Was tagged by Neeku few weeks back to write a Short Story on my favorite color. It is a tough tag and I have written and deleted two stories as they did not seem to make sense. Will give it one more try and post something soon.

Meanwhile yesterday a friend forwarded this video - maybe many of you have already seen it - but for the benifit of those who havent - sharing it here - its a real eye opener and worth "watching".

Am thankful today that I can see the COLORS of life.


Kal Aaj aur Kal

Yesterday... Today ... and Tomorrow... tagged by Aaarti
The Rules of the tag are:
" Two questions in each category answer them and then tag your friends from the blog-o-sphere. Leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been tagged and you are all set. "
Yesterday :
Your oldest memory:

I remember many of the days from my childhood. Will share one old memory here - around the age of 4-5 I started to like Dennis the Menace - cause maybe I was one and my grand pop gifted me a sticker of him which was about one foot long....I still think I have it somewhere back home after all these years.

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Now this is surreal to be asked this question on this tag today. 10 years ago, on this very day - I embarked to come to the US -being 19th night in India -and landing at JFK with a immigration stamp for August 19th - Yes it is my 10th year away from home today.

Today :
Your first thought today morning:
Where did I park my car? Staying in an urban area - parking is a big problem - I have ended up paying many parking fines cause I dont remeber if I parked on the right side of the street - or the right zone. Sometimes I walk all around to find the car in the morning - I am serious - I just cant register this information.

If you built a time capsule today what would it contain?
Dunno - I cant think of anything that important to carry it to the future.

This year
Took care of lots of personal demons....so far so good.

What do you see yourself doing 14 years from now?
14 Years is a long time to estimate what I am going to do - but will surely work towards retiring from this daily mundane rut and spend time things that I like.

and only Ram knew he was gonna "get" Sita after 14 years...but guess Valmiki had different plans...

As always - I took this tag up as one of the questions coincided with an event for me. So whoever on my blogroll wants to take it up is free to do so.


Movie Bhankas + Ambrosia Experiments

Bhankas : marathi word, meaning useless talk. (Source Urban Dictionary)
Have you seen some of these new Hindi/Indian movies. All the filmi magazines, websites and news talk about is - how good/bad/atrocious these productions are. People concentrate and critique on acting, direction, songs, dances and the stars.
But here are some news related to these movies that we will possibly never see or hear about.

1) Take movies like Om Shanti Om where Shahrukh covorted with the young Deepika Padukone or a southern movie like Shivaji where Rajnikant frolicked with his Shriya 35 years younger to him. We heard a lot of gaga about their performances and worldwide earnings etc etc.
Here are some news that we did not get to read:
These movies resulted in uplifting (pun intended) practices of plastic surgeons/cosmetic surgeons /cosmetic dentistry.
Products like Viagra, 30+, Zandu Chyawanprash (products to uplift any tired appendages), Anoop Hair Oil (to make Bald - Beautiful), Boost (supposedly was THE SECRET of Kapils and Tendulkars energy) and the ubiquitous soap LifeBouy (their slogan tandurusti hai jahaan LifeBouy hai wahan - where there is good health you will find LifeBouy) have shown a big increase in their annual sales.

2) Saw God Tussi Great Ho yesterday- a blatant copy of an excellent English Movie Bruce Almighty. The copying ends at the concept stage itself - other than that the movie is just another Bollywood masala film. You will hear in the coming weeks about how this movie fared - whether people liked it or no - but here is some news that we might never read about.
In the movie Salman's character is of a perpetual loser with a capital "L" - and he keeps looking up to the sky to talk to HIM - the God portrayed by Amitabh and ask him WHY is he THE chosen one?. Audiences all over after seeing the movie , walking out of the theaters - looked up towards the sky and asked in unision BUT WHY - AAKHIR KYON - you allowed such a movie to be made - What had WE ALL done to Deserve this????? WTF "God!!!" - sholdn't he retire than tire us with flops. (not talking about HIM here)

3) Another one of Salman's recent movies - Partner - which resurrected the flagling career of Govinda. It also stars his current girlfriend Katrina Kaif. It was an interesting movie - again a blatant copy of the English Movie Hitch. It suposedly did very well and songs were peppy - overall obtained a good review. But one piece of information that was not shared.
Salman who plays a Love Guru in the film - advising one and all on "How to talk to girls" - has actually flown to Los Angeles to seeked advice from the real Love Guru - Will Smith - as every "love" in his life seems to slip away sooner or later.

