The Namesake

The Namesake directed by Mira Nair. I watched it today, because this was the only DVD i could lay my hands from the list i dutifully carried to the library.(Sigh, in this age of online streaming, i still rent DVD’s from the lib).

If you are expecting pace in the lines of Monsoon Wedding, this is a let-down. The pace is real slow, almost qualifies for a documentary. When i read the book there were several parts that impressed me and some i did not care for. Somehow in the movie, the parts that are emphasized are the parts you do not remember from the book.

Kal Penn has given a good performance but we have seen so many ABCD’s that we can’t really appreciate his conflicts anymore. They are streo-typed and cliched. Tabu looks old and masculine. She does emote well but too lanky for the role. I would have preferred … let me think….. cant think of any actresses in bollywood.. Can you?

Most of us who have travelled far and wide from our homelands have an inexplicable longing to get back and an intense desire to defend our country, traditions, cuisine and kinship. When children are born in the US to Indians, there seem to be a sea of change and the family is always raging a war. I was hoping The Namesake would bring out these aspects… but i guess it was lost in traslation!!!

The Lost Symbol – sooo lost!!!

The Lost Symbol goes on a fishing expedition and the city of choice is Washington D.C. Dan Brown’s fascination with symbols and ancient mysteries were overwhelming in Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, but he is losing his touch.

The book starts with Robert Langdon being summoned for a lecture in D.C.Once he arrives the scene starts spiralling out of control. They are in search for Ancient Mysteries of the Masonic Order and a Lost Word. DUH???

Thats the expression that stays with you till you patiently plod through all 133 chapters amounting to 509 pages. The search is stereo-typed, the evil comes in weird forms and you dont really care whether they find what they are looking for.

If you thought stunts in Rajni movies defy gravity, Balakrishna running on the trainning is laughable, i encourage all directors and story writers to read Lost Symbol to discover new tactics and stunts that is fodder for upcoming movies. New ideas for Kollywood and Tollywood. But you have to read through all 509 pages.

I could almost imagine Robert Langdon being played by Tom Hanks and visualize most of the scenes in the book in a major motion picture in a couple of years, but this is a movie i would gladly skip. Why willingly undergo torture?

The joy of getting it right

These days i’m becoming experimental with cooking. Now you need to know how my cooking evolved to appreciate the experimentation.

2006, Bangalore
Breakfast – Bread sandwich.
Lunch – Dal, Subzi, Rice
Dinner – Kichdi or Rotis with left over dal
Breakfast – Yours Truly. Lunch & Dinner – Roommate’s generosity.

2009, Danbury
Breakfast – Cereal/Muffins/Idli,Dosa/Pongal
Lunch – Veg Curry, Sambhar, Rasam, Curd, Rice & Pickle
Dinner – Rotis with Kurma or Subzi.
All – Yours Truly

If this is not evolution what is. Atleast for me these are giant steps where cooking is involved. C’mon i make kurma, not in the likes of navrathna kurma but Egg Kurma and Peas Paneer kurma.

Cooking started with amma’s e-adichan copy recipes. Or reading and somewhat memorizing Mallika Badrinath cookbooks. Now i can google a dish, surf recipes, pick and choose ingredients that i find most alluring and combine them all. Best part – the end product is still delicious.

Making muffins, Chocolate cup cakes to Mexican flan has elevated me into a seasoned chef. I can make onion sambhar without referring to recipes. Improvised to ginger kuzhambhu which sets your throats on fire and even have facebook friends who want my recipes.

There have been two inspirations for this cooking quest. First when you are trying a new recipe, there is a thrill and when it comes out delicious, you are soaring high in the air. Second when the hujband takes one puddi and says “Man your food is to die for”… SIGH!!(I know, too much illa)

Glossary
e-adichan – copy cat kill the rat.(somebody can volunteer with the exact explanation)
puddi – one mouthfull.

Nights in Rodanthe

Happiness is that most young people seemed to think that those things lay somewhere in the future while most older people beleived that it lay in the past” – Chapter 15, Nights in Rodanthe, Nicholas Sparks.

When i started reading this book i felt myself thinking about Bridges of Madison County. While the latter is a masterpiece, the former is a bit amateurish. Also i can never understand how two people who spend about three days in all can find ever lasting, eternal love. It would take more time for me to trust a person, more time before beginning to open up about personal tragedies and definetly more time to fall in love… leave alone sharing the same bed. (Maybe am not one of those self confessed romantics afterall). The protagonists, however, seemed to field through these emotions and hold them dear for their rest of their life, in all but three days.

That said, the writing is brilliant. The author uses the right words and paints the picture of a women shattered by her divorce poignantly. The man who thought he was running for something, realises he is running away from something and wants to make amends with his son. The war he wages within himself is portrayed well and although we are not sure how he acheives this change, we begin to think he attained what he started after.

I’m not sure why the author introduced the character of a widowed husband trying to make a doctor understand what the loss of his patient has done to his life. No feelings evoked whatsoever.

If you are looking for a light read, pick up this book but its definetly not a romance on the likes of Francesca and Kincaid.

A peek into the future

Disclaimer: After hearing a lot of unflattering responses about my blog template, i finally set forth to change it. Hopefully this one is more readable. I admit there is a lot of work to do but atleast the wheels are in motion.

The new template had widgets which made things easy. I dint have to dig through the html code and replace bits and pieces, all i had to do was click on Add Gadget and everything was done.It took me all but 3 mins to figure out that(i know) and in that three minutes i was panic-striken!!!

It was like your entire life flashing in front of you in five minutes – Haven’t you watched Armageddon or Gladiator? I can’t bookmark my favourite blogs, can’t link the labels in my post, can’t tell the world that am a budding photographer…. This is a wee dramatic. But thats how things are told these days. If you dont scream, you wont be heard. Now is it the same everywhere or did living in the US rub it on me?

But back to Widgets. In that ignorant three minutes i was able to comprehend the helplessness and frustration my parents feel when i tell them they can watch Sun TV in a laptop.

When i taught my father how to start mailing,read news online,chat using the webcam, view photographs online, i thought it was an information overload and the minute i disappear he is going to abadon the laptop. But as always, he proved me wrong. He is doing his own research, marking his websites as favourites, helping my mother choose online magazine subscriptions when she comes to the US and am sure he is going
to tell me that he is bringing his laptop with him during his next visit. My parents have become tech-savvy alright. The bubble has embraced them or have they embraced it?!!!

For my mom, the laptop was the sign of technological leaps and bounds. She viewed it with aversion and blamed it for the distance between people in the same room.Ofcourse it was in stiff competition with the mobile. She completely disapproved of children below 10 using it and never understood why it kept us hooked on for hours. Its the same way i look at teenagers typing furiously in their cell phones racing against time.I think she has finally made her peace with this mini-idiot box while i continue to stare at the fingers that would fly on keyboards. (I’m not that old and i’ve been there, done that. Its impolite to stare but you cant help it esp when you have nothing else to do in a crowded train).

My efforts at keeping abreast with technology are going to fail at some point. My kids are going to call me backward and wonder how long it would take for me to catch up. I can hear them sighing and smirking at our rather slow pace of advancement. They would call us old-fashioned, look at Iphone, Ipods, Droids as antiques.

These days generation gap exists between siblings so the rift is going to be more pronounced. But like my parents, i would learn to make my peace with techonology. If you cant fight them, Join Them!!!