So Far, I’m Liking It

It’s 3 weeks since I joined my current job and office and so far it has been good and I’m liking it and I even find a lot to enjoy. Although it is not as big as Firstsource (my place of employment for 4 years and 2 months, it certainly is much bigger than my last place in Koratty. In fact these past 3 weeks have let me lay down to rest the bad things of the past almost 2 years.¬† And I hope it only gets better. I’m not asking for much from any place of employment – just a big paycheck :) , some enjoyment & job satisfaction and occasionally challenging me to do things differently & better myself. The office isn’t that posh but it’s comfortable and there’s my assigned desk & chair plus the entrance to the big floor and the training room.

I’ve been doing a 3am – 10am shift (yes just 7 hours) for the past week. Sleep is spotty but I like the night time drive to the office, the city looks so peaceful. But without a working cafeteria (there is a place for it but you only get tea from a machine and some tables & chairs which are setup for you) and or/decent hotels nearby I have to rely on food from home for breakfast. I choose a time when everyone else is back at their stations so I can go down to the empty cafeteria, take my favourite table and eat my breakfast in quiet. The breakfast I usually have is malli chammandhi (corriander chutney) & cucumber sandwiches which I bring from home along with cardamom tea from the machine.

I’ve liked the bus rides home during the first couple of weeks which was regular working hours. Since Kakkanad is new to me, I enjoy the sights and sounds of the area and look out for interesting things to photograph. This new office building that has come up right at a junction is one I always like. The bus always stops there for a few minutes as it is a busy junction, so a few days ago I took a couple of snaps.

I love the evening sky & clouds reflecting off the large windows. It almost makes it look like the clouds are part of the tinted windows.

The past few days have seen the news of the death of a young man by food poisoning with shawarma that he ate from a particular eatery found as being the culprit. The place has been shutdown as it was found in violation of hygiene & food safety laws and also operating without a proper license. With increasing raids on hotels across the state we have found lots of such violation and lack of hygiene in the cooking area. Ironic to me that the two Saturdays before this incident I had had shawarma from a popular Arabian specialty place after a gap of almost a year. The places I go to are safe and clean as you can see them doing the preparation.

True Blood ‚Äď Season 3

The second season was awesome and left you wanting more of the same. Well you got a whole lot more in season 3. After Sookie initially gets upset with Bill’s marriage proposal, she composes herself in the ladies room and comes back to tell him that she accepts. But Bill is no where to be seen – having been abducted by werewolves who serve the vampire king of Mississippi, Russell Edgington. A 2,800-year-old vampire, Russell wants Bill on his side as he has his eyes set on the queen of Louisiana, with whom he hopes to enter into a¬†lavender marriage, though Russell himself is gay, but instead, to merge their respective kingdoms and gain more power. He openly defies the vampire authority.

Sookie searches for Bill and enlists the help of Eric in her search. On Russell finding out about Sookie’s abilities, he takes a deep interest in her and Eric arrives to protect her from the werewolves. He also assigned Alcide, a werewolf bodyguard, to protect her during the day and he & Sookie begin a friendship. Bill breaks up with Sookie and tells her not to try to find him. Alcide and Sookie attend the werewolf initiation of his former fiancee, Debbie Pelt, and discover that Russell is in league with the werewolves. Bill reveals to Russell that Sophie-Anne is selling vampire blood. The Magister leads a raid on Fangtasia and finds vials of vampire blood. Eric and Pam tell the Magister that Bill is responsible for the crime. Eric visits Russell, who catches him in a lie and forces him to admit that the Magister is holding Pam prisoner and will kill her unless he turns in Bill Compton for selling V. Russell takes Sookie and Bill to his mansion, where Bill kills one of the bodyguards and attempts to kill Russell. Russell orders Lorena to take Bill to the slaves’ quarters and kill him.

