Thursday, July 01, 2010

World Cup for Dummies

If you have been watching the FIFA World Cup as regularly and sincerely and avidly as I have, you are probably as uninterested, clueless and ignorant as I am. And like me, you are probably realising that there is no escape.

I mean, even if you nuked a satellite to stop the airing of matches worldwide and then you synchronised hacker robots to stall Facebook updates, even then - a vuvuzela would shout out somewhere and end any chance you may have for peace.

So you may as well update yourself with this research that Google and I put together after anticipating what your questions will be.

Q] I've already paid off mafias to blow-up satellites and paid off hackers to overpower facebook. Now who is this Vuvuzela and why is he determined to disturb my peace?

A] I'm afraid Vuvuzela is not a person you can intimidate because it is not a person. Dave Barry describes it best when he calls it an "ancient traditional plastic manufactured in China". If you've caught a single match of the World Cup so far and fallen asleep during it and had a nightmare about killer bees, then you already recognise the buzzing-cum-blaring sound it makes which frankly is not preferable even to J-Lo's singing.

Q] Are you hinting that it is possible to not be lynched if I fall asleep during World Cup matches?

A] Actually it is totally acceptable, now that all the good looking players are either playing really badly or have been eliminated altogether.

Q] Good looking guys? Why didn't my boyfriend mention them when he asked me out for the match screening (right before I threw a rock on his face)?

A] Since a lot of the good looking guys are gone from the World Cup, perhaps never to be seen again, you may want to have a look at the cursed Nike Ad below. Long story short, almost everyone featured in it seems to have lost their magic touch. For instance, poster boy Ronaldo of Portugal is out after he and his team played dismally, as is Rooney of England.

Q] How can I induce Nike to sponsor the Indian cricket team so that they lose and get too scared to ever take part in a commercial again and thus start playing cricket seriously?

A] Your strategy won't work as I'm afraid Indian cricketers are not afraid to lose.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Crime and tragedy

By and large, I don't think much of Singapore papers and the tepid talk that passes for news in their pages. But this weekend they had me blurry-eyed with a headline they carried. It was the first thing I read that morning.

Five sets of clothes.
His curry pot. A rice cooker.
An album of family photos

That was all he owned and they were put in a plastic bag and sent to Chennai with his body...

A lifetime packed off neatly in five sentences and a coffin box, ready to turn to dust over a funeral pyre and across some landfills.

With grim contrast it reminded me of those corny one-pagers that magazines carry on celebrities nowadays. You know, where you can almost hear a nasal voice sycophantically asking - Oh! And if you were stranded in a desert island, what are the three things you simply must have with you there? And then you can imagine the celebrity sighing with boredom in the depth of his/her soul, (if it hasn't been sold yet), before giving a coiffured reply that exclaims itself to death- Of course! My Gucci bag!! I must have that !!! And my 50++ SPF for all that sun I'll face !!!! blah !!!blah!!!!

Of course, people who actually have to make the choice of living with the bare minimum, sometimes in a cloth bundle under their head when they sleep on footpaths, or under their bunk beds in factory dorms - these migrant labourers - they are never asked that question. And they wouldn't have time to respond to such inanity anyway. They are too busy surviving, doing whatever jobs they can manage to get, for whoever can pay higher for it, slung down ropes from buildings, or climbing up scaffolding, living in spaces barely larger than what they will be buried under someday, with no family around them, instead, just five sets of clothes. A curry pot. A rice cooker. And an album of family photos.

Till someone slashes their limbs off because they grudge them even that.

Who needs Shakespeare to read tragedy? Just pick up the damn paper.

The first report on the slashings in Kallang, Singapore that left 1 dead and three severely injured.

Can you help?

Journalist Kimberley Spykerman, who covered the incident for The Straits Times, tells me that HOME [Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics] is helping the victims of the Kallang slashing. Those interested can contact Mr Jolovan Wham at

[cross posted at]

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mum's the word!

You've heard it before: God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers.

But I suspect the devil did the same. Thankfully, the mothers he tapped seem to have a really bad aim...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Guitar Blues

I'm learning to play the guitar and it is going fine.

And by fine I mean better than I expected, and what I expected was that people will ask me to sing for them and I'll end up making a fool of myself, but so far no one, by which I mean No One Except One Friend Who is Neither my Husband Nor my Mother Both of Whom Had the Opportunity to Request has asked me to strum a sample, and by opportunity to request I mean the last six months that I've been learning, and oh, that one request I absolutely refused.

So while I am happy my musical prowess reputation remains intact, I suspect the reputation is not worth intact-keeping.

