Movie review – Villu


I know it is a little late, but better late than never. Vijay’s movies are the best time-pass movies as far as I have seen, second only to the one-and-only-thalaivar (the boss, mottai boss). The concise review of the movie:

  • Time pass movie.
  • Some parts of the movie shot in Munich, Germany (ofcourse, you should not ask, just like in a thalaivar movie, where did Munich suddenly come from, just watch!)
  • I was expecting the eppidi-eppidi–ippidi-ippidi punch dialogue to come a lot (after all the hype), but it comes for 3 seconds in a song ! Disappointing.
  • I did not see too many punch dialogues – again disappointing. 
  • Good fight scenes.
  • Some of the dance sequences are directed beautifully – no wonder – Prabhu Deva is the director. There is even one song, where the finale of the song has the Indian Michael Jackson shaking a leg with Vijay. 
  • No crying scenes (Vijay is not good in senti scenes and the good part is, the directors realize this and do not give him any such scenes.)
  • Some unbelievble scenes – but then they have to be there in a Vijay movie – like Prakash Raj burying him alive, and a sandstorm blowing all the sand away, and he rising up from the grave. Oh! Did I mention he was also shot at twice!
  • Nayanthara does the usual come-and-look-pretty show and goes. Not bad. Nothing wrong to say about that. (Read: no spectacular acting)
  • Overall good comedy scenes by Vadivelu.
  • Some good intricate plotting situations by various international Dons (one of whom is Prakash Raj). Prakash Raj does a standard factory-product villian – nothing new. Good thing is – he has toned down his ridiculous … uhaahaahaaaa laugh and the chellam dialogue. Thank God. It was getting so trite.
  • Some super flaky scenes like, when Vijay’s dad is accused of being a traitor, and gets killed, his mother gets ‘desa drogi manaivi’ (traitor wife) tattooed on her forehead. 
  • Two things however baffled me.
    • When the whole world is saying that Blu-Ray is dead, the movie shows the villians trade secrets all stored in a Blu-Ray disc. Haha. Why ? Why ? Maybe because it ‘sounds’ fancy.
    • Why the name Villu ? His name is not villu (his name is Pugazh). He does not have any fancy electronic villu (nor the bamboo one). Why ? Why?

Overall rating : Typical timepass Vijay Movie. Watchable once. 


Obama – smooth talker !


Mr. Obama is continuing to make waves as the ‘uber-cool’, ‘I-am-completely-in-control’ President of the US of A. I read the following two paragraphs in the NYTimes. 


When I asked him if there was any reason to believe that the G.O.P. had made a good-faith effort at bipartisanship, given the fact that only three Republicans voted for the stimulus plan in the Senate and none in the House, he said he did not want to question the motives or sincerity of those who opposed the plan.

But he made a point of adding, “Now, I have to say that given that they were running the show for a pretty long time prior to me getting there, and that their theory was tested pretty thoroughly and it’s landed us in the situation where we’ve got over a trillion-dollars’ worth of debt and the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression, I think I have a better argument in terms of economic thinking.”

Wow. I am impressed. Smooth talker indeed. He starts off with ‘damning with faint praise’ and then lands the blow right on the head ! This was in an hour-long interview with some press people on Airforce One.


Book Review: Go Kiss the World


I borrowed this  book by Subroto Bagchi (Chief Gardener – Mindtree) from my brother-in-law, who works in Mindtree.

Amazing book – very well written. I have heard a lot about how good an orator Bagchi is – with this, I can say, he is an equally good author. It kind of felt like reading the Autobiography of Jack Welsh. In the book, we do see, that he is influenced by the great leader quite a bit. I could see the influence in the writing as well.

The book is divided into two parts – the first part is his childhood, and the second part, mostly about his career turns. He talks eloquently about how he grew up in a variety of places in Central area (mostly Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal). He talks about, how his family used to move from place to place, because of his father’s government job. He talks about how he wins the Best NCC Cadet award, and how a senior official gives him a pretty startling piece of advice – “Not to join the armed forces, navy or airforce”. He calls these advises that the world gives, and it is up to each person, to take it or leave it. Interstingly, he takes the advise, and pursues political sciences. He talks about his early years in Delhi Cloth Mills (DCM group in Delhi).