4) Hrithik recently had a cameo dance number in Krazzy4 - a movie that should never have been made in the first place and the fight scene with the elephant in Jodhaa Akbar. Both movies have their own critiques and reviews. Here is his condition after those movies that we did not hear about.
Post these movies, Hrithiks trainer and physio found that his body structure is askew. Build up of muscles had hardened his body - and with this springing and jumping and shaking - the muscles have taken severe beating. His agents thought having his advertise for MOOV or IODEX but he refused. Thus his long absence from the silver screen.

5) Take a low budget multiplex movie like Aamir - The film revolves around a young Muslim man Dr. Aamir Ali who has returned to Mumbai from United Kingdom and finds himself at the mercy of religious extremists who want to carry out a bombing in the city. Even this movie had some interesting sidekick.
The extremists compiled a directory of all doctors and professionals they planned to eventually target both at home and abroad. A smart medical insurance company approached them -saying this will save costs for them to compile such a list. In exhange for this data - this company will provide free underground insurance to the extremists and their families. Clauses though in the contract include - only those injuries when carry out listed extremists activites will be covered. There will be no death benifit - as most of them are going to die in their chosen project. They instead have a survival benifit. Also accidental shooting, chopping off fingers sharpening blades, injured during target practice and other such incidences are not covered.

6) Akshay Kumar new movie Singh is Kingg - here he invoked love for the motherland in fellow Sikhs stationed in Australia. At the end of the movie these Sikhs who are underworld mafia - are converted to good guys who return back to Punjab their homeland. So far so good - but here is a weird outcome.
Punjab government has decided to sue Akshay and the producers. Because of this film many Sikhs all around the world are heading back to Saada Punjab - thus resulting in utter chaos. "Leftover Sardars" stereotyped as being desi blondes...cannot handle incoming traffic of smart sikhs from overseas. The government proclaims that it was easier to rule the really dumb ones that were left behind - now these returnee batch is creating all sorts of problems. Also there was a drop in sale all items related to migrants moving out of Punjab plus the incoming foreign investments also showed a decline.

7) Lastly Aamir Khan's Taare Zameen Par - was much acclaimed and made an overnight star out of Darsheel - who plays the role dyslexic kid Ishaan. This movie did wonders and opened up eyes of parents and teachers - invoking sensitivity towards kids who have this condition or any other medical condition. We heard all kinds of wah-wah's for Aamir and the movie but here is something which was kept away from us.
Ishaan had become a cult figure for young kids all over the country. Suddenly there are many kids who are showing signs of some condtion or the other. Kids now have a secret formula - whereby they know behaving like Ishaan - they can bunk school, can avoid homework, gain sympathy by emotionally blackmailing both parents and teachers. Students suddenly have united where they have their own timetable of which batch of student shows which condition when.
Damn how I wish this movie was released when I was a Kid!!!

So these are some insider news - maybe there are many more - but since they are not published I might have not heard them. If you have any please feel free to share them.

Also this shows that pathetic level of Bollywood films - and even though I know they are going to suckbig time - I still end up watching them hoping to get entertained sometime.
Maybe they have some kind of magic sound in their music which plays in the background and is common to all movies - kinda a bollywood jingle - that hypnotizes and mesmerizes us to go again and again.....


And now two recipes served so far on Ambrosia by the fellow cookers experimented on Sunday evening by me.