Meanwhile Jason decides to become a cop and blackmails Andy to train him as one, using the killing of Eggs as a bargaining chip. He also gets entangled with a were panther named CrystalA distraught Tara hooks up with Franklin, a vampire sent by Russell to get intel on Sookie, and that relationship turns bizarrely hostile with him keeping her tied up. Franklin is killed by Jason towards the end of the season. Eric learns that Russell is the one who killed his family over a century ago and gets back his father’s viking crown from Edgington’s shelves and kills Russell’s lover. While rescuing a dying Bill from Russell’s estate, Sookie is almost drained of her blood as she gets Bill to feed on her but he is unable to stop. So she ends up in the hospital and once recovered finds herself wary of Bill. Bill finds out that the reason Sookie’s blood is so enticing is because she is a fairy. Sam finds his birth parents; his mother and younger brother are both shifters and his father is a good for nothing scumbag who makes a living off of them as they shift into pitbulls used for dog fights. Sam rescues his brother and offers him a job at Merlotts. Lafayette finds a lover – Jesus who is a nurse in the nursing home where Lafayette’s mother is admitted. They experiment with V and ¬†and, in their drug-induced state, see Jes√ļs’ grandfather, a sorcerer who dabbled in black magic.

Distraught over his lover’s death Russell got a little insane and declares himself as a powerful & scary vampire to the world via kills a newscaster live on television. Eric informs Russell that drinking Sookie’s fairy blood will allow vampires to “day walk”. Bill and Sookie are taken captive by Russell and Eric, and brought to Fangtasia. Russell and Eric drink Sookie’s blood. Eric tricks Russell into walking outside, then handcuffs himself to Russell and they await death in the daylight. Sookie saves Eric from dying in sunlight, despite Bill’s protests. At Eric’s insistence, Sookie also saves Russell, and ties him to a pole in Fangtasia. Bill and Eric bury Russell alive in cement, then Bill turns the tables on Eric and tries to kill him by doing the same thing. Eric escapes and tells Sookie that Bill was originally sent to Bon Temps to procure her for Sophie-Anne and that he purposely allowed the Rattrays to beat her nearly to death so that he would be able to feed her his blood. After vowing to kill anyone who knows about Sookie’s fairy heritage, Bill invites Sophie-Anne to his home for a fight to the death. Sookie visits Gran’s grave where she is joined by Claudine her fairy godmother and other fairies and transported to their world.

Unusual things Seen While On Public Transportation?

I’ve used public transport for the most part of my adult life. I’ve owned a bike for a while but I sold that baby a long time ago. I use auto rickshaws for getting round in the city area and closer areas to my residence and the bus for longer distances. The buses in Kerala or Cochin atleast are always a good place to get your weekly entertainment – stuff that you don’t usually see anywhere else. Pickpockets and thieves are a plenty and you may sometimes have to be vigilant or they will expertly cut your pocket with a blade and whisk away your wallet and anything else that you can find. This used to be a lot more prevalent in some parts of the district and is under control for the most part now but still from time to time you do find the odd case.

I’ve on occasion seen people carrying birds in cages in the buses. A pigeon or two and maybe a parrot. One guy I sat next two at the very last seat had a couple of live chickens in a basket – obviously to be cooked back at home. Some people do like to raise chickens for fresh eggs at their home if they have some space in their backyard. Another guy had a kitten with him – a really tiny newly born kitten that he was taking home as a pet! The coolest was a squirrel that a guy kept with him wherever he went, tucked in a little pocket. The squirrel would stay close to him at all times and he told me that he took it to work everyday.

Other than that I’ve seen the usual stuff like guitars, violins, the odd wind instrument or two, tennis, cricket & badminton equipment and perhaps even some football gear. Computers, laptops, network equipment, bathroom fittings, baskets and buckets – you name it, I have seen it in a bus!

I Call This Cheating & Lying

If you haven’t read this post & then this one, I’d suggest you go and read them first and then come back and read on here.

This happened very recently. A first cousin of mine who is about to turn 39 later on this year has been on the marriage market for quite a few years. By that I mean that he & his family have been searching for a suitable bride for him, as per the traditional and usual way for Hindu people. And that means, looking into your horoscope (or horrorscope as yet another cousin of mine calls it) and family status and if those match then the family of the two meet and then the prospective bride & groom meet. If they feel like they like each other then the families of the two will then proceed with making arrangements for the marriage, seek the “services” of an astrologer and find a suitable date from him (after he looks into his stuff and declares a date & time as being auspicious for the wedding) and then the bride’s family goes about booking a hall and making arrangements for the wedding. And that’s exactly the way that my cousin’s wedding was to be done. Only thing is because of the dependence on matching horoscopes he has been finding it difficult in finding a suitable match.

