that is me! The blame falls squarely on that vile dish. It ensnared my senses and befuddled my brain. I went into the place with a long face, the troubles of the day weighing me down. I left the place a new man, invigorated and happy as a man can be.

The next time I go there I will meet the magician they call Chef and shake him warmly by the hand. Ladies and Gentlemen, if your tongue craves for some happiness do send it to this place.

 

Location : Opposite the Peter England showroom in 100 ft road near the KFC signal, Bangalore

Filed under food
Jul 29, 2011

Differences between IRCTC and Indian Railway’s new ticketing service

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I had previously mentioned that Indian Railways plans to introduce a new e-ticketing service like IRCTC. Here are some of the differences noted between the two services -

  1. IRCTC is a separate corporation. Its services will likely continue.
  2. IRCTC has separate logins for agents and passengers. The new service will be only for passengers
  3. A maximum of 10 tickets can be booked per month in IRCTC. Initially at least, this limit will be 8 in the new service.
  4. The new service will be hosted out of www.indianrailways.gov.in . The IRCTC website will continue to be at irctc.co.in
  5. Users will have to create fresh login for the new service

More updates as I get more news. Stay tuned :)

Filed under misc
Jul 5, 2011

Indian Railways to bring out new e-ticketing service like IRCTC

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Indian Railways is going to bring out a new e-ticketing service like the IRCTC, says Economic Times. The new service is meant only for users and not for agents. IRCTC allows both agents and passengers to book tickets from its site. “irctc login” was the most searched term on Google India in the year 2010. The site is often overloaded and unusable. This is particularly so at 8 a.m. on Fridays and Wednesdays. The huge traffic on the site results in a very slow experience while booking. The payment and booking often fails.

One hopes that the new website would go on to be much better than the IRCTC. Of primary importance would be scalability – it should handle heavy load from it’s users and still provide a reasonably fast experience. Improved user experience would also be welcome. Another site that they own – http://indianrail.gov.in/ – is a brilliant example of how a website should NOT be designed.

Here’s to the Indian Railways wishing them the best in their endeavour. Be tuned for more updates :)

Filed under misc
Jul 5, 2011