Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Will be back with more posts soon.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunitha Krishnan

Honestly, after watching this video on my Facebook account my libido went out of whack!



A day later someone sends me a link to her blog and I cannot imagine someone living every second, minute, hour and day with a life as this.

http://sunithakrishnan.blogspot.com/

It seems as though sexual pleasure in many men is not confined to orgasm any more.

A once-in-a-blue-moon performance on Idea Star Singer

After some searching I finally managed to locate that incredible performance of Kalpana on Idea Star Singer season 5 which I don't think we'll get to see anywhere in the near future.

For all those (and that includes me) complaining about the dancers on ISS this performance was the answer.


(audio is slightly out of sync)

"Vaa Machan Vaa", the original song from the tamil film "Vandichakram" had some great songs and performances. The most infamous of them was this one which featured "Silk" Smitha and introduced her to the movies.

Kalpana added her own mix and masala and delivered a stunning performance with the dancers. She literally stormed the male bastion singing SPB's number. I wonder even if some guys on Idea Star Siger could come up with a performance.

Usha Uthup and Anoop gave a standing ovation while the ego-tripping and too-afraid-to-show-real-emotion Sharath and M G Sreekumaran remained seated. Check out the comments video too.

Kerala bans endosulfan

What a joy to read this in "The Hindu" after watching the dreadful programme on Children's Day.

Endosulfan is one of the most toxic pesticides on the planet and used extensively on the Cashew plantations in India. India produces tonnes of the pesticide annually and a lot of it is exported too. Endosulfan was sprayed aerially on the crops in the Kasargod district of Kerala and the dangerous poisons in the compound found its way into the soil and water and finally humans and animals. According the website http://endosulphanvictims.org/index.htm dedicated to the rehabilitation of the victims of this "chemical disaster" it was only second to the Bhopal tragedy with hundreds dying and hundreds suffering from various physical deformities and ailments, particularly children.

India is also strongly opposing a worldwide ban on the dreadful pesticide but at least in Kerala I am happy they have made a good decision.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

And now, a hit for Shreya Goshal in Malayalam too

The second time I watched this lovely video I couldn't forget the tune. Shreya Goshal sings Malayalam like a natural. In fact she must be the first North Indian singer to sing in most of the south Indian languages so easily and fluently. What a voice and what a song.

Mamta looks lovely too and so are her expressions. I always thought she had talent and someone had to bring out the best in her.

And for once a good song in Malayalam is not sung by Shwetha or her mother Sujatha.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Back to the daily grind

After freelancing for almost three and half years I go back to a regular job. It's been a week at the new job and I don't have time on my computer at home except for the weekends. How much can I blog? Let me see. Watch this space. I am sure I'll be writing. How often is the question.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

It's been a while

Yes it has been while since I posted anything on my blog. Meanwhile I have found myself a new job and it will be goodbye from freelancing that I have been doing for almost three and a half years.

However the death of someone so young last week threw us all into depression. Shabarinathan was only 26. Having known him from his birth it was a life too short for Shabari. May his soul rest in peace.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Swarnalatha, a life too short.

I sometimes wonder who will think of me after I die even if I were to live to a 100. Swarnalatha's was a unique voice. I still cannot forget her "Maalayil Yaaro" from the movie Kshathriyan and other innumerable hits she sang in Tamil. The song "Kunnathe Kunnaykum" sung by Chithra for the move Pazhassi Raja recently is very similar to "Maalayil Yaaro" sung by Swarnalatha. The composer of both the songs is Illayaraja.

Swarnalatha's voice will be missed. May her soul rest in peace.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Singers to watch out for this ISS Season 5

No matter how hard I try to avoid Idea Star Singer, Ranjini and all the crap associated with Idea Star Singer, performances such as this one from Mridula draw me to the T.V.

The very pleasing Mridula impressed by opening this season with "Kalyana Sounanthigam". She gave another very impressive performance singing "Konjum Nilavu" too but her song two days ago, the classic "Innenikku Pottu kuthaan" was flawless.

Here it is.


Then there is the more-Tamil-speaking Kalpana from Chennai. One of her performances was worth watching as it resemebled Usha Uthup's style so very closely. And lastly Neethi, who sang with abandon in a recent performance. Somehow I am not able to find their videos though. When they are on YouTube I'll link to them.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

My blog on PC maintenance goes live

Trying to document my own trouble shooting and maintenance procedures with my PC's I thought it would be a nice thing to share that information to my readers.

So if you have a problem that is similar to what I have faced (chances are that you have) you may read the solutions from my posts and help yourselves.

This time I went the WordPress way.

http://thepctickingtimebomb.wordpress.com

The blog is still a baby. More posts, links to appear very soon.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Thinking of Mahabali every Onam

During "Onam" time I have always wondered if the "Vamana Avatar" was really justified? In almost all the other Avatars of Vishnu there was one or more formidable villains or cataclysmic reasons for which the Avatar had to appear. Mahabali was in fact a Vishnu worshipper. Was Vamana eliminated just because he belonged to the Asura clan? Was he eliminated because the Gods were worried if
Bali would become a God due to his charitable and other magnanimous attributes? I am not able to find the single most convincing reason for which he was pushed to "pathala". If he were to be eliminated why be given the choice of returning to the Earth during Onam? A consolation from the Gods for the benevolent and noble person he was? Other than Karna, Mahabali is the other person whom I have always sympathized for their tragic fates.

Happy Onam!

Wishing all you Malayalee readers a very Happy Onam!

Friday, August 20, 2010

When to use 'The' (as in thee) or 'The' (that sounds similar to "duh")

This was one of those unforgettable lessons from JP, my school principal at Vana Vani.

When I went to meet her in November last year when she had come to Chennai for her knee cap surgery operation the didactic nature in her might have triggered to ask my son something. I couldn't believe she would ask him the usage of the article "the".
What surprised me even more was my son coming up with the correct answer. I might have told him but don't know when.

Anyway here is how you use "the" correctly.

The article "the" sounding as in the word "thee" is to be used before words that begin with a vowel i.e a, e, i, o and u. The as it sounds in "duh" is to be used before words that begin with a consonant.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Can you surf the internet without loading the OS on your computer?

Like the Singaporean would ask, "Can?". And like the Singaporean would answer in excitement, "Can Laaaa!".