In the second part of the book, he talks about the different turning points in his career, and how each one brings about, its own set of challenges, and how they turn into good things for him. One of the big things, he stresses upon, is the fact that, young professionals should not be dreaming about what they will be doing at 45 yrs or 50 yrs, when they have just started their career. The first three years or so, will be very tumultous, and one should accept it. Things start crystallizing soon after. We grow ourselves after seeing all the hurdles. He talks about his years in Wipro. He starts about how he and 10 others start Mindtree.

In all, a beautifully written autobiography. I took the book in hand one day. And I finished the book the next day. I read, during my bus commute to office. I am known for napping during both to-and-fro journeys. These two days, I read both ways. 🙂 I could not put the book down.

bangalore misc

Garam Naram Dhaba – Ulsoor Bangalore

Have heard a lot about the Dhaba next to the Gurudwara in Ulsoor. So went there today. The name said ‘Garam Naram Dhaba’. I have heard about it only as Bobby-da-dhaba. (Not sure if  they changed the name !). My review about the dhaba below:

  • Decent Parathas – with the customary dollop of butter on top
  • Rajma Chawal was so-so.
  • Chilly Panner Veg was also so-so.
  • Lassi was very diluted (compared to the lassi you get in North India)
  • Ambience – it is inside a room – so not so dhaba-like. Furniture is very dhaba-like. Moulded tables and chairs.
  • Service – relatively fast – but the starter and the food arrived at the same time.
humour misc

Windows automatic update

winerror(via GAS)

No explanation required ! ROFL !


Real estate doom in Dubai ?


While all of us are talking excitedly and ominously about IT Doom etc, and the real estate fiasco in the US, I was shocked to see the following news item in boingboing. Wow. I knew that a significant population of Kerala is settled in the Gulf (Saudi/Kuwait/…). It looks like the dream city is crashing down as well. 

 On the night of December 31, 2008 alone more than 80 vehicles were found at the airport. “Sixty cars were seized on the first day of this year,” director general of Airport Security, Mohammed Bin Thani, told DNA over the phone. On the same day, deputy director of traffic, colonel Saif Mohair Al Mazroui, said they seized 22 cars abandoned at a prohibited area in the airport.

Faced with a cash crunch and a bleak future ahead, there were no goodbyes for the migrants — overwhelmingly South Asians, mostly Indians – just a quiet abandoning of the family car at the airport and other places.

While 2,500 vehicles have been found dumped in the past four months outside Terminal III, which caters to all global airlines, Terminal II, which is only used by Emirates Airlines, had 160 cars during the same period…

“The construction and real estate industry has been hit following the global slowdown and the direct fallout is that professionals working in the realty industry are rapidly losing their jobs,” said a senior media professional, in-charge of a realty supplement in Dubai. “In fact, my weekly real estate supplement usually had 60% advertisement and ran into 300-odd pages. In the last seven weeks, it’s down to 80 pages and with fewer advertisments,” he added.

(via Boingboing)

misc photography

Japan’s Monster factories

Bouncing Red Ball has a great set of 12 glittering factory photos shot in night. Brilliant set. Boing boing calls it Monster factories 🙂


Check out the full set here


Down under burns !

Spectacular set of photographs at the Big Picture Blog (Boston Globe). A very sad caption:

The state of Victoria in southern Australia has recently been hit with hundreds of bush fires during a record-breaking heatwave – temperatures well above 38°C (100°F). Unfortunately, these fires have proved to be the deadliest in Australian history, with at least 166 deaths reported so far. The fires mostly appear to have been started by lightning – however a few appear to have been arson, and are under investigation – entire towns being declared crime scenes. Twenty-four fires are still burning, and authorities warn that the death toll will likely rise. 

Ugly face of humanity showing up, even at this time of disaster. 


boston globe big picture blog
Pic: boston globe big picture blog



This is what will happen if you build houses of wood. Notice the only non-wood structure above was the fireplace/chimney.

bangalore misc

Basavanagudi dharshan (gandhi bazaar, vidhyarthi bhavan dosa, bull temple and other temples)

Yesterday was Basavanagudi dharshan for R and me. Started off from Koramangala at around 2PM. First stop was Gandhi Bazaar. Found my way until Lalbagh gate without any problem, but then after, multiple people gave multiple directions, contradicting each other, so we roamed around in spaghetti circles for some time. At last, parked next to a Khadhi Bhandar shop, which said Gandhi Bazaar in its nameboard. Found it to be Bugle Rock Road. A friendly fruit shop owner said, all this area is Gandhi Bazaar and the main road is walking distance.