So while I hate this arranged style of marriage and haven’t found a suitable mate my way either, I’m still single. His case is different. Anyways, it had seemed that his folks had found a suitable match and with a woman, around 34 I think, who works in Bangalore. The families met and my cousin and the woman met and everything seemed to be going right. My uncle, this cousin’s dad, also informed all his family members who were happy to hear about it. A few days later however on not hearing back from the bride-to-be’s family, my cousin’s family contacted them. Turns out that they weren’t really sure and that they might not actually going to go ahead with the wedding of their daughter to my cousin! Fuck what is wrong here? So we were all informed that, hold your horses – looks like we started celebrated too soon and there wasn’t going to be a wedding. Fast forward a couple of weeks later the family contacted my cousin’s father and said that they had decided that my cousin was indeed the best match for their daughter and could they go ahead and decide on a date for the wedding? Well – my cousin was happy and so were his parents and they said yes. So start planning. Once again we were all informed and we were happy for my cousin.

2 day, just 2 short days later – the wedding plans were off!! You know why? Cause that stupid good for nothing bitch who had told her parents that she was ok to marry my cousin, emailed my cousin and told him that she wanted him to back out of the wedding as she had an affair with some guy and she wanted to marry that guy instead!!! But ofcourse she doesn’t have the cojones to speak about this to her parents – she wants my cousin to say that he is not interested in her!!!! So she can weasel out of the arranged marriage! Of all the fucking nerve. This fucking cunt came to my cousin’s house, spent time with her mother and father pretending to “bond” with my cousin and his mother, hugged my aunt when it was time to leave and called her “mother” and then she does this! Fuck you bitch! I hope you never get married as you don’t deserve to be happy. Bitch aren’t you ashamed of yourself? You are 34 and not 20 or 18! Grow up!

What Have You Been Reading Lately?

I’ve been trying to read more these last couple of months. I tried reading a few old novels that I had lying around. I re-read The Da Vinci Code for the 4th time recently. I also re-read The Bretheren & The Vampire Lestat last month – the former for the 3rd time and the latter for the 2nd time. Not mind boggling titles but it’s still stuff that I like a lot and will probably read a few more times before my death. I am now almost halfway through Stephen King’s Thinner which I have read 3 times before.

I’d like to read a lot more as there is a ton of good books but I don’t really go out to buy new books as 1) I don’t want to spend too much money on books 2) I don’t want to clutter up my place as space is at a premium and my two shelves are already filled up with my collections and other stuff. I have a bunch of books collecting dust in a big built in cupboard that I have read at one point and have no interest in reading again at this point (but might change my mind a while later) and I either need to clean them up and try reading them or sell them and get new books which I can store in the same space. I want to get all the Game Of Thrones books (or whatever the books that inspired the tv series are called) by George R R Martin at some point this year. Unfortunately, I have only seen them being sold as a set in one of the premium book stores which means I cannot buy them one at a time to adjust with my budget. I tried looking for the same set at a discount and/or used book store but they hadn’t eve heard of it! (Blasphemy)

The Woe Of The Shawarma In Kerala

On July 10, 21-year-old Sachin Mathew, a hotel management graduate, before boarding his bus to Bangalore bought three ‘shawarmas’ from the Salwa restaurant located close to the Congress party headquarters in Trivandrum. On route to Bangalore he spoke to his mother and said that he was feeling ill. From the next day on there was no contact with the parents, and on July 14 they got a call from a hotel in Bangalore where he stayed, that their son had passed away. Incidentally, the same day thespian actor Thilakan’s son and his family also had ‘shawarmas’ from the same restaurant and they too fell ill and had to be admitted to hospital.