All you need is the software called Winki. Winki can be run off a disc or from a USB drive after selecting the disc or the USB drive as your first boot device in your BIOS.



The program is offered by MSI when you buy one of their motherboards. Although I didn't give it much thought at the beginning I decided to try it anyway. I didn't realise what a pleasant surprise awaited me.

If your BIOS is set to boot from the optical drive (your CD/DVD drive) on your PC, you can invoke Winki from the CD. No need of running your OS. Cool isn't it? The only gripe was that you need to enter the IP addresses of your Network, Subnet Mast, Gateway and DNS Server each time you do this. However it is possible that using Winki via the USB drive may permit saving these fields so that it is not asked of you each time you use Winki. Also your computer needs to be hooked to the internet either via an external modem or via wi-fi. If you are using a dialer on your computer to connect the computer, obviously Winki is of no use.

The internet was blazingly fast. Besides surfing the net (Winki uses Firefox) you can also view photos on your flash drive (pen drive), use the built in Skype, use one of the many Messengers, edit documents (Word, Excel and Powerpoint) using Open Office, tweak volume, set monitor resolutions, set language etc.,

Once you are done you can simply power off and you don't have to touch the OS of your computer. Neat.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Probably the most unforgettable wedding video ever made

Got it via a link on Facebook. Watched it thrice initially clapping away till the end, smiling from ear to ear and with almost tears in my eyes. I've lost count of how many times I have watched it now, as I have been watching it almost everyday.

Honestly, isn't life just all about having fun!



Several million dollar marriages pale when it comes to the simplicity and creativity of this one. Considering the fact that the players and the camera person had just "one take" this video is nothing short of a masterpiece.

The video has had over 53 million views on YouTube. I dug up some info and the couple and the friends/relatives have a website at http://www.jkweddingdance.com/

As mentioned on the site, though the usage of the song on the video has become an issue, the makers of the song should consider that this video was probably the best treatment ever given to their song.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Black naped Oriole

Among the manylovely birds that visit the farm next door this is one bird I have tried hard to photograph. These are extremely rare to spot but as I am used to most of the sounds of the birds around my home, an unusual sound confirms to me it is a different bird.

I have some crude shots of a better looking Oriole (where the black mask around the eye is stretched farther from the eye all the way back around the head) but this pic of the bird taken by my neighbour and bird lover, Showkath is worth mentioning and displaying here. And yes, I spotted this one too.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

How Govindan Kutty fell into his own mouth-trap

I don't watch the programme "Students Only" on Kairali for several reasons.

1. The host Govindan Kutty "bullshits" a lot. After introducing the cast and crew of a film, 90% of the time he is talking just crap, particularly when tries to talk on behalf of the filmmakers.

2. Some of his questions are so long and confusing that by the time you get the hang of what he is asking you've lost it.

3. His silly jokes to work up the crowd many a time just don't make it.

4. His obnoxious "Bye-Ya" at the end of the program.

In the most recent episode, "Students Only" involved the makers and cast of the Malayalam film "Neelambari". The story is based on the friendship of two girls and what happens to their relationship when a man walks into their lives and when one of the girls falls in love with him. A topic for a film as this naturally was a sensitive issue and particularly when the the venue of the show was St.Teresa's Women's College, Ernakulam.

After the initial formalities and when the discussions get deeper into the story of the movie Govindankutty resorts to some of his usual ways. This is where I started watching after Jaya asked me watch the college where she had done her under graduation, ironically, B.A in Sociology. In a college where courses both under-graduate and post-graduate courses in Sociology (that includes Psychology) are offered and studied, Govindankutty calls up two girls and asks them a couple of silly questions and concludes .."that's girls". I was wondering how they let him get away with that. He then goes on to distinguish girls and men and how girls don't do things that men do and such. Absolute rubbish. This guy is least qualified to handle such a sensitive topic. All he had to do was host the show. He had no idea of what was coming.

As part of the show students are allowed to ask the film makers questions and a couple of them ask. All the time Govindankutty is also offering his opinions in his usual inimitable style.

Then comes his nemesis. First in the form of Sethulakshmi. The girl in her pleasant demeanor was asking questions and during the conversation Govindankutty is hardly able to give a convincing answer. Then as the conversations go on Govindankutty asks her if she is a "feminist" to which Sethulakshmi politely offered her explanation. I could never find a fault with what she was saying. I was wondering on what grounds he had asked her if she was a "feminist". In fact I wonder why he was resorting to all this when it was duty of the cast or crew to answer those questions. Meanwhile the girls were wildly cheering Seethulakshmi. They were having a blast.

Check out the video below.


The second half of the show was aired the following week and Govindankutty was least prepared for what was coming. This time it was another student, Elsa. According to Elsa she was outside the hall when she was told of Govindankutty's activities and it was obvious in her tone that she was not going to take all this lightly.

It must have been a shocker for Govindankutty because she was clearly on the offensive. I just loved her guts. Elsa asks Govindankutty if he is a "chauvinist" or if he had had unpleasant experiences with other women that prompted him to call Sethulakshmi a feminist. It was obvious she didn't like the way he was treating her friends and she even admits that. I found Elsa's arguments convincing. How can a guy decide what a relationship between two girls is by just asking them a couple of questions.



Though Govindankutty tried initially to calm her with his nonsensical talk he lost his cool completely. What follows was Govindankutty's nightmare having gone totally out of control. The girls were not cheering for him like they normally no matter what he tried to convince them. He even tried winning their favour by asking them if he was right and for which collectively they shouted "No". Instead they were cheering Elsa. His poor English made it worse for him. In fact it was pathetic. The fellow couldn't understand the phrase "Familiarity breeds contempt" and Elsa had to repeat it at least thrice. Even after that when he couldn't understand, she had to explain what it meant in Malayalam. The guy was going bonkers. And when things were going horribly wrong Kairali T.V channel muted several minutes of the performance of our host who by time had gone berserk. I wonder what he was saying in those muted moments.

He then calls Elsa "chechi". I thought he was trying in vain to bring her down and he probably thought this would do it. For me this was limit. Elsa and the girls of the college should have "booed" him and walked out. Just a short while earlier he had confessed his respect and admiration for women and now this? I wish Elsa had demanded an explanation why he called her that.