Irani Chai w/Biscuits (These are not Osmania biscuits as mentioned on the post but a replacement tea biscuits). I have a wekaness for brewed tea - an addition from architeture days when we used to gulp it by liters. Irani chai tastes awesome with Maska Pau (Buttered roll) soaked in the tea. The taste of salty butter and the sweet tea is really exotic. (Butter has to be Amul)

Cheese Corn Kartoffel (Modified the recipe by adding finely chopped green peppers and chopped baby carrots in addition to the corn. The soft cheesy buttery sauce with the vegetables crunching against the softly cooked potatoes with a dash of pepper tasted scrumptious.

Wish I could share the fragrance of it online....


Word Huddle + Inspiration (2 tags)

Here are two tags -
Tag -1 : By Hiren
Word Huddle

My blog decided to talk to me and here is an application that it used to interact with me to indicate whats on my mind these days when I am blogging.
Here is what it spoke :
So the most prominent word is New York - the city that is currently shaping me.
I tag anyone who feels like knowing what their blog thinks about them.
Tag 2 : By Joy
Inspiring Characters

This tag is about listing top 10 literary characters. Its been a while I have read any fictional book. My inspiration solely comes from reading about history of architecture - architects, reading about their work/theories, and experiencing their built work. So am taking liberty here and showcasing 12 projects by 6 prominent architects (2 dead and 4 still practicing) whose work I have visited over the years.

1) Le Corbusier : A Swiss born architect who is famous for his contribution to modern architecture. Most of his groundbreaking projects are in Europe. He was invited by Jawaharlal Nehru to masterplan Chandigarh (one of the only two planned cities in the world - the other being Brasilia, Brazil).

The Palace of Assembly - Chandigarh - (image source)

Shodhan House - Ahmedabad - (image source)

2) Charles Correa : I have had the honor of working with Indias most prolific architect practicing out of Bombay. He has done ground breaking work on Urban Issues and low cost shelter. He is also the chief architect for Navi Mumbai. I have visited most of his major commisions around India. Here are two of the projects that characterizes his style.

Kanchenjunga Apartment - Bombay - (image source)

Jawahar Kala Kendra - Jaipur - (image source)

3) Steven Holl : Architect practising out of New York whom I had the opportunity to meet and get a book he wrote signed by him. He is a true poet who carves out spaces and embellishes them with light, color, texture and dynamism. One of his most famous projects is Kiasma in Helsinki. Here are two of his projects in US.

Simmons Hall - MIT - (image source)

Storefront for Art and Architecture - New York - (image source)

4) Frank Gehry - Current master architect whos buildings have become big tourist attractions.Some of his most groundbreaking work include the Guggenheim Museum - Bilbao, Spain, Walt Disney Concert Hall -Los Angeles, US, Experience Music Project - Seattle, US. Here are two projects that I have visited.

State Center - MIT - (image source)

IAC Building - New York - (image source)

5) Frank Lloyd Wright : He was the most prolific architect from US for the last century who exploited materials, design and engineering like no one had done before him. Here are two of his projects that explore the strength of concrete.

The Solomon Guggenheim Museum - New York - (image source)

Falling Waters - Pennsylvania (near Pittsburgh) - (image source)

This post in no way justifies the achievements of these architects. Have provided wiki links to each of them if you are interested to learn more.


Raveena Tan Done

The title of the post just shows you how I was haunted by the conjugated word "to do" in different situations this week.

Starting as of last Saturday - my dear car - whom I have called my friend in many tags here - died - can you believe it - a day before Friendship Day. I took it to few mechanics and all they said was nothing can be DONE. (so listen to this song - its me singing to my dear car - we DID spend some real good times together ;))
So come Monday - I had to rent a car for the week. It had to be DONE in order to be mobile.
To add to the woes - this week my boss is on his annual summer vacation - being a small company - I am handling the daily rituals - and there was a long list of things to DO in my inbox.
As such weeks go - everyone has an emergency when you are alone - Murphy fucking knows when to DO YOU - I dont like to talk about work on the blog but this is to share how I amused myself this week in dire straits.
Tuesday get a frantic call from a site from a contractor - JEW HAB TO COM TO DA SITEEE IBBEDIATELY - he is spanish and thats how his english sounds...so after a little back and forth - he says - THE BUILDIN HIS GHOWING TO PHALL DOWN.... - so irritated at this point with everything and that he had not read the drawings correctly - I simply told him - DO one thing Jose (pronounced HOSEE - in spanish J sounds like H) - simply get out of the building before it falls down. (had to take care of the issues later nonetheless)
Then I am designing a house for a chinese client - the entire family is short and thin so their perspective is everything has to be small. An excerpt from one of the talks that really DID happen - on Wednesday

