The Daily Travelogue

Someone I really like once said. "While describing life's journey, it should be almost impossible to seperate fact from fiction - the truth from the myth - the man from the legend'. I completely agree.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Santro and the mango tree

Inspiration struck.And it was from the most obvious source - U2.

I was listening to the U2 song "Where the streets have name"and reading the lyrics (Yes, I still cannot make out the lyrics by just listening) and the background of the song (To read it on Wikipedia click here:

Being the extremely direct, analytical, non-abstract and left brained Libran that I am - - I thought. Surely there would be a more solid, un-convulted, straight forward meaning to the song - - God's kingdom? Africa?? Nicaragua??? Managua???? If we are looking at abstract interpretations for streets that have no names, then can someone please add my 'career' to the list too.

But seriously folks, come on - how difficult is it really to find a street that actually has no name. It didn't seem too difficult. After all, every city has its share of MG Road, Vidhan Soudha road and versions of Bandstands where people kiss and fondle and then kiss some more and then remove their...err - I think I am digressing.

Getting back on track - thus began my quest - the quest to find a street that Bono was so desperately telling us about - a street that has no name.

I filled up the petrol tank, put my Santro in gear and began my search. As I negotiated the Nagars and the Soudhas and the streets named after distant cousins of people who were once famous I suddenly realized something - no, I mean besides the fact that I was completely lost - I had found the place!!!

There was not a soul there, and only a soul would actually come to that place. There were no sign boards, no names, no surnames, no statues, no bird droppings on the statues, no protests!! I had finally found the place.

This street actually had no name and it was impossible that anyone would come here and name it. That such a place should exist only 18 Kms from Majestic, Bangalore's Central Bus stand, did struck me as odd as first. But then it was right there - right in front of me!!

It was while I was getting high on this stupendous discovery of gigantic proportions that I heard it first. It first seemed like a distant voice within oneself (from the heart I mean, stupid!) but it kept getting louder and bolder. It was someone singing - it was a female voice - it was the voice of a female who was singing.

I was slightly shaken to find this sudden, uninvited intruder on my nameless street. Her ageless face registered a similar expression - a mixture of curiosity and irritation.

I was the first to speak:

"Oi - What are you doing here?"

She was taken aback but recovered quickly."What are YOU doing here?"

"I am, ofcourse, finding a street that has no name. Now answer my question - What are you doing here?"

"I am planting Mango trees"

"What?!! What are you doing?"

With the patience of a crocodile who has just caught its prey, she explained "I am planting Mango trees so that when I become old and had a few dozen grand children they can come here and play and eat mangoes"

"Ah ofcourse! I should have guessed that" I added, dryly.

"So, where are you going to find that unnamed street of yours"

"Why, I have already found it - This is it"

"But this street has a name..errr.. This is, this is.. 'Mango Promenade'"

I was flabbergasted. "What? But, but there is no sign - and there are no mangoes" I muttered.

"Yes, but there will be after some time and then this street would be named"

"Hmmm... I guess I need to get going in that case. I still have to find the street that would not be named, ever." I said, accepting defeat.

As I started my Santro to resume on my quest, I asked if she wanted to come along. After all it would be some time till she had grandchildren and till the mangoes grew. It has been a long time since then and I am not sure if she came along.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Straight on the horse's mouth

Finally this damn blog will have something that will go with it's name. As Einstein put as a comment the other day - This space is neither updated daily nor is it a travelogue. But who the heck questions and who the hecker thinks these days, he further said ?

Not me, and definitely not my masters.

Anyways, I had gone on a trek this weekend to 'Kudremukh' which in Kannada translates to 'Horse's mouth', which brings me to the point of this post. There is something funny about hills in South India. I mean, how is it possible that South Indian mountains mean something peculiar:
Anaimudi - Elephant's brow
Kudremukh - Horse' mouth
Thadiyendomol - Daughter of the fat man (She is beautiful, btw)

And we are talking about some of the highest peaks in South India, not changu mangus. Compare this with the neat names up north - Kailash Parbat, Nanda Devi, Kanchenjunga (suddenly the possible exception of Nanga Parbat hits me)

As they would say up north- Madraasi Yaar, kabhi to thoda respaact diya karo bhagwaanji ko...

I would have put up the whole damn travelogue - how we reached, how we ate, how we got lost, how cold the water was, how we ran from the leeches, how magnificent the view from the top was, how exhausted we were, how kind our hosts were - but frankly I don't have the right words to do justice to the amazing experience I had with the Horse's mouth.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Federer Lost


Saturday, May 12, 2007


In a move that could signal the good times to come, Radico Khaitan is considering signing Labor minister for Karantaka, Mr. Iqbal Ansari, to represent its 8 PM whisky brand.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Breaking News

Hello and welcome to WTF! I am U. D. Nag and we now take you to this exclusive WTF! report on how a drunk man in the 3rd lane of Dharavi's 2nd block is reportedly beating his cousin's dog.

G A Nandu: Hello Sunaina, Can you describe the situation there?

Sunaina: Hello Nag, This is Sunaina here along with camera person Ali Baug. It's total chaos here. We have been covering this event since today early morning when we came to know that this man was beating his cousin's dog. We enquired around as to who this dog is, where it is from and it's name and other details. But no one was really willing to speak about it. Just goes on to say that this city has become totally brazen to everything around it.

G A Nandu (murmuring): True. Brazen people in city of gold.

Sunaina: Oh my god! What has just happened is simply unbelievable. The dog has ran away and the drunk man is now coming towards us. And he has started thrashing our camera person!! As you can see, our camera person is being beaten right now. Remember you are watching live and exclusive pictures only on WTF!

G A Nandu: Err...Sunaina, can you turn the camera upside down. I think it turned while falling down.

