Thursday, August 17, 2006

Its dal, you know....err, you mix it in rice and eat it?

I reached Houston on Sunday feeling a bit dazed and worn out. I never thought that a 22 hour trip across the Atlantic would be so unbelievably annoying. I mean, I know people who jump up and down if they are going to take a flight to the US. Maybe they were more enthusiastic about the destination rather than the travel.

Anyway, due to the Brits' unexpected 'intelligence', a terrorist attack was brilliantly foiled and new security measures were put into place. No liquids or fluids were allowed on the plane. Now, I found this rule quite stupid because I needed to keep my retainers submerged in a Tupperware box filled with water. Since water was not allowed, whenever a security guard was in sight, I had to take my retainers from the box and put it in my mouth and empty the water in the nearest dust bin. To my distress, there were many security guards and many many security checks. You may ask me, "Why didn’t you just keep the damn retainers in your mouth the whole time?" Well I could not eat with the retainers in my mouth and when you go to the airport 5 hours before the scheduled take-off, you tend to feel a tad bit hungry an hour into the whole process.

Luckily I got into the flight to Frankfurt without incident. The security check at Frankfurt turned out to be a bit more interesting though. The security guards made the passengers remove their shoes, jackets, wigs (we could keep our underwear on luckily). Now, my mother loves her South Indian food and she had brought along 'paruppu podi (dal powder)' in a zip lock bag. The guard felt that something was wrong when he saw two Asians carrying what looked like a bag of whitish yellow powder in a zip lock bag. My mom, not realising that the powder keenly resembled a psychotropic substance, started telling the guard to throw the bag away (we were running late for our flight and my mom was panicking. I maintained a calm face throughout this trying time). So the bag had to be put through a special test after which we were given the bag back with the thumbs up sign.

The Bag of Paruppu Podi

My mom was like, "They think this is cocaine?" and I'm like "Shush! Put the powder back in the suitcase and let’s scoot!" You can never be considered innocent when you're carrying a bag of powder in an airport in this day and age. Sigh, what has the world come to?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna- Movie Review

Ah, finally the day has come. It's off to Texas (though some say Tex now, apparently something to do with the ass going to Washington) tonight and surprisingly all the sadness or whatever feelings I felt towards living in a different country have gradually receded. I'm all set, finally.

So to commemorate my leaving Chennai, I saw a film directed by my least favourite talk show host and director- Karan Johar. I had absolutely no expectations on how the film would be and I was pleasantly surprised. There were no annoying family bonding scenes but unluckily there had to be a kid with a violin. The songs were awesome and the choreography was good too. The story was realistic enough for Bollywood's standards. Amitabh Bachchan rocked! Abhishek, SRK and Rani were good enough. Preity Zinta could have been better. Arjun Rampal had absolutely no screen presence. I kept laughing whenever he came on screen. Plus, there were special appearances by Kajol (in Rock n Roll Soniye) and John Abraham (in Where's the party tonight). One big drawback about KANK is that the movie is 3 hours 15 minutes long! Just when you think that the movie is over, there is another twist to the storyline. Editing should have been sharper and there was no need to play out the whole title track when nothing really important was happening on screen. But overall, I feel that KANK is a decent film that does not depend on flamboyance (ala K3G) to keep the audience interested nor does it have a shoddy screenplay (ala Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) that makes the movie seem unbelievable. KANK-Worth a watch.

My Verdict: 6/10

P.S: I will blog in the US, so watch this space!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Press 1 to feel stupid

For the past two days I have not been able to connect to the internet and for the past two weeks my Internet Service Provider has blocked me from viewing any website that has the word 'blogspot' in the URL. A call to the call center dude of this ISP, asking him why his company continued to impose the ban when even the government had given the thumbs-up sign to the internet community to get back to their blogging and Mumbai blast investigations, did not make the situation better. He had apparently never heard of a blog before and he had considerable difficulty in typing ‘mendelismental’ in the address bar of his browser. At the end of a thirty minute phone call, during which he made me unplug my modem, restart my computer, clear my history and cache, he asked me what I meant when I said that his company was still blocking blogs. I think he could feel feelings of anger and frustration coming from my end of the receiver and so he followed the next instruction written on his "Steps to follow to make your customer feel like an amazingly idiotic git for actually thinking that a phone-call to the customer hotline will help him out" card. He put me on hold.

Let's just say that I came out of the phone-call more disillusioned and less enlightened about my current problem. I realized, with a touch of sympathy for myself, that my current situation could not be fruitful for me in any way. There was no internet, Bold and the Beautiful was getting more and more complicated with Brooke getting 'affections' for her son-in-law, and I had nothing to do or see. My IPod refused to work for some unknown reason and the fact that I would be leaving Chennai in less than a week seemed to bum me out. Luckily, the cast party for the play mentioned in the previous post was held yesterday and it was fun.

We played an intriguing game called "Truth or Chooth/Chute", an off-shoot of the more popular "Truth or Dare" game. The rules of the game: Say the truth or F*** off. I think that since the rules are so succinct, this game has a good future. It would be a good ice-breaker in a party, “Hey, who wants to play Truth or Chooth/Chute?”. Try it out - it’s bound to get you some fans.