The incident led to huge uproar in the state against the health authorities, who now have swung into action and are conducting raids on restaurants across the state to check the quality of food sold in the market. A day later the health authorities sealed the hotel.
On the suggestion of food safety commissioner, police have registered a complaint against the owner of the restaurant.
Though samples of food from the restaurant have not been taken, the authorities are awaiting the medical reports on those who consumed this food item and were hospitalised. They have sealed three other eateries in the capital. Kerala authorities have begun extensive raids across the state after the first reports. The Centre has given time till August 4 to officials to brief owners of shops, restaurants and hotels on stringent provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act. The drive covered shawarma outlets, hotels, restaurants, and food bunks along the areas near the GCDA Complex, KINCO boat jetty, Ernakulam North, and Palarivattom. A release issued by the Health standing committee of the corporation said that the drive revealed many incidents in which food products were found sold under highly unhygienic conditions, including exposure to dust from nearby roads and smoke emitted by vehicles.

Now there is a temporary halt for all restaurants serving shawarmas for upto a week for safety measures to be implemented. Action would be taken against those food businesses found to be operating without a license or registration and those found selling unclean or unsafe food will have to pay the penalty as well as other legal measures specified under the Food Safety Act. the Ernakulam District Collector signed an order today afternoon, banning Shawarmas cooked openly on road side. The order made as per Food Safety Act, now empowers police to close down every Shawarma Joints in the district and city, untill Food Safety Commissioner certifies the safety. As per Administration’s order, only shawarmas cooked within an enclosed glass chamber located inside a hotel premises, will only be allowed from now. So something that should have been implemented ages ago is now being forced as one youth has died and some were hospitalized. Great! But I also wonder if the ban would have been done if the victim had had local & traditional Indian food. What about the local thattukadas, pani puri outlets and open food stall?

RIP Rajesh Khanna

One time romantic heartthrob of the Indian movie loving masses, Rajesh Khanna is no more. Known as India’s first superstar he passed away on today afternoon at his residence Aashirwad in Mumbai, aged 69.

He appeared in 163 feature films of which 128 films saw him as the lead protagonist; he appeared in 17 short films as well. ¬†He won three Filmfare Best Actor Awards¬†and was nominated for the same fourteen times. He received the maximum¬†BFJA Awards for Best Actor (Hindi)¬†‚Äď four times[4]¬†and nominated 25 times. In 1991, he was awarded the¬†Filmfare Special Award¬†for completing 25 years in the industry, appearing in a record 106 films as the single lead protagonist in a span of 25 years. In 2005, he was awarded the¬†Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award. Khanna was referred to as the “First Superstar” of¬†Hindi cinema.

Born Jatin Khanna in Amristar, Punjab on 29 December 1942 he was adopted and raised by foster parents who were relatives of his biological parents. Khanna attended St. Sebastian‚Äôs Goan High School in Girgaum, along with his friend Ravi Kapoor, who later took the stage name¬†Jeetendra. He made his debut in 1966 in ‘Aakhri Khat’ after winning a talent hunt contest. At the peak of his career, he delivered 15 consecutive solo hits, a feat which no other actor has achieved so far. After his love affair with actress Anhu Mahendru broke up, he met & married actress Dimple Kapadia¬†in March 1973, six months before her debut film. That marriage last till 1984 and produced two actress daughters Twinkle & Rinke.

Some of his movies which I have seen & remember & appreciated are Aradhana, Do Raaste, Anand, Haathi Mere Saathi & Namak Haram.

Rajesh Khanna 29 December 1942 ‚Äď 18 July 2012

Secret Agent – Licensed To Blog

Ooh a couple of nights ago I had this vivid dream. I was a secret agent, a spy working for “some agency” on a dangerous assignment but one vital to maintaining peace and avoiding a war between several nations. The task was to infiltrate a club of very rich and powerful men & women who hail from all over the world and they meet up once a month for a weekend in an island. I was given papers and forged documents and name – showing me to a low profile but highly powerful & rich businessman involved in several key projects in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America. On my new false identity being monitored by the elitist club, I was deemed a welcome addition and a possible powerful component in their plans to take over the world.

I was initially invited for lunch at a country club, a kind of interview to see if my philosophies and intentions match the secret club’s and before desert was done at the of a lavish meal they had decided in my favour. My fake identity had worked. Yet they still monitored me in my lavish presidential suite in one of the most expensive hotels in Europe and I could see that I was being followed were ever I go and watched by several men and women. I used untamperable cell phones to call my contacts in the agency I represent and give them reports of my daily activities. They were worried that I would be found out as that would mean torture & sure death but the mission was vital. Soon I was officially invited to join the club on their island getaway. I was to join them for a weekend of cocktail parties, dinner followed by the agenda for that month and meeting several of the other members of this secret club. I was flown in by a chartered jet and whisked into a giant complex that served as the headquarters. It was heavily guarded and I knew that I would not be able to sneak a gun into the club due to their metal detectors and hastily hid my weapon without being seen.

