July 29, 2009

Amazing Paintings

Its a sight to behold. Artists are doing a brilliant job on the walls of Nandanam YMCA, Cosmopolitan golf club..

July 28, 2009

Butterfly effect - Swiss Knives, 9/11

9/11 had many repercussions. Not even in their wildest dreams, the makers of The Swiss Army knives would have thought their business would see a fall because of a terrorist attack. Post 9/11, all sharp instruments were banned from being taken into airflight. That included the famous Swiss Knife too. CEO of Swiss Knife maker - Victorinox, Carl Elsener Jr says "September 11 was our worst moment because practically from one day to the next our output dropped 30 percent."
Caught this fascinating piece from Ergo.

July 23, 2009

Bajaj Allianz - Jiyo Befikar - Song

With all the talk about recession, selling financial - insurance products is not a rosy affair. But I think Bajaj Allianz has struck gold with its latest Promo.

The jingle - Yeh kis pyaari hifaazat main ho befikrii kii haalat hai..is soulful.

M&C Saatchi, the ad firm has invested in the best brains of the industry - Lyrics by Gulzar, Music by Vishal Baradwaj and rendered brilliantly by Sukhwinder Singh. The jingle is making waves in Tamil RadioFMs too. The TVC [ YouTube] is also to the point - "Njoy a carefree life - there is some one to protect you" - a certain freshness is associated with it [ parachute is old though!]. Now they have tied up with Love Aaj Kal - the Saif, Deepika film also. Its also complimenting each other.

"Yeh kis pyaari hifaazat main ho befikrii kii haalat hai,
badi mazabut baahon main ho suraj ki hararat hai,
tumhare vaaste tufaan sehlein muskuraon tum,
jiyo har lamha tumko zindagi pine kii aadat hai…”

What is this lovely safety, Being carefree (not worried about anything) is my state.
On strong arms I'm in, entangled in the sun's rays.
For your sake, I can even bear the storm.
Live each moment, you have a habit of drinking life. [ My friend at office translated this shayari]

July 20, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Its been ages since I went to theater and watched a movie. But Harry Potter is not something that I could give a miss..So, went ahead and indulged in the Harry Potter mania (a night show - just the second time in my life!)

Zoom.. Action starts from Frame one itself. Some splendid visuals - greet us as London is terrorized by the Death Eaters. Let me not go into the story. But list out the superb scenes
1. Opening London attack
2. Prof. Horace Slughorn's intro as an armchair [ Dumbledore observes ' U make a very good Arm Chair']
3. Harry succeeding in making a great potion in the first class itself, when even Hermonie couldn't. The look on Hermonie's face is priceless.
4. Chase between Harry and Bellatrix and the subsequent destruction of Burrow.
5. Ron under Love potion effect
6. The retrieval of the Locket and the last fight against the Inferni, the flames are a great piece of Graphics work.
I love the small nuances like Harry and Ron fighting it out for the Potions book, Harry trying to look occupied when Lavender Brown proclaims her love for Ron on their train compartment door, the girls make a move to inhale the love potion and are disappointed when the lid is closed, Harry twitching his head when he touches the Ring Horcrux, the 'knowing look' on Harry, when Hermione tries her best to remind Ron about his hospital talk [Daniel Radcliffe looks really smart in that scene;-)]

Also, there were some amazing dialogues -
At the weasley twins' store
Ron: how much
Fred: 5 gallons
Ron: I'm your brother
Fred: 10 gallons
After the Slughorn's Party
Ron: How was the party?
Hermione: "Boring, though..pauses...Harry enjoyed the dessert" [ implying Ginny joined the party late during dessert time], much to the embarrassment of Harry.
After some action in the room of requirements
Innocent Ron: Did u and Ginny do it?
Rattled Harry: Whattt?
Again Innocent Brother Ron: Did u hide the book?
Relieved Harry: Oh .Yess
Prof.Slughorn: Students are not supposed to roam around after school hours
Harry under the influence of Good Luck Potion: Why don't you come along with me..
Prof.Filius Flitwick, while doing security check : Tell me your name, Potter
Exasperated Harry: You know me for the past six years
Prof: Rules are rules

Emma Watson simply radiates on the screen, from her intro applause in the theater, one can gauge her popularity. Rupert Grint spreads goofish charm as Ron. And it is hard to differentiate Harry Potter and Daniel Radcliffe.
Now coming to minuses - obviously it is with comparison to the book
1. I didn't take a liking to Ginny's casting, also the book explores a far more romantic angle.
2. Ron-Lavender Brown- Hermione - scenes are shallow, Ron, Hermione, per say don't have action scenes, they just don't use their wands
3. Many scenes are alerted - I would have preferred the Harry serving detention - misses the crucial match - Ron & Ginny win it big - Harry snogging Ginny - Ron giving a nod to their relationship.

But Harry Potter series is beyond the minuses..You have to simply relish it.

July 18, 2009

Chennai walls become art galleries

For long, the Chennai walls were a riot of colours - a thriving ground for movie publicity and political reminders. But with the digital age and posters, instead of paintings, posters and banners took over.. Sometime back, I think there was a ban on posters too (even now, there are posters, but the numbers have come down significantly).

The OMR road was the first to be dressed up in myriad hues - statues (not like the marina ones - but artistic in nature), paintings, mural works..and what not..., I thought 'why waste so much of money, it would be vandalised soon' but to my pleasant shock, the structures still hold on (1.5 - 2 years since then) [ Flickr photos]

I stumbled upon Cooks Road, Perambur and what a surprise - all the politicians were coming alive on the walls. The immensely talented artists have unleashed their creativity and the likes of Jayalalitha, Vijayakanth retain their larger than life image. Today's TOI has a vijayakanth picture. [A TOI writeup on the artists of Cooks Road]

And, far the past three days, the Anna Salai stretch at Nandanam is getting a face-lift with professional artists painting some scenic stuff on the walls. It is part of the Chennai beautification plan , it seems.

Let see, if Chennai really becomes Singara Chennai ;-)

Nancy Drew

Read this article - Nancy Drew and her Grand Daughters in NYTimes with much interest and lots of flashback to my school days and Easwari Lending Library.

"..Nancy Drew’s popularity persists, even though the series has been rewritten, chopped and churned out with contemporary inflections — like cellphones — that make traditionalists quietly ill. Melanie Rehak, who wrote “Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her,” said that the target age for readers has dropped since the series’ 1930 debut. Originally intended for girls ages 13 to 16, she said, the books are now read by elementary school-age girls."

"Lisa Von Drasek, children’s librarian at the Bank Street College of Education, analyzed the series’ continuing appeal. “Familiar characters, cliffhanging adventures and predictability,” she said. “Everything will be explained in the end. Kids still gobble them like peanuts: they’re viral in the best sense.”

Justice and Lack of Evidence

The whole nation watched the horrific murder of Ujjain professor HS Sabharwal on all the news channels. We saw the entire drama unfold - elections in college annulled - Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) mob enters college - demonstration - and finally the professor is being taken to the hospital almost dead. It was a very shocking footage.

Now, what we get to see in the courts.. the accused are set free citing lack of evidence.