A Bookworm's Diet

It has been 9 months or so since I posted an update on the books I have been devouring. So here goes :-

Currently reading The Age of Kali by William Dalrymple.

I bought these books from Landmark, using coupons given by my erstwhile employer for a host of reasons.

Tags : A Bookworm's Diet

Posted by Rajat @ 12:04 PM   |  Comments


In Art, which is the 18th episode of the Dilbert animated series, Dilbert is attending an art appreciation class by "esteemed art expert" Sister Wanda Beaver at the museum. The following is an abridged transcript of the scene.

Scene 1

Sister (explaining a painting) : "...the artist uses colour to convey his message of being trapped in a career that was a huge mistake. Forced to wear drab clothing, forbidden to explore his intense smouldering urges."

Sister then moves on to another painting leaving Dilbert befuddled.

The first painting

Sister (at the second painting) : "In this floral treatment, we can feel the artist's desire to spring colourfully from his container leaving behind his career that was a huge, huge mistake."

Sister at the second painting

Dogbert : "Hmm, I am also seeing some smouldering urges from the carnation."

Sister : "You are the quick learner Mr.Dogbert. The rendering is indeed packed with erotic imagery."

Dilbert (skeptical) : "What imagery?"

Dogbert : "Oh, it's there."

Sister : "You can't spell 'carnation' without 'carnal'."

Dilbert : "Actually you can't spell 'carnation' with 'carnal'. That would be 'carnaltion'."

Sister : "But you can't spell it without car and cars have backseats, do they not?"

Dilbert : "Not in the 17th century when that was painted."

Sister hits Dilbert with a ruler.

Scene 2

At the end of the episode, at Dogbert's Emporium, Dilbert is talking to Dogbert about art when Sister arrives with some people to show them the "art" which Dogbert is showcasing.

At Dogbert's Emporium

Sister : "Those T-shirts reveal the mystery of truth and beauty themselves. As undergarments for our soul they express our deep longing for tactile stimulation, hidden beneath our starched collars and coarse fabrics."

Sister hits Dilbert with a ruler while moving on.

These scenes left me in splits. I wonder how Scott comes up with such situations :-).

Tags : Cartoons, Humour

Posted by Rajat @ 11:00 PM   |  Comments

Movie Reviews - Part 1

Here's my take on some of the movies I caught up with recently (chronological order) :-

Happy Feet

An animated movie about Emperor penguins in Antarctica. Superb animation. Cute penguins. Good music. I especially liked the idea of the young penguins making use of aurora australis as disco lights at their graduation party. I felt the ending was a bit too hurried & somewhat preachy.


Pathetic attempt at remaking the original Amitabh starrer. Shahrukh is as bad as ever. Kareena's item number is so grossly choreographed & executed - Helen must have felt disgusted after seeing this - Sunidhi Chauhan's rendition of the song is bad too. Thankfully the Don bumps off Kareena just after the song - he too must have been put off by the song & dance ;-). The other songs aren't any better - especially egregious is the "Khaike Paan Banaraswala" one. The ending had the scent of a sequel. I hope it never gets made.

Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna

Long movie which could have been easily cut by half. Shahrukh Khan (Dev Saran) overacts as usual. Rani Mukherjee (Maya) is irritating. Preity Zinta (Rhea Saran) & Abhishek Bachchan (Rishi Talwar) don't have much to do. Amitabh Bachchan is wasted in his role as Samarjit "Sexy Sam" Talwar. But this movie is much better than Karan Johar's last directorial venture, the very horrible Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (shudder). The visuals are good as the movie is completely shot in New York. Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is decent. I particularly liked one scene where Sam & Dev are seated at the opposite ends of the dinner table. Shahrukh hams his way through the scene while Amitabh conveys his emotions just with his eyes. Ah! All that talk of rivalry & competition between the two actors is rubbish - Shahrukh is no match for Amitabh. Period.

Dhoom 2

Dhoom 2 is entirely about Hrithik Roshan (Aryan). Abhishek Bachchan (ACP Jai Dixit) just does his job. Aishwarya Rai (Sunehri) makes an ass of herself by overusing 'like' in every sentence she can. But the surprise package is Uday Chopra (Ali) who 'rises' above the rest of the cast in a producer-backed role. His comic timing, his facial expressions (both of them) and his beefcake physique all enable him to deliver a powerful performance. With just one moronic constipated look he can make you tear your hair in frustration. Bipasha Basu's double role (Shonali & Monali Bose) does not make sense at all. I suspect she was first cast as the cop and did some chase sequences. Then the director realised they couldn't do any skin show with a serious cop. Conveniently , Shonali gets injured and in pops her twin sister Monali to do the bikini level stunts. Rimi Sen as Jai's pregnant wife Sweety is inconsequential - she just eats fish in one scene and talks in Bengali. The worst part is Ali thinks he can sway away Shonali from Jai using his looks! He also has a song ("My name is Ali") with Monali! After watching his "talking to Mummy" scenes I think there would be a huge potential for punching bags with Uday on them - should be a good stress reliever. The Dhoom franchise is going from bad to worse, so to speak - I heard that Dhoom 3 will have Shahrukh! I say just add in Kareena & get Karan Johar to direct it & you can just skip the 'worse' & go to 'worst'. But then, they would need to change the title of the movie (Karan has this fetish for titles beginning with 'K') - my suggestion - "Kaun Machayega Dhoom?" - effectively "Who will be the worst of 'em all?".


The sequel to Koi Mil Gaya. Hrithik again as Krishna, Rohit's son. Kids should love this movie. Watchable. Priyanka looks gorgeous. Rajesh Roshan's music is good. You can expect a sequel. One glaring mistake is the use of heartbeat for biometric authentication which AFAIK can't be done - the password for unlocking the computer which can see the future is Rohit's retina scan combined with his heartbeat scan. Once you see the movie it should be obvious why the heartbeat scan was chosen. I might as well not spoil the suspense in case you ever decide to watch the movie.

More reviews are in the pipeline.

Tags : Movies

Posted by Rajat @ 2:06 PM   |  Comments

Who wants to be a Millionaire?

I can barely stop sighing when I think about this video.

How I wish I had been in his place! Not for the million as such (though it wouldn't have hurt to get that too), but for the sheer style in which he got that million. Perfect clip for a MasterCard ad (more or less).

Answering the 14th question - $500,000
Answering the 15th question - $1,000,000
Winding it up in style on TV - Priceless

John Carpenter, take a bow!

P.S. : Brings back memories of the lost opportunity at University Challenge in 2003. *SIGH*

Tags : Quizzing

Posted by Rajat @ 12:23 AM   |  Comments

Targeted advertising?

Yesterday I was checking out a page on Yahoo! News when I saw the ad below embedded in the page :-

IE ad from Yahoo!

Could this be some kind of targeted advertising for Firefox users like me? Or is this just a coincidence? Either way it is pretty funny when IE is recommended as an 'upgrade' to Firefox ;-).

Tags : The Binary Files

Posted by Rajat @ 1:01 AM   |  Comments