At the club a grand party awaited all the members with musicians, waiters and dozens of scantily clad sexy women hired as hostesses to keep the members entertained. Honestly I could barely keep my eyes off the string bikini bottoms and pasties that just managed to cover the nipple areas of the hostesses. As I mingled and kept an eye out for any meaningful dialogues, I was astonished on seeing a familiar face and, well, body – an ex girlfriend of mine (in real life) was one of the hostesses. As she glided seductively in my direction my eyes took a walk all over her body. I was worried that she was involved in this scheme but she made no signs of having recognized my true identity. She latched herself onto me, like several of the women were clinging onto the rich & powerful men & women too. She whispered into my ear that we should find some place private to be alone and as she led me away, the rest of the members laughed and said “so he is already going to get laid and so soon!” Because the women were also hired to keep the guests sexually satisfied.

As we walked away this woman told me that she was also working for the same agency that I was and that we had to get out of there to pass on an important mission. She had a yatch ready for us to go in and once clear of the island we could relay our message – the timings of the secret club’s plan had been changed and a terrorist group were going to attack an important building the next day. We went in the yatch and once clear of the island relayed our message. With a sigh of relief she sat down and we started talking about the mission. As we talked, I was well aware of her almost naked & shapely body next to me and soon I pulled her close to me and kissed her. We ended up making love in the moonlight and slept in each others arms. She had to get me back to the island before dawn as my absence would arouse suspicions and the entertainment supervisor at the club would be looking for her in the morning. We made plans to meet once the weekend was over and figure out our next move once we reported back¬† to our agency.

After I got down from the yatch, she went back in to get something and —- the yatch below up in a loud explosion! That’s when I woke up from my dream!!!

Add Water To The Powder

This has been changed a little bit to Indianize it:

Ramu had lived all his life in a tiny little village in an isolated part of India. Due to work options being highly limited his parents approached a distant relative who live in New Delhi and he agreed to get Ramu a job in a big company there. So his parents packed him off to the city and Ramu settled into a lodge and started his job. Ramu had never seen anything beyond the village and was totally unprepared for the sights and sounds of the city. His eyes glazed away as he saw all that a big city had to offer. A month later he wrote his first letter to his parents. This is how it went:

Dear Pitashri (father) & matashri (mother),

Hope this letter find you in good health. I should have written to you sooner but I had lots of things to get sorted out here in New Delhi and only then could find time to write you a letter. I am doing fine here and I am enjoying my life in the big city. There is so much to see and so much to learn. But here is the best part of being in the city.

They have something called a “supermarket” over here, which you don’t find in our village. In this one big store you find all the items you can ever need or want. Honestly, you can spend a whole day in here going through all the items and buying things that you need for home. I went there yesterday and I saw so many wonderful things. Like in one section you have milk powder – you add water to the powder and you get milk! Just like that. No cows needed. Isn’t that wonderful?

Then in the next section I saw that they had orange juice powder. You add water to the orange powder and you get orange juice. Like magic. And not a single tree in sight! That was so amazing to see……but wait you haven’t heard the best part. I walked on again and reached another section and saw that they have…………

BABY POWDER! I am making my own family tonight and by tomorrow you will be grandparents!”

RIP Jon Lord

Jon Lord, former keyboard player with legends of rock music Deep Purple, has died aged 71. He had been receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer since last August and died at the London Clinic on Monday, surrounded by family.  Lord was influenced by classical, blues and jazz but played his Hammond organ with a rock attitude and helped Deep Purple become pioneers of progressive and heavy rock.