He then tries his stunt that he did a little earlier, questioning two girls. He calls Elsa's friend and tells the friend to mention her favourite colour discretely to one of the crew on stage. He asks Elsa to do the same to another crew member on stage. He then asks Elsa the colour to test if she knew what her close friend's favourite colour was and vice-versa. Can you imagine! Trying to establish the strength of a girl's friendship by finding out if she knew the favourite colour of her friend. Total kitsch! Elsa's counter reactions and arguments to these actions were also justifiable.

Elsa was truly the star of the show. In the background I could see Sethulakshmi and her friends cheering Elsa and enjoying the spectacle. I am sure the girls who attended the show that day had a memorable day to remember.

Towards the end of the video check out our host cleaning his nose. Doesn't he know he's on T.V?



One final thing. This guy is going to think twice before considering stepping inside St.Teresa's again. He probably never will.

Kudos to Elsa and Sethulakshmi.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Disco Lives

Lonely Planet, the international bestselling guide for the globetrotter mentions in its classic SouthEast Asia on a Shoestring that in some pubs in countries (I am not sure if it was Cambodia or Vietnam) they still play "Boney M" (remember that band?). But looking at a recent video as this one, from Brazil I am not surprised. The singer of the band (I think from Brazil) in the video actually does a wonderful impersonation of Cynthia Johnson of Lipps Inc.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

If nothing works for your muscular pain, try this


GAULTHERIA. Yes, you read right. Sounds like a rock band's name but that is what I picked up at one of those peaks at Coonoor in 2006 after falling for the salesman's pitch. Luckily it didn't turn out to be one of those items that quacks sell you. It has truly lived to what it is supposed to do, relieve muscular pain. If Iodex, Moov, Volini or any of those over-the-counter things don't work for your muscular pain then it is time to give "Gaultheria" a try.

Basically "Gaultheria" is winter green oil. It is dark purple in colour. As per directions mixing two teaspoons with 100 grams of warm coconut oil or gingely oil (seasame oil) makes a preperation that you can use to massage the muscle in pain. For the incessant pain in my calf muscle caused by stressing them nothing provides relief as "Gaultheria" does. If I were to apply "Gaultheria" before going to bed, the pain is gone when I wake up in the morning. Many a time I have used small portions directly without mixing with oil. In seconds your skin will feel a burning sensation which can be severe on soft and tender skin. Probably that is the reason why it is to be mixed with oil.

Caution - Please follow directions. Do not use it on tender and soft skin areas. Never use it in its concentrated form particularly on small children's skin and on areas such as the chest.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Ci Ci's Pizza, Eat all the pizza you can



My friend Shaji Samuel used to tell me that it is actually interesting to sample pizza's from various pizzeria's across cities in the U.S as each pizzeria offers a distinct unique flavour and taste to their pizza. Being pizza lovers and now that it is great fun to watch the FIFA soccer with pizza dinners I couldn't help thinking and writing about a unique pizzeria in the U.S.

When I tell Chaithanya about CiCi's pizza, I discovered at Athens, GA, the very place where he was born, his mouth opens wide. Why? Because I tell him that he could can eat as much Pizza and desserts as he could for just 5 odd dollars. Yes, you read it right. Just 5 odd dollars for the buffet and you can eat all that your stomach can take. You could choose from a variety of pizzas (non-vegetarian and vegetarian) and a variety of desserts all made piping hot. If I am right in the early part of the millennium it used to cost $6.95. The menus have improved and so has the quality. New items I am seeing now are the salads and the pastas. I am not sure if they were in the menus before but I used to go only for the pizzas, not even the desserts.The buffet is free for children aged 3 and below.

As for the taste CiCi's don't rank No.1 in my list but they are good. CiCi's have been highly rated as far as nutrition and health go. You could check their website www.cicispizza.com for details.

I should also thank Professor Sridhar Sangadala (besides working as a Professor at Universtity of Georgia, Athens) he also used to have an Indian Grocery store on Prince Avenue) who pushed the "picky" foodie in me to try out CiCi's. Many a Saturday dinner was spent at CiCi's with him.

Let me see if I can fulfill Chaithu's wish of taking him there at least once or will CiCi's come to India?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Andhi Kadai, my friend Sathya's entrepreneural venture

How I love it when I hear one more person eking out a livelihood living on his own terms. When Sathya called me on Sunday evening to tell the good news I was actually dining in Hotel Saravana Bhavan with my sister.

Sathya's new evening light-tiffin centre is aptly called "Andhikadai" and is located at the Nilgiri's, very close to the Anjaneyar temple in Nanganallur, Chennai.

The menu at Andhikadai's website is surely tempting. Andhikadai takes party orders too. For more details visit www.andhikadai.com

Will check it out if I am in Andhikadai's neighbourhood.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

More of Alka Ajith

Five days and counting. I still haven't got tired of watching her videos or listening to her songs. Here are some of the best videos.

Alka performing before S Janaki and the legend mentioning that Alka sang the song it better than she did. Incredible! She even mentions that Alka's voice is mature enough for singing for heroines in films.



"Mannippaaya", the song from "Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya" gets a standing ovation from the judges.


"Sahana", sung in an acoustic setting is unbelievable. Her breath control is amazing.


Duet's "Anjali" - Another fantastic performance with an incredible breath controlled "alaap" in middle of the song.


And finally the video of her selection as a contestant in the competition and another spot selection later in the competition. The typical malayalee girl with flowing long hair and looks. Singer Shalini mentioned then that she would be in the finals and so it was.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Is this the most obnoxious Malayalam pop video ever made?

Thanks to Joby Staneslavose, tour manager of the rock band "Evergreen" who made a post of this video on Facebook so that I am able to mention it here.

I cannot imagine a video as this being made or should I give credit to the maker if his intention was to make the most obnoxious Malayalam pop video, ever!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

DELL after sales service is tops

I learn that HP is the largest selling Desktop computer in India and the world. My sister owns one and I know the pro's (less) and cons (more) of owning that PC. But here I take the opportunity to once again tell you how wonderful DELL's after sales service is. I have made one post previously on a Dimension XPS T450 I owned for a decade without any problems before donating it. You may read it here if you wish to. Although I always dream of building my next computer myself I cannot help mentioning DELL's superior service.