Mrs. Hui - I think these bedrooms that you want are very small
Is it so?
Yes from my experience - some bathrooms that I design are bigger than these bedrooms.
She got a bit taken aback. But Shin Taaan we no gonna spenda timea in ze bedroom long...you DO understand
Ok - but someday you will eventually sell this house - and then the buyer will not like these sizes.
Noooooo - (the usual long no - just like Rusell Peters mentions in his videos describing a chinese nooooo) - thisa bedroom is phor my lill daufter.
Ok so when she grows old wont she find this room small...
Again Nooooooooo - we mighta move of out by then
(what the fuck DID I just tell her two sentences ago)
So thats how it went - had too many calls from people asking "CAN YOU DO THIS FOR ME URGENTLY?" or "SEE WHAT YOU CAN DO" or "DID YOU DO IT YET?"
In between all this fun - remember I told you my car was gone - so Monday thru Thursday all evening I spent at the car dealership - test driving.
In one such incident - I took my cousin with me - he was testing this car and driving and braking and simply enjoying on a road and swerving in traffic - and all I had to tell the sales person sitting in the car - to get a kodak amazement moment was - DO YOU REALIZE THAT THIS GUY DOES NOT HAVE A LICENSE ( he is supposed to make a copy of the license before we test drive - but being new he forgot to make a copy of my cousins license - too bad I remembered that) Wish, I really wish I had a camera mounted in the car somewhere to capture his face.

Well anyways - enough crap - TGIF - have a nice weekend - I relished it and now I am almost done with this week. Will take care of the rest of the client crap and then enjoy my new car for the weekend.



Friendship Day

Tommorow August 3 is Friendship Day and I have already received emails for the same. So celebrating it, I will share some interesting news/stories of some of my close friends here and in India.

First, as of next week, August 8th is the begining of the Beijing Olympics' 2008 - and one of my close friends from school Malav Shroff is going to represent India as a port stopover manager (news clipping) for the Indian sailing team. He is a former olympian at Athens 2004 in the 49'er class.

Secondly I met a very close friend whom I know from childhood, Amrish Shah, after 16 years, last week when he was traveling the States. Spent three nostalgic evenings with him remembering the good old childhood days. He being interested in Acting/Dramatics, quit school in 9th to pursue his dream. Struggled for few years with Channel V and then Star TV. He has turned producer director and is now co writing a movie for a sequels sequel - Don 3 with Farhan Akhtar.

And now something about my roommates, the first friends I made when I came to the US to study. We were six of us were sharing a house. One day we decided to go to Exhange Place along the Hudson river to get a great view of the two World Trade Center towers. This was our first visit. After the initial first five minutes of "Oh Ahh What a great View", one of the guys had a brilliant idea. He put forth a question to the rest of us.
"What will be the force and trajectory required to hurl a ball from top of WTC so that it reaches across to where we were standing on the pier in Exhange Place"
See the diagram below.

Image Courtesy Google earth plus photoshop overlays

I am not going to discuss the technical aspects of the discussion that ensued with detailed calculations, theories and assumptions. The point is that we all learnt "How to spoil a perfectly good evening trying to figure out something that is irrelevant and of no use to anyone"

This is what happens when you have three roommates who are IIT'ians and doing reasearch here, another two from BVP Pune, one doing research and the other studying management and me an architect.

But these are the friends who stood by in every difficult situation and become part of an extended family. For each of us WE were the support system through out little journey away from home studying here. So this post is dedicated to them.

Also wishing all the bloggies who visit here - as they are my new set of E-friends.

Happy Friendship Day!