Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Last Weekend...Elliots Beach

How to spend a week-end at Chennai, when all your friends have left the city and you’re alone. Yes, I experienced this weekend.

Saturday, I woke-up early in the morning. One of my friends called me on my phone and said ”Good afternoon”.
Oops!!! It’s 11.45AM ;-D

Most of my friends had left to their home town this weekend and I was alone at Chennai. I seriously started thinking How I’m going to spend these 2 days ( sorry 1 ½ days :-D)…

Any movie ? Some Shopping ? Shall I cook my dinner tonight? Shall I get some cook book and try some new recipe ? Or else the same routine…Go to office/Wash Clothes / Watch TV ?...... At the end I came to a conclusion….What else can come out? As usual my favorite hang-out : Besant Nagar Beach !!!.

Elliots Beach ….. Filled with crowd. The sands of the beach have been witnessing many interesting tales: from sweet nothings and soft whisperings,… to suicides and crimes. Saturday and Sunday evenings here are busy; college studentss are seen roaming around with their ‘gang’ or sitting as a group in the famous ‘platform’.

I pushed my hands inside my pants pocket and started walking on the sea-shore. I just looked around on people. Nobody there had put their hands in pocket like me. Because they have some one to hold their hand. Seems remaining single is a sin :-(.

I just moved away from the crowd. Went to some distance and start watching the Bay-of –Bengal. Watching….Watching… I’d been watching the beauty of the sea , for more than an hour…. I felt happy, I felt sad… So many thinks came into mind… I think, Sea has an immense power of making you to think a lot.

Time was going fast… Sky started becoming dark. I was moving away from the place. Suddenly, I felt that some one dragged my pants. I was shocked and turned towards the hand. There was a baby girl smiling at me. She was loudly laughing and saying something to me.. in her language.. I couldn’t understand her words. But I can feel her happy smile.

I tried to grab that child; but her parents pitched in and took her away. Then only thing, I could understand that, They’re shooting her walk on their Digi-Cam ? I started thinking…When did my parents took my first photograph ? May be at the age of 5 !!!?

I decided,”OK. Let me have a coffee” ; Looking for a coffee shop. Even coffee Day was looking like a market with full of crowd. I merged with the crowd and Got a cup of coffee. Had dinner at Murugan Idly Shop.

I felt so calm and peaceful; nothing else was in my mind. Calling my mom on phone, got into bus to return back to my room. Nice weekend ; Nice feeling; At some times, we should enjoy the feel of loneliness also.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Get Smart [2008]

Release : USA -2008
Directed by: Peter Segal
Starring :
Steve Carell,
Anne Hathaway,
Dwayne Johnson,
Terence Stamp..

I wanted to watch “Get Smart” during its release last June by visiting any theater. But I missed. Then I tried to see it again at my friend's home, but time didn’t permit me to finish the movie.

But finally, thanks to DVD at my own home, I got to see “Get Smart” on my third attempt, and it was worthy for the 3 attempts.

Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) works as an analyst at Control, a U.S. spy agency that was supposed to have closed after KAOS was defeated. However, KAOS is far from being dead.

KAOS penetrates Control and steals the names of all their field agents, and they then begin to kill Control agents around the world. The Chief (Alan Arkin) promotes Maxwell Smart, designates him Agent 86, and partners him with Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway).

Smart has always wanted to be a field agent, but he wanted to be partnered with the best, Agent 23 (Dwayne Johnson). Smart is given a little training and some spy-tech gadgets to help him do his job.

Smart and Agent 99 have uncovered information of where Siegfried (Terence Stamp), the sinister head of KAOS is located, and they go after him to stop him from taking over the world.
(The above summary is grabbed from www.imdb.com)

Funny comedies are a rare thing — but “Get Smart” has several laugh-out moments, so I warmly recommend it.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Team Outing - Full of Fun

After a longtime wait, we finally(:-D) decided for a team Dinner at Temple Bay Resort via Muttukadu boat house.

For all of us the word of "HAVING FUN ON A WORKING DAY" has pumped up the spirits :).Our’s a small team of 6 members, started from office by 3.30PM and reached Muttukadu around 4.30PM.

We hired two row boats to add to the fun. I have never sailed on a row boat before. It was quite an delighting experience to observe the waves and the clear and peaceful atmosphere. I begged the rower for a role reversal. He readily agreed, willing to share his work with us. So here we go, rowing our way in cheer under the guidance of our boat rower.

I pushed hard the bows; but the boat didn’t move even a single feet. I never realized that rowing requires so much of observation and strength. It took almost 10minutes, for me to get familiarize with the mechanism. We had quite a lot of fun on the back waters and started our vehicle towards Temple bay Resort, Mamallapuram!