Way back in 2000 when the warranty period for my first DELL, the XPS T450 was just two days from expiring there was a big thunder shower in Athens, Georgia where I used to live. I was surfing the internet using a dial-up connection. The incessant rain was accompanied by constant thunder and lightning. All of a sudden there was a big flash of lightning and soon after by a big noise of thunder. The flash was so bright that I ran to my balcony to see if it had damaged anything outdoors. Power snapped instantly and it was restored to our area only after a day, a rare thing in all my yrs of stay in the U.S.A. When I switched my computer on I realized that the modem was dead. I call DELL, give them details of what happened and a technician appears the very same day, one day before expiry of the desktop's warranty and replaces the modem. Amazing! I used the PC for a decade.

I own a Vostro now and while purchasing it I was offered a 6GB memory card or a 2 yrs extended warranty option. I chose the latter. Just two months shy of expiring the warranty helped me replace the keyboard, the front bezel and the component that performs the power-on switching. Earlier I didn't wait to get the mouse replaced and purchased one myself. I was told by the DELL technician that DELL would have happily replaced the mouse. DELL even agreed to replace my motherboard when the display was giving problems. However, like I did with my earlier DELL I purchased video cards and fixed the problem myself.

Also note that without the warranty, umbrella DELL's services and spare parts can be pretty expensive.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Alka, you blew my mind!..Roopa, the world, are you watching?

Would you believe if I told you that Roopa, my favorite singing star on T.V from the Singing contests from the South has been upstaged by someone almost half her age? Read on.

You can't keep track of every singer, every programme, every T.V show. Can you? For months I have hardly watched Asianet's Idea Star Singer because of the nauseatingly and IQ-reducing things they have been doing on the show. One more look at the host, Ranjini and her histrionics and I feel I am losing my mind. I also don't particularly watch singing-competition-shows of children. This is because their voices are definitely going to change over time, particularly the voices of the boys. But I was in for a rude shock when Chaithu and Jaya kept lauding a singer called Alka Ajith who had won the recently concluded Airtel Super Singer Junior 2, a Tamil singing contest. Honestly I have never watched the Airtel shows for the seniors too.

I dig Alka's videos on YouTube and I was in for a bigger surprise, more than when I did the same for Roopa's. This kid is not even half of Roopa's age and she sings like a God. Video after video I am blown away. I must say that after Roopa (a senior) who won Super Star Global 2 on the Malayalam channel Amritha I have never been floored by someone as this. Literally flawless she obliterates the competition even if seniors were to be competing. For the grand finale Alka belts out S.Janaki's "Singara Velane" with total ease and it sounds as sweet as or even sweeter than the original. The audience filled with prominent singers of our times are awestruck and give her a standing ovation. The expressions on the faces of the veteran singners are unbelievable. Just take a look at Srinivas's expressions in the video below.



I dig more info on Alka and learn that she can sing in a dozen languages. There are videos of her singing in French and Urdu and I cannot believe her diction who has learnt these songs only by ear. Alka who hails from Kerala has been singing from a very tender age and is tutored by her father who is a professional keyboardist. She has performed in over 500 concerts already. Here's another video of Alka singing an Urdu ghazal after singing a small song in French.



Any one of you who has listened closely to "Kannalane" sung by Chithra from the movie "Bombay" will realise that some studio work has been employed in the song, particularly when skipping back to the Pallavi portion from the Charanam. Chithra herself admitted to the fact that there are portions where you will lose your breadth. But Alka sings it perfectly with incredible breath control. Chithra, judge on the show during the performance was flabbergasted. Check the video below.



She does an excellent job singing "Minsaara Kanna" before the original singer, Nithyasree but here's another video of Alka singing the evergreen "Senthoora Poove". Alka lends a sweetness of her own to this beautiful song.



I pray that God bless this child prodigy with a bright future. She must head straight for the studios instead of considering more competitions particularly Idea Star Singer where I am sure they'll love to have her.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A good explanation of an impossible soccer goal

I have watched Van Basten, the Dutch star-footballer scoring a near-zero angle soccer goal by bending the ball. But here's a nice explanation of one of Roberto Carlos's goals.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Avial's Nada Nada, new version

With their original line-up here's a new YouTube video of "Nada Nada" I found
recently reported on Yahoo.



Band mates look much younger.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Socrates and one of the best world cup soccer quater-finals

Mexico, 1986 is in my memory one of the best world cups ever. I started writing this post when "The Hindu" recently published a list of football greats including the Brazilian, Socrates. While I respect Brazil for their football I couldn't forget Socrates that year because of the undue adulation he was receiving. On the contrary I despised the player so much for his penalty scoring style. Before striking the ball Socrates would charge at the ball and pretend that he was going to kick the ball. By then, in a split second the goalkeeper would make a judgement and dive towards the side of the goal where he would assume the ball would be struck. In the meantime Socrates who charged at the ball, wouldn't actually hit the ball with his foot. Just after the goalkeeper would make his diving mistake Socrates would gently kick the ball on the opposite side where the goalkeeper had dived. Check out the video below from 1986 though it doesn't resemble the description I just gave, 100%.



At least in the video above Socrates fakes the action cleverly. In most cases he would raise his leg after reaching the ball very close, literally coming to a standstill. During the 1986 World Cup there were many who argued that Socrates should have been penalized for his penalty taking style.

But his tactic would soon find his nemesis in Joel Bats, the French goalkeeper. His trick failed him when Brazil needed it most. It was also one of the most exciting matches of the 1986 World Cup. During the quaterfinal clash with France the match had to go into extra time and later into the penalty shootout. Socrates was the first to take the penalty for Brazil and when he tried his familiar trick, French goalkeeper Joel Bats (who would later become the star of the match for the many saves he made) just stayed put. By then Socrates had lost all speed and momentum in his kick and when he kicked the ball it was easy for Joe Valt to position himself and make the save.



The match itself was one of the most memorable quarter-finals in World Cup history. France was facing three-time world champion, Brazil. Brazil were well on top in the early stages when Careca put them one up after 18 minutes. But then, five minutes before half-time, France drew level when the legendary Michel Platini scored. Brazil had a great chance to regain the lead in the second half when Branco was fouled by French keeper Joël Bats in the penalty area. The fouled player does such a poor play-acting that he is confused where to pretend his pain is. He tries to hold his knee, then moves on to his shin and then finally pretends his ankle is in pain. A few seconds later you can watch him and his team mates rejoicing when the penalty is awarded to them. Zico got up to take the kick, but Bats made up for his foul by saving Zico's penalty, his first of the many saves he would make during that match.

