Posted by: Sreejith | October 9, 2007

Champions of the World

In 2 weeks time Lewis Hamilton would have won the 2007 Formula1 Drivers championship or maybe he’ll end up in the gravel – again. If he does win, he will be a deserving champion. More so because this is his first year in Formula1. Everyone in Formula1 wants him to win. The British, the F1 experts, the commentators, the Mclaren team, the press, almost all F1 sites on the net – almost everyone! But i won’t be rooting for him. He’s a brilliant find but he still is in the best car on the grid and in my view he is as good as a Kubica.

Fernando Alonso could also win the championship but in mine and many other people’s view he won’t be a champion because champions are not just good on the track but off it too. Alonso’s continuous bitching is certainly not the hallmark of a champion. He is a great racer, and would probably even make it to the list of the best of all time but for me he is not a ‘champion’.

Kimi Raikonnen, the iceman, the other guy who could theoretically win the championship is the only one i’ll be rooting for. To many he is the best driver in F1 today and its only a matter of time before he wins the Championship. I am hoping that this time interval would be 2 weeks. Off the track, he comes across as introverted, cold and doesn’t betray a lot of passion in the paddocks too. In fact he is a lot like Schumacher(we all know which one) when he first moved to Ferrari in 96. If there was any team that can influence Kimi, Ferrari is it.

Now, Ferrari might come across like a tangled mass of entwined chaos. But you know what.. the team is the personification of passion. Mclaren might be the most professional and best run team but no other team in Formula1 wears their heart on their sleeve like Ferrari nor does any other team have such passionate fans as the tifosi. A few seasons at Ferrari will change even machines and Schumi was superhuman only when he was in a car. In a few seasons Schumi had gone from a precision German machine to an Italian anthem crooning precision German machine. Schumacher was a true champion for me because he walked on water every time he took to the track. Even when the Ferrari was a joke, Schumi was so far ahead of the field that you wondered what would happen if he had the best car too. Of course, in 2004, Ferrari did come up with the best car and then he won 13 of the 18 races that season. He is a sublime Champion for me but then i am so far biased on this issue that rationality is kicked out of the door.

Pete Sampras. Now he is a champion. There are no two ways about that statement. The extraordinary poise with which he carried himself all throughout his career is what makes him a champion for all ages. Federer will in all likelihood surpass Sampras’s 14 grand slam titles but unlike statistics, the genius of champions can only be matched not surpassed. And a performance like his 99 Wimbledon final demolition of Agassi could probably never be matched too. Federer is matching his poise off the field too but then guess who Federer’s role model is!

Sampras is playing Federer in 3 exhibition matches this November. Even if Sampras loses all three, I’ll still be proud that i started a 22,000 strong Pete Sampras community on Orkut because he is a true Champion – and true champions are timeless.

Posted by: Sreejith | October 2, 2007

Moved by The Fountain

Once upon a time i was a huge sucker for romantic comedies – the ‘You Got Mail‘ types. In fact even now on a decent day i wouldn’t really mind a good romantic movie – like The Notebook. But then all that churns out of the production houses these days are these sappy romances which preach about unending love and passion that engulfs and blah blah. You have dreamy eyed heroines telling us they are prepared to wait for eternity for the ‘perfect one’ whom they instantly find in the very next scene! What they fail to tell you is that there is nothing like a perfect one. In fact forget perfect, there is not even a ‘one’ in most cases! And for all those perverts dreaming about two’s, wake up and bite reality.

Then you have movies like Bourne Ultimatum which i just happened to check out last weekend. The mindless action ones you can call them. Of course i personally like them because you have very very expansively shot action scenes and they are at least worth the money you pay for the ticket. Of course most of these movies assume a ‘turn a blind eye to common sense’ logic but this works just fine for me because i am willing to believe that all the hottest females on the planet are spies and work for the CIA! I am also prepared to believe that an armed guy can infiltrate the most secure of buildings(none lesser than the bloody CIA) by just using the fire exits!

Now, fire exits remind me of the movies which force us to use them! RGV ki Aag was the last such one but Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna is the one that i am instantly reminded of. These are the worst movies ever because they are definitely not entertaining nor are they of the really really bad category that we all love to hate. Yes, i am referring to the Gunda‘s and Jaani Dushman‘s of the world when i say the ones we love to hate. A phenomenal amount of contemporary literature is available on these masterpieces which are the extreme edge of film making. Actually let me rephrase. They are not on the edge… they have fallen off the edge and then the editor picked up the shattered remains and pasted a movie out of them! These are so pathetic you will be shocked as to the sheer magnanimity of stupidity on screen. If you haven’t seen Mithun da’s Gunda, then trust me, you have seen nothing worth seeing. And this is why they are in a extraordinary league of their own.