Our car was rushing over Kovalm… Here comes the turning Point. This time it’s a big “U” turn ;-D. Instead of Temple bay, why can’t we have our dinner at “Taj - Fisherman’s Cove”?. Our Car driver stared on us, and made his “U” turn. Around 6.30PM, we entered into the Fisherman’s Cove.

The hotel was already illuminated with some lights and the sun was about to set. The Restaurant starts only at 7.30PM. So, we rushed to the beach. Unfortunately, we couldn’t capture the sun set.

As we walked along the long beach, we talked about a lot of things; about our earlier trips, family, friends..and so many. It was really entertaining. Almost an hour passed away at the beach and we entered into the “Bay View Restaurant” .

The Bay View Point Restaurant - just 10 feet away from the beach and you can hear the waves crashing on the beach. We enjoyed dine and wine in the natural environment with some barbeque and quality drinks. Along with the dinner, we also had the delight of watching the magical fireworks on the skies, above the sea.

After the fine Dinner, we had to take a leave of the Bay View. I was sorry to leave Fisherman's Cove. . Without doubt, Fisherman’s Cove one of the serene and calm place to unwind. Would definitely stay there given another chance!

All in all – The trip rocked. Apart from the sight-seeing and Dinner, the entire team bonded well during the trip (or so, I like to believe).These small things definitely count in improving work atmosphere.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tata Nano

The much awaited Nano has been launched by Tata. Following is the information you might want to know..

Booking starts on April 9th 2009. Deliveries will start in July.

There have been many reviews already of the cars from many magazines and forums.I have tried here to collate all of them.

* It is definitely a car
* It looks cool
* Its a real wheel driven car.
* Better than Maruti 800 in many areas which is priced more than a lakh above Nano
* It has a huge interior rivalling bigger hatches like i10 and santro
* It has somewhat loud engine
* It has very good peppy engine for the city
* Its mileage should be above 20 kmpl
* It scores its point in drivability
* It has ok gearbox which is of cable type
* Ride is bumpy
* Good Handling and better stability in higher speed
* Performance is Good for its price
* 0-60 in 8 seconds (claimed), in 9.1 second achieved by autocar

Performance numbers:
0-60 - 9.1seconds
0-100 - 29.7seconds
Top speed - 106kph
20-80 (3rd gear) - 20.45 seconds
40-100 (4th gear) - 46.38seconds
Braking (80-0) - 33.66m 3.07seconds

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Happy Feet (2006)

I’m not a great fan of animated movies. In fact, I always avoid them. That is, of course, the mindset that animation is meant solely for children.

After reading my post on “Wall-e”, one of my friends recommended me to watch “Happy Feet”. With the advent of DVD, immediately I had the chance to lookout the movie too.

Happy Feet - A true kids movie. In a world… where penguins rule the land… one penguin… named Mumbles Happy Feet… can not sing like the other penguins do. Instead, he can dance. Now, this Mumbles disability to sing, causes lot of drama, because every penguin must sing a unique song called a "Heart song" to attract a soul mate :-D

As days rollout, the penguin’s world faces the food shortage, as the fish are scarce… (Yes.Human’s fault.!!)

As all the fish are scarce, Mumbles decides setting up a meeting with aliens (human; that’s how they call:-D), who are the cause for the fish scarcity; and try to find a way to co-exist. He ends up swimming after a fishing boat, and ends up washing ashore next to some sort of industrialized area, what looks like an oil refinery or something equally as evil… next to a large city. Those damn humans.

Mumbles wakes up in a zoo, caged like some sort of animal .After going crazy locked up in the zoo, he dances for a little girl, who then brings apparently everyone to see him, and they slap a radio collar on him, and put him back into Antarctica… where he finds his home group of penguins.

some guys fly in and see them all dancing… then the Media shares the video with everyone, the whole world is angry that humans are taking the penguin’s food supply… the UN gets involved (yes, the UN) and human fishing is barred from anywhere around Antarctica, and now there is enough fish for all the penguins and the movie ends with a warm fuzzy.

As for my recommendation,
I am somewhere between “Yes and No”.
Prior to the environmental message, I would say “yes”; But The CG animation and screenplay – I can’t say them as great. I got bored / irritated at some lengthy scenes.

Overall it’s just an “OK” kind of movie with good message. But still, I love it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hollywood films have Censor ?

A silly question, I had in my mind for a long time was “Do the Hollywood films have Censors?” After an hour Research with Google, I found out the fact.