The match went to extra time, and France had the better of the extra half-hour. Joel also made a great save during extra time and France was not allowed a penalty after one of their players was brought down by the Brazilian goalkeeper. The next six penalties were all converted, and then Platini fired over the bar, a blunder considering how many goals he had scored off free-kicks. Brazil were back on level terms but unfortunately Julio Cesar struck the post with his penalty, and Luis Fernández then scored to put France through 4–3 on penalties.

Socrates never stepped into the world cup arena after 1986.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

So You Think You Can Dance Season 5 - my choice of winners

We all know that Jeanine won Season 5. Imagine, Season 6 is also complete and we in India are still are watching something that was over last August, 2009. Anyway, it is better watching something than not getting anything at all. The final is going to be aired coming Tuesday.

At the judges commented it is really sad that in the end talent has to be decided on the number of votes.

As for my choices for winners I have two dancers who I think deserved to win more than Jeanine (Winner) or Brandon (Runner-up) though both Jeanine and Brandon are good dancers.

I have two winners, one from the Girls and the other from the Boys. My choice for the girls is the stunning Kayla Radomski and for the boys - Ade Obayomi. Even Mellisa and Janette who were eliminated earlier were very good dancers.

Apart from being such a stunner Kayla's dancing is beautiful to watch. I will not be surprised if movie and other dance offers are coming her way already. Melissa was graceful too with her Ballerina experience behind her. The ever smiling and sportive Janette was very good too.

As for Ade I thought he was more professional, composed and graceful than Brandon and like Kayla, Ade's dancing is nice to watch. Brandon gives me the impression of a power-horse gymnast and not a beautiful dancer. And can Evan do anything other than his broadway routine in his solos. Choreographer Mia was going overboard supporting him and chiding Ade.

Good luck to Kayla and Ade.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Evergreen's latest single



When Evergreen contacted me about reviewing their latest single I had to wait for the weekend as I was busy doing a number of things.

I thank Evergreen for sending me their song, "Sublime Chilled out version" and asking me to review it. The song is done a lot more professionally and is also better than their previous version. The music is top-notch.

You may check out the single by listening to it here or by downloading it for free from the link below.

http://www.gimmesound.com/Evergreen

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Isn't she beautiful? Neha Hinge, Miss India, 2010

Sometimes when I come across news on the internet about a beauty pageant I play a small game. I go through the final list of contestants and try and see if I can guess the winner. On several occasions I have been right, like this time for the Miss India, 2010 contest. Neha Hinge was my only choice and she did win the crown.

Congratulations Neha! I hope you are selected a winner on the International event as well. You are worth it.



All of a sudden, my blog looks so beautiful with her picture here.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Roopa is married.

Had been to her wedding reception yesterday in Chennai. We were meeting for the first time though we had only spoken on the phone since her Super Star Global win. I went to the function early and also left somewhat early. Kuldeep, her husband, was so young, fun and lively. Also had the opportunity of meeting Unni Menon. He did recall our meeting in the train so many years ago.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Why Cricket can be converted to Baseball and soccer ditched for American Football

Two of the hottest sporting events currently underway are the English Premier League and the IPL.

Have you watched soccer matches lately? Despite the exciting moments in these matches what the players are constantly doing throughout are - kicking and tripping their opponents resulting in innumerable injuries, pulling at each others clothes, play acting and using hands to handle the ball many a time deceitfully. Trying to steal the ball from an opponent or stop him resembles a fight and very rarely enjoyable game play. Is there a match without fouls, injuries (some pretty serious), yellow and red card dismissals? No, there can never be. However in American Football all these are permitted and stopping an opponent physically, bringing him down, clashing, pushing, shoving are all acceptable. Players wear protective gear and are less prone to injuries. Players can also handle the ball by hand. When you watch these soccer guys actually fight for the ball you think they would be better off playing American football instead.

Furthermore Americans cannot stand putting up with low scoring games. We know of soccer "final" matches that were goalless even after extra time i.e after two hours of play. Finally deciding the games on penalty goals or sudden death (after the penalty goals cannot decide a match) is even more ridiculous. Americans would never entertain such a thing in their games.

And talking of Cricket I have two amusing incidents to write before I go on to explain why cricket is gradually going to become baseball someday.

In the first incident my boss at my first project in the U.S.A had gone to the U.K for an assignment where he had the misfortune of watching a cricket match on T.V. From his description it looked as though he had watched a Test match. He was telling me how irritating it was to watch a guy who kept hurling ball after ball for hours to a guy with the bat and the guy with the bat did nothing to hit the ball. Once in some 10 such throws the batsman would play it defensively. It was so boring he switched to another channel. In another incident some Indian developers who were working on an earlier project were asked to play baseball at a company event. To the amusement of the spectators the Indian players were running with the bat in their hands, after hitting the ball.

Considering the latest format of cricket, the T20, which is also its most enjoyable format in competitive cricket it is already beginning to look a lot like baseball.

First of all the game has turned into a hitter's game. People want to see runs and lots of them. Gone is the grace of the laid back stroke-filled play of the test matches that would go on for days. T20 all of a sudden even made the one-day 50-overs matches (ODI) look very long. Hitting is what they do in Baseball. No defensive play.

Even the current format of the T20 game can be improved further. Here are my recommendations, which will also propel the game further towards baseball.

1. Give each batsmen one more chance if he is out for a duck or before making 25 runs. How many experienced batsmen have been sent to the dressing room after facing just one ball. Certainly these guys need a second chance. I am not familiar with all the rules of Baseball but a hitter is given at least 3 opportunities before he is called "out".

2. Let fielders, at least those who are closer to the batsmen use gloves and other protective gear. Most of us who have played the game know that the cricket ball can be a lethal projectile. Cricketers have died after being hit by the ball, notable among them, Raman Lamba who at one time played for the national team. On second thought, if a batsman were to die from a ball that struck his head isn't the bowler culpable of murder?