Coming to the point of the whole post, I was forced to think about all this because, a few days back, i happened to see a movie called “The Fountain” from Darren Aronofsky, the maker of “Requiem for a Dream“. Requiem along with Trainspotting are in my opinion the most beautifully depressing drug movies ever made and that was the reason behind checking out this movie. 30 minutes into the movie, I had understood practically nothing of it and by the time it ended i was hopelessly lost. This may not have been even half as convoluted a movie as Mullholland Drive but nevertheless i didn’t really get most of the movie.

Wondering what the whole point was and what drove people to make such movies, i decided to do some research and fortunately found the director’s commentary of The Fountain. The audio was 90 minutes long and was a scene by scene explanation of the movie. After listening to the whole 1.5 hour long commentary and playing every scene of the movie in parallel, i finally managed to figure it out. Duh!

I learnt that the whole movie was intended to be a sci-fi movie but turned out to be an experimental movie in the end. It has three similar tales – but each set in three different time periods. All of them had the same actors(Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz) and dealt with love. One was about a warrior in search of the Mayan ‘Tree of Life’ which was set in the time of the Spanish Inquisition. One was in the present about a brilliant researcher who was fighting a losing battle to find a cure to the brain tumor which his wife was dying from. And the last was set in the far future about a space traveler who was on his way to Xibalba(a distant nebula) in a spaceship to save his Tree from dying. Its all very interesting and when you see the movie after listening to the commentary, all the pieces fall in place. For one, the number of symbolic references in the movie is stunning. Almost every scene in each story is symbolically referring to the other stories and its finding these little signs that drove me to see the movie again and again! It was definitely worth the effort i took to understand the movie. Also, it was really amazing to listen to the thought process of directors when they are making a movie. On most days i would have dismissed it as rubbish but in a thoughtful mood, this movie can make you sit up and think beyond what you see on the screen and leave you spellbound.

Please excuse all the imdb hyperlinking. I am only trying to help the lazy folks out there!

Posted by: Sreejith | September 22, 2007

Resolutions

I started writing on Dailyrium on 15th June’07. Isn’t it interesting that 15th June to 22nd September is 100 days? Whats more interesting is thats its also 100 daily posts on this blog. Maybe its because 100 days to this day a quiet resolution was made.

You don’t need important days to make resolutions. Instead i chose to make resolutions for the important days. That way the promise is not lost in the initial euphoria. When its like a countdown to the D-day it becomes much more manageable and achievable. Well, the resolution was to be disciplined and do justice to at least one small thing for 100 days. I wrote everyday for 100 days. The promise now lies fulfilled.

But what it means to me is that i can keep one of the hardest promises – one made to yourself. Call it reaffirming faith.

So long for the resolution now. So long folks. A post a day is too much to ask of me now on. The will is now weak. There shall be one every now and then. But i refuse to be tied down by a measure of time.

Posted by: Sreejith | September 21, 2007

Train of thought

I’ve always liked looking at life as a train journey. Come to think of it…

There are lots of people getting on the train with us but everyone is getting off at different places.
We may all be living together but all of us have different destinations in life. Our aspirations and desires are what determines where we want to get off.

At every station, some people get off our train and some come aboard.
You have different phases in life. In every phase you meet new people while you lose touch with others. The ones you lose touch with shall be in your memories but not in your life. The ones in your life are the ones who make the journey eventful.

The view from the window is the same for everyone but then the interpretations of each are different.
We all live in the same time and environment. The surroundings and the events around us are the same but our perceptions and points of view are all different.

The trains chugs along through tunnels, hills, valleys, lakes, deserts, plains – the works.
Life is not always the same. We have periods of depression – of darkness. Of exuberance and joy. Of being hopelessly lost. Of stillness.

But as they say, the problem with all good things is that they have to come to an end. And at some point your station does come.

Posted by: Sreejith | September 20, 2007

Priceless!

A couple of days back I went to this mall to pick up a few glasses (the huge beer ones). One of them really caught my eye and i picked it up. But it was way too expensive so i placed it back on the edge of the rack. As luck would have it, my foot struck the rack and the glass started tumbling down. I lunged at it to prevent the fall and by sheer luck managed to catch it by the price tag that was attached to it. After the instant ‘phew’, i realized…

That was a ‘priced catch’!! 😛

Posted by: Sreejith | September 19, 2007

The title matters!

After years and years of listening to RHCP’s Californication, it was a moment of shock when the genius of the title dawned on me today!

Cali-fornication!!

And the song was full of references to sex! How in hell did it not strike me till now! All of a sudden i have new found respect for RHCP.

So what’s the most ingenious title you have ever come across?

Posted by: Sreejith | September 18, 2007

When September comes…

Back when I was in college, not too long ago, September was one of the most eagerly awaited months. Not because there were no exams around then but because of the slew of birthdays that were unleashed in this month. Much of the activity on campus was because of the birthday cakes, the midnight bumps sessions and the birthday parties which followed. Especially the week from 16th to 23rd was the peak. We had Abhinav, Avinash, Amal, KG, KBJ, Piyush, yours truly and some more folks who were mostly found hiding in the bathrooms around this time. And all this was only to avoid the dreaded bumps! Of course after the first few years we did realize that the safest place to hide was not the bathroom but the library!