Sunaina: (Realizing that and smiling) Right. Now you can clearly see that the man is continuing to beat our camera person.

We will keep you updated on the progress of this. This is Sunaina along with camera person.... oh sorry, momentarily forgot. This is only Sunaina here for the time being, covering this WTF! exclusive breaking news report.

We will be back, right after this short break.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Seven people you meet in a gym - Part 1

A gym is a funny place.
As in, not a place which is funny; but a place where you can have fun - just by observing.

I like observing.
I like to have fun.
I like to have fun by observing.

I know, it’s not a syllogism.

Librans are not good at syllogisms.
I am a Libran.
I am not good at syllogisms

I am digressing.

The point is - - A gym can be a funny place.

And there is a theory, like the six degrees of separation theory verified by Mr. Orkut Buyukkokten, that - - there are seven types of people that one meets in a gym - - any gym.

  1. The I am getting married (giggle) Type
  2. The Lookers
  3. The Burn Fat Earn Fat Type
  4. The I want six pack Type
  5. The I am here because of my girlfriend/wife (The Bitch) Type 1
  6. The I am here because of my girlfriend/wife Type 2 and obviously,
  7. The Others (Remember, this is a ‘Seven Type People’ theory)

1. The I am getting married (giggle) Type

Specimen is usually in late twenties – can be spotted fitted into tight new Adidas slacks – tight at all the wrong places, though. They are such a common phenomena that social scientists (funded by wedding planners) are even working on building a model to predict the date of their marriage by the look of sincerity on their face while they exercise.

(Hey! I am not getting married. Don’t stare at my tight, new Adidas slacks)

2. The Lookers

These are scientifically crazy though, I must admit, extremely logical. They believe in the alternative work out therapy. They argue, if its just a matter of just increasing the heart beat at an unsustainable level - staring at beautiful girls in Adidas tights works just fine – enough to get heart beat till 180. Charming theory, devastating results.

3. The Burn Fat Earn Fat Type

These are the most difficult ones to identify. I almost missed this type - till my room-mate joined a gym. And they are curious little creatures (little as in when a momma pachyderm calls her 2 ton son – ‘little’). Their only purpose in joining a gym is to get hungry and use their Sodexho coupons. And it can cause some troubles too… like the other day when my cook almost quit saying 'Bhaiyya, aap ke ghar main 2 seer hain par 10 pet hain (Raavan ki tarah)!!”.
And yes, they feel guilty after they stuff themselves – but guilt also makes them hungry – which in turn makes them happy.

Curious little creatures, these are.
(Coming up, after a Breezer errrr.. I mean breather)

4. The I want six pack Type

5. The I am here because of my girlfriend/wife (The Bitch) Type 1

6. The I am here because of my girlfriend/wife Type 2

7. The Others

Friday, March 02, 2007

He is back! He is back!! (Movie Review: Nishabd )

'Some love stories are never meant to be understood'.

With a tagline like this, I really thought it was going to be a fairly arbit and experimental movie that will invariably achieve its high before the end and then simply drag on. After all RGV has not only enthralled us with some his work but also bored us to death and at times derived nefarious pleasure through some of his other works. That makes RGV movies like your next assignment at work. You never know what's going to hit you.

Nishabd is a movie you absolutely fall in love with the opening scene. The tall, defeated figure of Amitabh towering amidst some of the beautiful greenery in Munnar sets the tone for this love story that will weave you in its magic for the next 120 minutes.

The plot can be summarized in one sentence: Amitabh, aged 60, falls in love with his daughter's best friend, aged 18, who has come home for holidays.

But then if movies like Nishabd can be expressed in one line 'plots', then Shakespeare can be said to be nothing but just a permutation and combination of 26 alphabets. However, the fact is that the plot can be accurately summarized by the above one line. And that's the beauty of the movie. It’s like a beautiful photograph. You can describe a photograph by saying it captures the sunrise in snow capped Himalayan peaks. But the only way to do justice to it is to watch it yourself – and you realize there is no reason to judge it - - not because it cannot be, but because there is no need to. You know and it knows. It is beautiful and its just perfect.

Amitabh Bacchan (Vijay) delivers one his finest performances till date as the Old Lover to his daughter-aged Jiah Khan (Jiah). Only other actor who could have done justice to this role is Naseerudin Shah. But Amitabh Bacchan brings so much more than just acting the part here. You don't see him as Vijay but see him as Amitabh and it's much more engrossing that way. The dinner scene where Amitabh starts laughing and doesn't stop till the next day is one of the most hilarious scenes in Hindi movies. And its with almost no words. Nishabd :)

The other 2 central roles of - Revathi, who plays Amitabh's wife and his daughter, played by Shradha Arya are there to provide momentum to the story and they both do an excellent role. The transformation from best friend to Amitabh's daughter after knowing the affair has been portrayed with remarkable credibility and with the just right mix of anger and grief by Shradha Arya. Revathi demonstrates what she is capable of as the woman scorn and resigned to the fate of a loveless life ahead. Top drawer performances by both.

And lastly we come to Jiah Khan, who plays Jiah. She comes like the smell of wet earth after the first rains. Appearing nonchalant and casual, but thoroughly intense in her own way, she delivers a power packed performance as the Lolita. Jiah Khan not only matches Amitabh in all the scenes but at times even scores a millionth of a point over the Sexagenarian.

The only way I would have wanted to change the movie is to put 'Rozana' towards the end. It absolutely absolutely deserves its place there and would have provided a beautiful medium to connect with Amitabh's emotions. Why Why Why, oh dear Ramu, did you not put it there...!!!

The part after separation is too short but that was not the subject which RGV meant to deal with and has done well to keep it short.

With Nishabd, RGV again proves that either you love his movies or hate them. I find it picture perfect. Don’t miss it.