For most of us who have played cricket we all know at least one person who has been hurt by the cricket ball. Teeth have been knocked off, people have been hit on the head, face and other parts of their bodies and the victims also include people who were neither spectators nor players. The list of broken window panes, damaged windshields and glass cases of automobiles and other household itmes is almost endless. We all know that the cricket ball is a pretty hard object. A new ball can travel extremely fast is both difficult and dangerous to catch or field. It is here gloves can make a huge difference. As in Baseball, with a single glove even a catch at forward shortleg can be caught easily.

To retain the gleam and shine of the ball all sorts of nauseating and disgusting things are done using sweat, saliva and what not to polish it. I am not getting into the world of ball tampering but players were fined or banned for indulging in it. Nothing of this kind exists in baseball.

Considering how bowlers like Malinga are bowling (there were several other bowlers who were actually throwing the ball) it looks as though in the future more bowlers will adopt this style (again like the throws in Baseball) instead of using the conventional over-the-shoulder bowling style. The over-the-shoulder bowling style is also the No.1 cause of shoulder injury among fast bowlers.

And finally the cheering (prompted via the public address system) and the cheerleaders already resemble American games.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sreesanth, IPL and the swearing/spitting

Unless you turn a blind eye anyone could guess what the "F**" and "Be**" words are, being sworn by the players. And there's the incessant spitting by the players. Basketball is more tiring yet you never see anyone spit on the floor of the court. I guess you will be asked to go to the bench if you did. Unlike man's synthetic court in basketball, in cricket Mother Earth bears the brunt of the spitting players.

Meanwhile I really don't know why and what for Sreesanth seems to be so pissed off with almost every batsman he is bowling to. Staring angrily, facing the batsman in an intimidating stance with the ball in his hand (though trying to get the batsman run-out is the reason but it looks like he will hurl the ball on the batsmen instead) and muttering things as he goes about his bowling. In yesterday's match he was even found arguing with the batsmen. All this is not going to go well in his favour. He's already had a history of such tantrums sometimes going to the extreme (with Symmonds) and in some cases backfiring at him when he was slapped by Harbajan Singh last year. What a joy it was to watch him being thrashed the other day. 24 runs came off in just one over.

I actually like the fellow's efficient bowling style but instead of concentrating on his bowling that could make him a better bowler, Sreesanth's unnecessary and unwarranted aggression and superstitions (just check his mannerisms before each ball he bowls and check out all that luck talisman threads around his wrists and neck) is only going to ruin an otherwise promising career. Does the "santh" (meaning peace) in his name has any bearing?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tailorbird abandons nest and eggs

I waited a second night to see if it had really abandoned the nest and it sure has. It was exactly a month ago when I spotted the first egg. The eggs take only 14 days to hatch and another 14 days to the young ones to leave the nest. It has been a month now and the three eggs haven't hatched. I understand from reading on the Internet that either the eggs weren't fertilized or they might have been gone spoilt with a bacterial infection. I tried candling them and there seems to be no visible sign of any life inside. Meanwhile, the nest is just precariously hanging on to the few leaves that support it.

Here's a shot of the bird with its eggs I took one night. The eyes are a flaming orange under the flash light of the camera but it is actually more red.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Are we a bunch of beggars?

We aren't but I wonder how these ads are making us look in the eyes of the world.

Just a few of the nauseatingly sick ads that are currently being run on TV channels in India.



Thursday, March 11, 2010

Stitching the Tailor bird's nest

Oh yes, I did and I continue to do every time one more leaf becomes dry and detaches itself from the branch supporting the nest. As of now all the original leaves that were used to build the nest have turned completely brown and have broken off from the main branch.

The nest is being supported by the adjacent leaves I have used to stitch the nest to. Contrary to popular belief touching the nest doesn't make the mother leave the nest. Actually it seems to know me and even when I approach does not fly away unless I am real close to the nest.



You can actually see the brown thread I have used to stitch the leaves at the bottom right of the image.

Here is an old nest whose leaves have turned completely brown. I wonder if this nest raised a family. For Chaithu it was a nice item for his "show-and-tell" at school.


One more thing. All this time I had been mistaking the Common Tailorbird to be the Prinia. My sister-in-law was right. It is the common tailor bird and not the Prinia. I read on Wikipedia that it takes only 14 days to hatch the eggs but this one has been sitting on the eggs for almost 21 days.

Meanwhile a sunbird also tried to build a nest in my garden. The Sunbird, a relative of the bee-humming bird, makes loud noises at it constructs its nest. The nest is more sophisticated with a hood unlike the tailor bird's nest and it doesn't stitch any leaves but instead uses branches and twigs to suspend it's nest. But even before complete construction, the nest was ransacked, probably by some predator. The nest was poorly concealed.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A video of a wild cat every poacher must see

I first saw this incredible video on a link in Facebook. I am amazed at how a predator's natural instinct can undergo such a dramatic change towards its kill. With all the n'th senses man is claiming to possess how can poachers justify their merciless killing of these big cats. Even these big cats seem to possess a heart.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Only 1411 tigers left in India?

China has just passed laws related to the slaying of Tigers raising questions on how that is going to impact the life of tigers in India.

The advertisement on various channels on Indian Telivision urges viewers to spread the news via blog and other mediums so here I am with my bit. But the question I want to ask is, "Will this new 'Save the Tiger project' be another fiasco?" Who can forget the disasterous first. Called "Project Tiger" in the 80's it was implemented at a time when our tiger population was even bigger. It stands decimated now.

I remember it was the 80's then and India was enjoying the early colour televisions. I will never forget Naseeruddin Shah in his baritone voice saying "Bhaag Bhaag" a zillion times on that show every Sunday to emphasize how important it is for us Indians to save the tiger. The show seemed to say that saving the Tiger would even prevent India going into economic crisis as protecting Tigers would make us protect trees and forests and by protecting trees we prevent deforestation and one thing leading to another and finally India's economy. But the horrendous thing was that when Project Tiger was on the maximum number of Tigers were being killed. It was a disaster of a project and much time had been wasted before the people behind "Project Tiger" accepted that major flaws did occur. I must also mention it was the initiative of a few dedicated and fearless Indian reporters, wildlife lovers including one intrepid lady from outside India who exposed extensive poaching under the callousness of our authorities and that the project was majorly flawed. Right under the noses of those who were supposed to be safeguarding the tigers, hundreds and thousands were being killed. Entire populations vanished. Wish to know where to? The poachers were incidentally selling Tiger parts to our friendly, peaceful, Buddhist neighbour, Tibet. A huge chunk of the animal parts also went to China where there is a huge demand for the big cat's parts used in oriental medicine that they claim is the panacea for all human health problems.