The main Gandhi Bazaar road is basically the Bangalore’s own TNagar Pondy Bazaar. A large tree lined avenue, both sides peppered with small platform shops and medium sized shops. Fruit markets and vegetable markets set the whole place ablaze with the colours of fresh produce.


Amidst all this circus stands, Vidhyarthi Bhavana, a >75 year old eatery – which has supposedly been ranked as second-best dosa in Bangalore (next only to CTR, Malleswaram). Ofcourse, this was one of the high points of our dharshan.

Review of Vidhyarthi Bhavana:

I see why, it is next only to CTR. CTR rocks any day ! The dosa there is way better, and the sambhar heavenly. VB does not have Sambar. Let me let that statement sink into you. No Sambar. Only chutney – and I did not like the chutney that much either. R could not digest the fact that dosa could be served without sambar. R liked the dosa more than me. For me, my tongue had tasted CTR, and would not accept this. It was only Ok-Ok. The place is clean – and the waiters (all dressed in dhoti – tied lambda/2) did perform the circus of balancing a dozen dosa plates on one hand. But for me, I would prefer CTR any day.

We then bought veggies, and moved on to our next destination – Bull Temple. We visited the bull temple – the Nandi is very big – and um, very cute too. Little feet, cute nose etc – in all a pleasure to gaze at. After paying homage to Siva’s personal secretary, we wanted to see the other temples in the complex, but they were to open only at 530PM.


So we crossed the road, and visited Nava Mantralaya – a Raghavendra temple – where a music school was celebrating its yearly anniversary. 50 kids (all below 12 yrs) were on stage and were singing bhajans – heavenly.

At 530PM, we crossed the road, back to see Mr. Dodda Ganapathy – a huge Ganesha Temple – beautiful vennai kaapu (butter decoration) – very nice and had a good dharshan. Also visited the Bala-anjaneya temple and Kannapar temple in the same complex.

At this point, R and I knew, there were more temples in this area, but did not know where. So called V (my brother in law) – who lives in closer locales (Bansankari). He visits these temples more often. On his suggestion, went on to see Karanji Anjaneya – a very old Anjaneya temple walking distance from the bull temple. At this time, R commented, if all the temples in this area, were super sized temples 🙂 – all deities were minimum 4 times larger than us!

After Karanji Anjaneya, we hiked over in the opposite direction, to Govardhanagiri temple. This is a concept temple – yes, you heard it right – a concept temple. Beautiful. The whole temple looks like it has been carved into a granite hill. You enter through the side, and inside there is an enclosure, where you see, Lord Krishna holding the hill with his little finger – a beautiful sight to behold. Very nice and peaceful inside. Good arrangements to sit in front of the deity and meditate. This was our favourite temple.

We then took our car, and went the opposite direction, and visited the Ramakrishna Math. It was just like the other RK Maths I have visited (Chennai, Kolkata) – peaceful, serene, green. The aarthi was going on. We spent some time there,

Bengaluru Dharshan

Ok, now comes the most interesting part of the evening. We had finished all our dharshans, and the food, and now it was time to get back home. We saw a board which said Lal Bagh west gate. I kind-of figured out that, if we headed to Lalbagh, and circled it (like we did on our way to Basavanagudi), we would at some point hit the road from Nimhans/Diary circle. Um, we took the wrong turn. We ended up seeing Minerva Circle, JC Road, Town Hall, Hudson Circle – and thankfully I knew the way back to Koramangala from there (lessons learnt from our many trips to the Majestic Railway station). We headed back through Residency Road, Magrath Road, Lower Agaram, Vivek Nagar and at last, home sweet home 🙂


Comic typography


Wow. Check out this awesome site where typography in comic books is so vividly explained. Honestly, I did not realize that there was so much in it ! But ofcourse, whilereading a comic book, you are just racing with the story ! 🙂 Who would pause and analyze all this awesome stuff.

(via metafilter)