Yes. There is no censor for Hollywood films. But they have “Ratings”.

The Ratings for every movie is given by an Organization called “MPAA” (Motion Picture Association of America). MPPA was founded my giant Production houses like Disney, Warner Brothers, Sony, Paramount, etc, with the parents (who have children under the age 17) as their members.

According to Motion Picture Association of America a PG-rated motion picture should be investigated by parents before they let their younger children attend. The PG rating indicates, in the view of the Rating Board, that parents may consider some material unsuitable for their children, and parents should make that decision.

Here is the list of Movie Rating Guide from MPAA
G - GENERAL AUDIENCE ( All ages admited )
PG - PARENTAL GUIDANCE SUGGESTED (Some material may not be suitable for children )
PG -13 - PARENTS STRONGLY CAUTIONED ( Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13 )
R - RESTRICTED ( Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian )

In India,
U - U/A - A and S, are the certifcates given by Central Board of Film Certification (Censor Board).

"S" meant for : Specialised Audience - This rating is given very rarely and signifies that the film is meant for specialised audience such as Doctors etc

I haven't seen any film, with "S" rating.Anybody ??

Monday, March 9, 2009

WALL·E (2008)

Last weekend, I had a chance to watch four excellent Hollywood movies. Out of the 4, with what I shall start with?

Without any hesitation, “Wall-e"

The basic plot of the movie is that the Earth is spoiled (by human) and covered with wastes and trash in the 29th Century. Seven hundred years earlier, a company called “By N Large” (BNL) has taken over all business and government functions on Earth and evacuated all humans in a huge spaceship colony to fly through space until the earth is cleaned up by hundreds upon thousands of robots large & small called “WALL-E” (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class).

The evacuation and cleanup was supposed to take 5 years, but instead it took 700. All the WALL-E robots stop working except one.

This one robot, our small hero Wall-E continues to do his job with only the company of his pet cockroach until one day he makes a momentous discovery …of another lady robot EVA (Extraterrestrial Vegetation Searcher).

The movie becomes very interesting once Wall-e meets EVA and fell in love with her. It was perfectly conceptualized and presented. While it’s interesting, entertaining, and heartwarming, the big surprise is that we become totally involved with the film. At no stage, I felt it’s an animated movie.

Its environmental message and full of heart when it comes to its robot/ droid romance. Brilliant execution allows much of the communications throughout WALL-E to be wordless, with smartly used sound effects.

WALL-E is a robot movie with heart and soul. Everyone I know who’s watched it, loved it, regardless of their age or whether they usually dislike animated movies.

You must watch it :-D

Monday, March 2, 2009

Wake-up Early !!!

“wake-up-early” has been one of my new year resolutions(every year;-)). But still it continues as a dream for me…

When I discussed with my friends regarding this, Most of them said,

”We also have this same problem”.

Alike people gathered together;decided to get up early and play Shuttle every morning.We start waking up at 5.30AM itself and played Shuttle with full enthusiasm.It was going fine.

One fine day, One culprit said “ Shall we shift the play by half-an-hour?”. Yes; 6AM became 6.30AM.

Next day another culprit said” I’m going to take leave for a week”.

The no.of people become lesser day by day. At one stage, I was the only person remaining in the ground.

Shuttles சிங்கிள்ஸ் ஆடலாம்.. ஆனா சிங்கிளா ஆட முடியாதில்ல.. So that plan got dropped.

Then… I started swimming with my colleague. The interest on swimming made me to wake up so early. (Swimming in the early morning is really a great feel, to experience.) It was going smooth for few months. After that, due to so many important reasons(??), the swimming chapter also got the END.

If you ask me,”When do you go to bed?”. I really don’t have a answer.

One day at 10.30PM, 11.30PM on the next day. 12,1.30… it goes as it is. Whenever my Mom/friends scold me for that, my all time reply will be “ See, many of the great people are night birds. They work mostly in the night hours”.

“You know, AR.Rahman is always busy composing his new tones in the night time only"

'அவரு அப்படி வொர்க் பண்ணி ஆஸ்கார் வாங்கீட்டார். நீங்க அட்லீஸ்ட் ஒரு செகண்ட் ஹேண்ட் காராவது வாங்குங்க. அப்புறம் பேசுங்க'ங்கறாங்க. எதாவது சொல்லமுடியுமா?

Till Dec, I usually wake up atleast before 6.30AM, irrespective of the time, I go to bed. But now,I can’t. It goes to 7.00,7.30,at times 8.00AM too..

If any of you are really eligible/can give some tips to me to wake up early, my thanks in advance.