Actual footage of a function in Tibet where hundreds of revellers are shown marching and celebrating wearing Tiger skin. The footage (now available on several YouTube and Internet videos) was secretly taped and this was shown in a recent documentary on a channel on T.V.

The videos below will show you portions of the festival in Tibet, oh yes, the violence-abhoring, Dalai Lama land, where men and women are seen in tiger skin draped around them.



In the following video check out how tiger skin is stacked like carpets in a shop. Many skins are also woven to make big carpets. The notorious Tibetian celebrations are included in this one too.



Going back to China, the irony is that The Chinese have 6000 tigers in captivity though some of their tiger species have become extinct too. Maybe India should start a breeding-in-captivity program or consider having one seriously. The Chinese have also succesfully engaged in a breeding-in-captivity program for the Panda which is almost in the brink of extinction. At the rate the tiger population is being decimated in India one might find a tiger only in captivity, not many years from now.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Roopa is getting married

Remember Roopa K R, Amritha TV channel's Global Superstar of the year 2008? It was a pleasant call from her yesterday when she called to invite me to her wedding on April the 18'th at Ernakulam. There will be a reception in Chennai on the 28'th. Roopa is engaged to Kuldeep Pai, a musician/singer/composer and after the marrieage is going to be settling down in Chennai!

Meanwhile Nithin Raj of Idea Star Singer fame in 2007 was in the neighbourhood and even paid us a visit. Nithin has been singing for movies and is invovled with God only knows how many projects, his latest being for the new Malayalam film, Drona.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Meeting a Legend

Thanks to my neighbour Jayashree, on Valentine's day I was lucky to get a free ticket to watch the legend S P Balasubramanyam live at a concert in Kamarajar Arangam. I last watched him at the O.A.T at I.I.T, Madras, in the early 90's in an unforgettable Gangai Amaran concert. After all these years SPB sounds as young as ever. The audio at the venue was bad but SPB's voice and singing, his on-stage humour, extreme modesty and the way he was managing things on stage including the musicianas and goof-ups by his co-singers were beyond belief. The concert was almost three hours long though I didn't stay to watch the final three songs.

But I had another big reason to go to the concert when I was told I could meet him personally. Midway between the concert I had the privilege to meet and take a couple of pictures with the legend. It was not a regular big break. Instead SPB was meeting the long line of folks like a Godman giving Darshan, while taking breaks from his singing, backstage. I was sad I missed taking his autograph.



From the directions of the faces in the picture you can guess how many cameras were being clicked at any instant.

In this next picture (taken using my camera) I am hidden but it feels good to watch SPB looking at me in the eye and saying something (don't ask what he was saying).



With over 36,000 songs sung in various Indian languages, to me SPB will always be the greatest male voice from India, in film music. He has ABSOLUTELY no equal, not even someone close.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Suresh Gopi can also sing

Who would have guessed this one? Suresh Gopi, known for his action movies and a huge patron of the singing contests on Malayalam Television channels singing a song during the finale of the Much Star Singer. It was a lovely sweet song, thanks to Sharath the composer. I only wish it had more bass to the vocals. It was sung well and the vocals reminded me a lot of Illayaraja's singing.

His wife seated next to actress Bhavana is all but admiration for her husband. What a delight to watch his daughter too.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Avial playing today at MCC, Chennai.

Hello Avail fans in and around Chennai. Catch the band at Madras Christian College today. Tickets are priced at Rs.100. If only their lead singer was with them. Miss their original bassist too.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Who can forget Cochin Haneefa

Cochin Haneefa passed away on Feb 2, just a few days ago. Starting with petty roles in films that hardly saw the light of day he made his mark in Sibi Malayil's Kireedom, which was his turning point in his career. Though initially he played the bad guy it is his comedy and character roles that both Malayalees and Tamilian's will remember. Many may not know is that he directed movies too including one of Mammooty's most memorable films, "Valtsalyam", the screenplay for which was done by Lohithdas who also passed away recently. Haneefa will be dearly missed. May his soul rest in peace.

Monday, January 25, 2010

An evening to rememeber for a lifetime



Red Oak, The Checkers hotel and 24, January, 2010 are going to be etched in the memory of everyone who attended the 1985 VanaVani batch re-union. The previous night I so exicited I couldn't go to bed till 1.00 A.M in the morning. From a class of 120 we were still able to manage 30 attendees, and many of them, who left school in the X standard or earlier. I am still reeling from the event that took place last night and I am not sure when I'll be out of this hangover. Who cared for the Shankar Ehsaan Loy concert at Saarang. We were talking so much that it was only when I went home I realised I had taken just 10 pics and one video. I even missed out covering everyone adequately. It was incredible to imagine how time had brought changes in us in 25 years. One person in particular was unrecognizable. The evening went so quick I thought we didn't have time to finish talking and sharing experiences. I did go there prepared to jazz up things and I could have, given some more time. There were identification games and people recalling past events which honestly need probably a day or more to complete. In the little time we had we even planned a strategy to make contributions to teachers and staff of our school, some of them who needed immediate help. The event concluded with dinner and drinks. Whether we will be able to meet again, stick to our plans and fulfil our goals, only time will tell, though this time the group looks more committed. However it shouldn't take another 25 years for that to happen. Some of our classmates and our teachers are already gone. We could have certainly helped them in some way or the other had we met earlier.

The pics can be viewed at the following link on Facebook

Re-union pics

Below is a small video I made. Should have taken more videos but I was so occupied with several other activities that I couldn't keep my camera busy.



VanaVani friends, how many could you identify in the pic or the video?

Honestly I wish everyone, all over the world could have a day as this with their old school classmates.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lorry

Lorry, one of the words American's find highly amusing when we use them in their country while referring to a truck.

Here are a couple of lorries I caught on my camera recently.

The first a lorry overturned on its side pictured from inside the car we were travelling on our previous trip to Kerala.



The second an overloaded lorry carrying granite and Kadappa slabs with its rear sunk into the watery soft mud from the recent rains, in Thoraipakkam.