Now in a hostel the most feared word was bumps. You come first in the test – you get bumps! You manage to get 39.5 when the pass mark is 40 – you get bumps! Its your birthday – you get bumps! You are the most enthusiastic while giving bumps – you get bumps! You don’t show any enthusiasm in giving bumps – you get bumps! You have never got bumps – you get bumps! You are KG – you get bumps 😀 Basically you can run from bumps but you can never outrun it.

Anyway this post and all the wonderful memories were triggered by my roomie’s birthday which is today! So here you go Karteek…happy birthday to you and to all those friends who are incrementing the counter this week.

Posted by: Sreejith | September 17, 2007

Roadtrip: Hogenakkal Falls

So on a Sunday morning, five of us adventure junkies set out from Bangalore. Hogenakkal Falls, which were 180kms from Bangalore, was the destination this time around.

Getting to Hogenakkal is extremely simple. You need to hit the Hosur Road(NH-7) from Bangalore and keep going on it till you reach Dharmapuri. You will pass through Electronic City, Hosur and Krishnagiri on the way. Dharmapuri is around 150kms from Bangalore and the road is quite decent. Once you are at Dharmapuri, take the right at the first signal you encounter. There is a huge sign which says Hogenakkal so its really difficult to miss the turn. For a quick sanity check there is a railway crossing around 1-2kms after this turn. Hogenakkal is a further 30 kms from Dharmapuri. The road from Dharmapuri to Hogenakkal was what took us by surprise! We had done some research on the roads the earlier day and were expecting bad roads from Dharmapuri onwards. But the road is excellent all the way upto Hogenakkal and even upto the falls and it is really an effortless drive. They seemed to have been laid recently. The views of the valleys on the way are sights to behold and it being September, the entire stretch was green and verdant.

At Hogenakkal, you could hire a small round boat(coracle) to take you right to the mouth of the actual falls. After much haggling with the boatmen, we finally managed to hire one for a decent price. This was supposed to take us to the waterfall and back. The average charge for the coracle is 60-80 rupees for a person and then 100 rupees for every hour of waiting. If you are good at bargaining, you could get them to bring down the waiting charges.

On our way to the falls i saw one of the most extraordinary sights! In the middle of the Cauvery, a very enterprising guy in a coracle was selling chips and soft drinks!! Now thats simply the height of commercialism! All along the way, the coracle is pretty much at water level and the view of the sprawling Cauvery from it is really calming. But once it gets close to the actual falls, the Cauvery is not quite the same. Its like a monster roaring and thundering in heat and when its rumbling and tumbling down over the rocks it truly is a real breathtaking sight. Fortunately due to the rains, Cauvery was brimming and the falls were at its most spectacular.

At the top you could perch down on some rocks and you will have a truly splendid sight to behold. The horseshoe shaped falls to your left and the river ploughing its way through the narrow gorge on your right. The Cauvery might be just getting on with its life but just the view will make you slow down in your life.

Posted by: Sreejith | September 16, 2007

Interested?

Jaya: me installing COD from cd

Me: COD?

Jaya: Call of Duty

Me: oh that game. Now COD means Certificate of Deposit. Its the American equivalent of a Fixed deposit.

Jaya: do i seem interested?

Me: yes…interest rates are also low 😛

Posted by: Sreejith | September 15, 2007

Hungry Bangalore

I heard about www.hungrybangalore.com a few months back so today i finally decided to check it out. And i was quite pleased with the entire experience. Hungry Bangalore is a site which allows someone like me to order food online! Yes, there are enough lazy bums like me out there for them to make a site for us. Now who would want to venture out in the sun/rain when they are hungry. And at most times your home delivery options are limited to the restaurants whose phone numbers you happened to have saved in your phone. Thats precisely why i liked hungrybangalore. They list out all the restaurants in a locality and allow searching by cuisine, location and many other nitty gritties.

The whole ordering process is rather efficient. Search and select the restaurant and then the menu pops up. The menu is well organized but the user interface here could have been a little better. Some ajax stuff would really help i guess. After you are done choosing the dishes, add them to the cart. You can select if you want it delivered as soon as possible which i think should be made the default option. Then fill out the email address and an email lands at your address listing out the order details. A few minutes and voila – hot piping food was at my door!

I also liked that one needn’t register with them to make the order. You could order as a guest which makes sense because when the stomach is growling any kind of registering is a definite turn off. I of course did register because i am sure i’ll be using it again. They also seem to be adding new restaurants all the time so it looks like people are actually using it.

Next time you are in the mood to try something new, you know what to do!

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