And I also wonder why Vipul isn't begging me to croon for him, which can only mean one of the following:
(likely) Love is blind, not deaf
(Very Likely) He doesn't love me
(Bullshit) He expects me to swallow the reason he gave me when I confronted him [Apparently he doesn't want me to be uncomfortable and knows I will strum for him when I ready and confident. He really said that. With a straight face and puppy eyes.]

Anyway, I realise I am probably being anal by thinking too much about why he doesn't have greater confidence in my abilities. The reason doesn't matter. He is already getting overcooked food on his dinner plate and additional calories in his breakfast and he has not yet begun to wonder the reason this has been happening.

And once I'm ready and confident about my skills, I'll upload the video for you guys :) !
(And by ready and confident about my skills I mean on video and sound editing software)

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Update: So I finally saw Avatar 3D and my favourite part of the movie screening was right at the beginning, when they were showing trailers of Alice in Wonderland. Don't get me wrong, I didn't dislike Avatar, but its one-hundred-sixty-two minutes were no match for Johnny Depp's three...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

To see or not to see, and my two bits on the Three idiots

I really don’t want to see Avatar. But just as I was bullied into submission by the world’s insistence on discussing Three Idiots over all dinners, lunches, telephone conversations and facebook updates, I am getting hustled into a 3D theatre to see a world that has introduced new words into the English language; and there are only so many times I can go to Wiki to figure what Na’vi is, and then what unobtanium is, and so on and so forth.

I am not too optimistic about my expectations. Partly because technology and special effects cannot make me love a movie, but also because the public adulation makes me cynical. Don’t get me wrong – I am no snob. I loved Harry Potter and the Da Vinci Code series, and it was their populism that drove me to them in the first place. But my appetite and acceptance of books is way wider than my tolerance for movies, and if I don’t like a trailer, chances are I won’t like the movie.

Take the case of Three idiots which, really, is no masterpiece. In the first five minutes you know the movie is going to stretch incidents to accommodate a point of view. Faking a heart attack to stop a plane has no place in cinema that seeks to be a realistic depiction. That scene alone marks the movie as an exaggeration. Which is not a fault if something is seeking to be timepass fun – but is totally out of place if aiming for grandeur.

And it is slapstick. Giving the villain a lisp, and filling a speech with sexual references, while potentially hilarious, is not a stroke of comedic genius.

Topping it all, 3I suffers from the old Bollywood failing of falling back on lectures through a hero’s monologue even though the storyline alone would be, should be, enough to get the message across. What I’m saying is: if you need to explain a joke, it is a loser joke. And if you need to explain the moral of a story, it is a loser screenplay.

And what’s with the casting of old men as college students? Okay, so Aamir Khan looks seriously unaged. But that is not enough. What makes youngsters look young is not a lack of frown lines, it is a certain something – perhaps a rebelliousness in his ponytailed hair, a boisterousness in her haughty expression, a languidness in the way they walk - some symptom of a nonchalant attitude ... Look at Imaad Shah in Little Zizou. Or Saif Ali in Dil Chahta Hai. Youth is a facial expression, a body language, not a skin texture. In Three Idiots, only Sharman Joshi has that look, perhaps because he actually is young(er).

3I has its good moments too, but I can’t be bothered to list those out coz enough has been oversaid about them. Long story short, if I must spend 3 hours staring at a screen on Sunday, I’d rather it be Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron once again. Instead, it ended up being Three Idiots earlier. And it is going to end up being Avataar next.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Another one, just like the other one

Sometimes I think our computer is an orphanage.

Unneeded software, unloved programs, useless upgrades - just about anything of questionable conception - and my husband adopts it and houses it in our hard drive.

Which all I bear with a step-motherly sigh, but it is the accumulation of gadgets that really gets to me. The latest thing to enter our household is the universal remote controller.

“Just one click!” gushes Vipul, “A single click on this and you can turn on any gadget in the house that you want to!”
“Wow!” gushes me “instead of one whole click on the older remote control which we already have?”
“Are you being sarcastic? This is really something cool!”
“Are you being serious? Have you already bought it?”
“See, you won’t need the five different remote controllers we have any more”
“I didn’t need the five different gadgets they came with either! Anyway, so I can throw those five remotes now?”
“No No, first I need to program the universal remote!”

And that’s where we stand.

He will install the software that came with the remote on our computer, read through the thousand pages of manual every morning before office, sync the remote and the gadgets, find faults, google for troubleshooting, give up, and by the end of it we will find we need six remotes instead of five.

Seriously, boys and their toys! It’s true – all men have a child hidden inside them. If only the damn kid remained hidden.