Sadly all the supersitious and religious things on the truck didn't ward of the bad luck. Also noticed the name "Chaithanya", same as my son's name on one of the windshields only after publishing the photograph.

Same lorry, more pics.






Other words Americans find amusing in our English are "Lift" for elevator, "Ladies Finger" for the vegetable Okra, "Petrol" for Gas, to name a few.
However the most amusing of them all seemed to be "Torch" for Flashlight. And in Singapore they'll never understand if you say "AC" for Air conditioning. Use the word "Aircon" or better still say, "Aircon La".

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A rare day on ISS Season 4

With the pretty Parvathy as the guest, all the four performances on Monday's night of Idea Star Singer Season 4 were stellar. In the final performance of the day when Vidyashankar sang "Ilamai Itho Itho" he requested Sreenath and Danny to join in. I request you to take a look at this video to watch Danny dance. Dance was dressed in a Dhothi and the moves he made got everyone rolling with laughing. I wonder what was on his mind when he made those outrageous moves. What a sport! Check the video to watch him in action. The video is not complete but Danny's part is there.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya disappoints, Goa has noticeable songs

For Goutham Menon this is the first movie where he has dropped Harris Jeyaraj for A R Rahman but the songs are far from impressive. Of all the songs the title song sung by Karthik stands out. However take a listen to the French band, Air and the singer Nick Drake and the title song seems heavily influenced by the music of these artistes.

Check songs of Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya here.

Meanwhile Yuvan Shankar Raja scores some decent ones for the movie Goa. Check out "Idhu Varai" and "Valibaa Vaa Vaa", the former sung by Andrea and Ajeesh and the latter by Illayaraja, SPB and Chithra.
Check out the part when Chitra joins in.

Just do it from Chance Pe Dance. What a song/video!

I watched a bit of this video on MTV and I couldn't wait to watch it on YouTube. I only wished they could have made a good longer number out of it.



Watched it a zillion times already. Shahid was good too. One dance move resembled something that Hrithik Roshan did earlier. The Harmonium sounds were the icing on the cake.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mathilugal, What the......

Ok, this post is not for kids or for those who think you aren't adult enough for a mature post.

I haven't seen this Mammooty starrer where he won a National award for best Actor but I was surprised for what I saw last Sunday. While channel skipping I caught the movie being telecast on the Doordharshan's Malayalam channel. However after just a few scenes and shots and I was running for the change channel button on my TV's remote.

I already knew the story line of the movie, about a prison inmate, played by Mammooty falling for another prison inmate, a lady who is imprisoned on the other side of the tall wall separating the men and women prison areas. In the small scene that I saw Mammooty throws a food packet to this lady on the other side. As the food packed falls on the other side the translated conversation goes something like this.

Lady on the other side says "Ouch, your food packet hit my breast".

The conversation continues for a while and then Mammootys says "When I meet you I am going to kiss your face, neck and breasts."

My son had already started asking "What is mona amma, what is mona Acha"? He had incidentally got the Malayalam word wrong while I tried to divert his attention by changing the channel. I guess he'll read this post someday but then I am sure he will be mature enough.

So much for "Mathilugal" which I am told later, is abundantly loaded with similar dialogues. A pity that such obscene things are disguised in the form of an "Art film" and being shown to the public. Wonder what the guys at censor boards do. I guess they are fooled too.

I may have a different opinion if I were to watch the movie in its entirety and more privately. But as of now I have lost that interest.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Two creative YouTube videos

Creatively done by YouTube users, the first one is done using clips from the classic 2001 A space Odyssey tuned to Kraftwerk's "Spacelab".


The second one taken from several U2 videos edited to the tune of U2's "Acrobat"

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Rare pics of Osibisa, when they toured Chennai previously

My friend Sudhaman had these pics taken at actor Rajinikanth's house along with Osibisa and their entourage when the band was here in the early 80's.



Rajinikanth himself can be seen in one of the pics, the one on the bottom left. He is towards the right end of the snap standing between Teddy Osei (partly hidden, extreme right) and Sol Amarfio.

Monday, January 04, 2010

The most downloaded song by a female artiste in the US



OvuaOvuaOw! Certainly catchy, danceable, very electronic and not without the "Oomph". Sometimes giving you that "old wine in a new bottle" feeling too. You wonder what ingredients go into making a hit these days as most of the vocals sound so modulated.

A performance that deserved more praise

First for choosing such a nice song and second for singing most of the parts perfectlly, particularly the Pallavi. Shika certainly deserved more praise. Instead the judges were wasting time on her partner, ex-ISS 2007 singer, Roshan and the dancers. Undue importance and praise is being to given to ex-ISS singers even if they perform badly.



Be patient for first few minutes of the intro.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

AVATAR

I remember while writing a review of Peter Jackson's King Kong I discussed if there would a movie that would beat the CG FX of that movie. Truth is that there will always be a movie with better special effects and it only gets better. However there will be movies that are FX landmarks and James Cameron's AVATAR is one. Watching this surreal and amazingly beautiful movie I am amazed at the technology that has gone into the making of AVATAR. At the end of the movie it is difficult to believe you are actually in love with the animated characters. No single frame was boring or imperfect and the two hours plus did not seem lengthy at all. Frame after Framer you are simply blown away with the amazing graphics from the biggest to the tiniest of animations.

Besides the Sanskrit name Avatar, meaning re-incarnation, I found several similarities to Hindu Mythology and religion in the story. The relation to nature (the trees, animals) like the animals of the "Threta Yuga" in Hinduism where animals and trees talked, blue colour of the natives like the colour of the blue god "Krishna", their height like the denizens of the world during the time of the Mahabharatha - (10 - 15 ft) and finally natives feeling at one with the nature (animals, trees, the air etc) which is very similar to the concept of the one Brahman existing and living in all in Hinduism.

The movie is currently running in 3D Imax in some cinemas in the country. I wonder how that experience is going to be. Could be frighteningly beautiful because even a slow documentary on the IMAX I watched several years ago was frightening.

When it comes out the BlueRay disc is worth every penny and if your hardware can support 3D there's nothing more you can ask for.

P.S - One corny thing about the movie, the name given to the rare metal that the humans are mining on Pandora, "Unobtanium". Why this blot on a perfectly clean film? When James Cameroon could come up with a new language for the natives why not a better word for the metal they are mining.