Born in Leicester on 9 June 1941 to his parents Miriam and Reg, he studied classical piano from the age of five, and those influences are a recurring trademark in his work. Simultaneously, Lord absorbed the blues sounds that played a key part in his rock career, principally the raw sounds of the great American blues organists Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff and “Brother” Jack McDuff (“Rock Candy”), as well as the stage showmanship of Jerry Lee Lewis. He could have chosen a career as an actor after receiving a drama school scholarship, but started playing in pub bands including short-lived outfits with future Rolling Stones star Ronnie Wood and his brother Art. He also worked as a session musician and is thought to have played piano on The Kinks’ hit You Really Got Me. After meeting guitarist Ritchie Blackmore through another project, the first incarnation of Deep Purple was born.

Lord continued to compose classical works alongside the group’s output and, when they split in 1976, he joined other groups Whitesnake and Paice, Ashton and Lord. Deep Purple reformed in 1984 and resumed at the height of their commercial prowess, playing to tens of thousands of fans around the world. They sold a total of 150 million albums and Lord remained an ever-present amid numerous line-up changes until he left in 2002. He had signed to a classical music label and performed a concert to mark the 30th anniversary of Concerto for Group and Orchestra. He broke the news of his cancer diagnosis on his website last year, telling fans he would continue to write music as part of his therapy.

Thank you Jon for all those great works of music. Your millions of fans will always remember your keyboard prowess.

Somethings I Don’t Like To Share

I’m a pretty open book kind of guy for the most kind. In general I am ok with sharing my views and things about my life. My aim when I do that is to open up to people and hopefully that may offer me some relief and if someone can benefit from my experience – fanfuckingtastic! I wouldn’t want to share a very personal situation / event with people I am not comfortable with but other stuff is fine. I do that a lot in my field of training – a lot of what I share is for their benefit. Plus on my blog it’s a lot of personal stuff and I’m ok with a lot of stuff that I share. When I feel that it’s a little too personal, as you can notice, I password protect it and only share it with a select few.

Anything related to stuff that makes me feel embarrassed, is something I don’t like to share. Not just that people may misinterpret it and see me in a totally negative light – we are all guilty of some terrible thoughts once in a while. But I am not comfortable in sharing it. It is for me and only me. I am also not willing to share some of the feelings of inadequacies that I feel from time to time. Particularly because this really pisses me off. I have tried typing up such posts but other then getting them off my chest and onto print, I have no desire for it to be read. Those things are probably my darkest thoughts. The feelings of rage and anger and utter bitter contempt I have for a few people, based on their actions – you would be shocked to read my feelings that I can put into word and because it is directed at people, some of who are related to me, it would shock the shit outta you!

The personal feelings of failure and frustration – I can share most of it. I can’t share a lot of my feelings about some of the stuff but to an extent I can give you a fair idea of what I am going through at certain times. I also cannot share a huge personal thing which involves my most darkest thoughts – it’s just way too crazy for me to put in words. I get ashamed and embarrassed and vent out in own way to get rid of them whenever they appear in my mind but never in words here.

Sahara

Sahara is a 2005 action /adventure movie directed by Breck Eisner and based on the best-selling book of the same name by Clive Cussler. It stars Matthew McConaughey, Penelope Cruz, Steve Zahn, William H Macy & Rainn Wilson. The movie is about 3 points Рthe search for a  long lost ironclad boat, carrying the last of the Confederacy’s treasury away from attack, a disease spread through the water in Mali and a corrupt solar detoxification plant the source of the contamination and is aided by bribes given to the Mali dictator.

World Health Organization doctors Eva Rojas and Frank Hopper are investigating a disease that is spreading across Mali, Africa. Assassins attempt to murder Eva, but she is rescued by Dirk Pitt, from National Underwater and Marine Agency, who was working nearby. Dirk gets a call from a dealer in Nigeria to sell him a gold Confederate States of America coin, one of supposedly only five in existence. Believing this to be a lead to the long lost CSS Texas, Dirk gets his boss and former commanding officer, ret. Navy Admiral James Sandecker, to let him, Al Giordino, and Rudi Gunn, from NUMA, go to Mali to search. They give Eva and Hopper a ride, so that they can continue their investigation, for the WHO.

Former Navy seals & ex-CIA men Dirk & Al take Rudi along with them on Sandecker’s yatch and after dropping off the doctors and trudge along the river on their search. Businessman Yves Massarde and dictator General Kazim, who controls half of civil-war torn Mali, try to stop the doctors from discovering the source of “plague”. Kazim also sends some of his soldiers on motor boats to kill the men from NUMA but Kirk & Al are able to destroy their boats and escape unharmed. They send Rudi back to warn Sandecker about the situation while they themselves go to rescue the WHO doctors. They are able to save Eva from the soldiers but Dr. Hopper and their local crew are all killed by gunfire. The three of them make their way through the desert but are captured by¬†Tuareg, who are fighting the civil war against Kazim. The Tuaregs‚Äô leader, Madibo, shows Eva his people, who are dying from the same disease she was investigating at the beginning. After taking samples, Eva finds that their water is contaminated.

During their stay Al stumbles on a cave painting that depicts the CSS Texas. Dirk believes that the¬†Texas¬†became stranded when the river water dried up after a storm and that the same river that carried the¬†Texas¬†now runs underground, spreading the contamination. On their search they stumble upon the solar plant and realize that it is the source of the contamination but before they can leave they are captured by Massarde’s men. He keeps Eva but sends Dirk and Al to Kazim. They escape but end up stranded in the middle of the desert. The two friends make their way to civilisation and contact Sandecker, who warns them that Kazim and his troops are after them. Dirk and Al enlist Madibo‚Äôs aid to return to the plant and rescue Eva. He helps them infiltrate the plant and rescue his people who are working there as slaves. Rather than risk discover, Massarde decides to escape and blow up the plant but Al defuses the bomb. Dirk manages to rescue Eva while Massarde escapes in his helicopter. Dirk, Eva, and Al get away from the plant and discover the wreck of the ironclad while throwing bombs at a chasing Kazim in his helicopter.

They take cover inside but Kazim‚Äôs ammunition is too much for the old ironclad’s armor. Using a rusted old cannon they fire off and destroy Kazim’s gunship while Madibo’s men arrive to take care of Kazim’s army. In the end the contamination is dealt with Sandecker is offered a deal to do some covert work, while the government serendipitously funds NUMA, which he accepts, tentatively. Massarde is given some of the contaminated water to drink without his knowledge by one of Sandecker’s friends. The gold discovered in the Texas is given to Madibo’s people and Eva & Dirk start a relationship.

It’s a little too predictable and doesn’t really light up your imagination in the way that some adventure movies do. The movie made $120 mil at the box office but on a $160 mil budget that is considered a flop. My rating is a 6 out of 10!

Charmed – Season 3

Charmed season 3, originally aired in 2000-01, was significant for two main reasons РADA Cole Turner/Balthazor played by Australian actor Julian McMahon was introduced as a new main character to the series and by the end of the series Shannen Doherty would leave the show. Reportedly, the reason for her departure was because of tensions between Doherty and co-star Alyssa Milano. That might not come as a shock to fans of her previous show Beverly Hills 90210 Рwhich she left after 4 seasons due to reported tension with costars.

So the season sees a main character in Cole / Balthazor, who is a half human-half demon, sent by¬†The Triad¬†to destroy the sisters. In the process of befriending the sisters and Leo, Cole starts a relationship with Pheobe, initially to separate her from the other two but instead he falls in love with her and is unable to carry out his mission. Prue is looking for balance in her life, juggling her photography, her role as a Charmed one, and her love life. Piper and Leo’s relationship becomes serious as they plan to get married against the wishes of¬†The Elders. Their romance is a constant theme in season 3 and finally they do get married – albeit after a major mess courtesy Prue.

Most of the first half of the season centers on Cole/Belthazor forcing his way into The Charmed Ones’ lives by initiating a romance with Phoebe. As he struggles with his conflict between his duty and his love for her, Prue is extremely suspicious of Cole from the beginning, causing a rift between her and her youngest sister. The romance between them is responsible for a lot of cornyness in the show just like Piper’s & Leo’s problems but the show does get a lot more interesting because of the conflict. Anyways, their father also comes back into their lives and gets involved in one of the episodes. And here is one of my issues with the show – Prue is opening antagonistic towards their father as he left them when the sisters were very young. So while Piper & Phoebe in particular are glad for him being back in their life, Prue has reservations. However this all instantly vanishes – while in a demonic relm, she is getting sucked into she calls out “Daddy” and he grabs her and pulls her back. Instantly she is now daddy’s girl! So cheesy!

The Charmed Ones begin to discover and understand the hierarchy of the underworld, as they learn of The Triad who are responsible for sending Belthazor and various other demons after them. Unable to kill Balthazor/Cole, Phoebe fakes his death to her sisters, so he can continue to live on, although in secret as he has to hide from the demons. Cole decides to follow his heart & his human side and joins the Charmed ones in¬† their fight. Prue, growing weary of her battles to save innocents and in fighting off the Angel of Death, is forced to turn her back on a dying soul, and must come to grips with her feelings towards fate and the death of her mother. In the season finale Prue and Piper bring a doctor to the manor, to protect him from a powerful demonic assassin named Shax, who was sent by The Source. When Shax breaks into the manor, he throws Prue and Piper through a wall, causing them to almost die, until Leo arrives with enough time to heal them. Phoebe uses a vanquishing spell on Shax but it does not kill him. While searching for Shax out in the streets, Prue and Piper are caught on live television using their powers, thus exposing themselves as witches. As a crowd forms around their house, a mentally unstable girl, claiming to want to join The Charmed Ones’ coven, breaks in, only to be thrown out by Prue. In retaliation, the girl shoots Piper from outside. The Source, knowing about Piper, strikes a deal with Cole that if he can get Phoebe to stay in the underworld, he will have Tempus the demon reset time, thus saving Piper.

It is only in the 4th season opener that we learn that when Shax attacks them, Phoebe is unable to interfere and both of her sisters get injured close to death. Leo is unable to save Prue so Phoebe is saved and lives.

The Blossom & Fade – 2

This is the second of a series. Please read this post first as it is a general framework for this series.

Ok, one of the cases most closest to me is that of a girl who worked in the same office as me back in 2004-05. For the 18 months or so that she was there, I was pretty close to me, like a lot of other people. She was one of the first of a new batch of call center agents entrusted to me to supervise on the floor just after my promotion to supervisor. Hence I was close to most of them and that closeness has continued to this day, even though none of us work in the same place anymore. I treated most of the young ones like a big brother would and true to my treatment towards them most of them treated me like an older brother. Infact most of them called me Roshan Bhai (which means brother in Hindi, as a couple of them had thought that I was a Gujarati and hence referred to me in such a way). This girl was one of the closer ones to me and I still have some contact with her.

One day when I was speaking to a couple of them, she told us about a guy she likes and who likes her. I asked about him and she told me all his details and about how they met in college. From whatever she told me he sounded like a decent guy. A few days later on my way to my desk, I saw her standing in the hall waiting to talk to me. Next to her was a young man her age, obviously the fellow she mentioned. I stopped to speak to her and she introduced me as to him as her boyfriend. Infact she had asked him to come to the office in particular to meet me and a couple of her close friends in the office! I said hello and we spoke for a bit. She told me that she was going to inform¬† her parents about this guy in a few weeks and ask their permission for marriage. It was a few months after this that she quit the job at the office and I haven’t had seen her since except for a few calls over the phone and well on Facebook for the past couple of years. About a year after she left she called me up one day as her sister was joining the office I was then in and she wanted to enquire about the facilities there.

We spoke and caught up about things that happened in the last one year since she suddenly quit and left the company. She told me that she was married and now living in Thrissur. So I casually asked about the guy that she had introduced me to and asked how he was doing and where he was working – on the assumption that she was married to him. She seemed a bit embarrassed and said that he was fine and working as HR in a nice office. I was glad for her & him. A while later she called me back and said that she couldn’t speak freely about this guy to me earlier as there were people around her but now she was alone and free to tell me – that she wasn’t married to the guy at all! It seems that her parents were against the marriage, saying that the age gap between them was too small and they would not let her marry a guy of her choice. They said that she was to marry a groom who they choose. So she meekly told this guy to forget about her and find someone else as she couldn’t go against her parents wishes.

I felt a bit pissed off at her for doing it. She should know her parents and their behaviour and that they would never let her get married of her own choice. She shouldn’t have strung the poor guy along for so long and then faced with her parents anger, told him to basically take a hike. Don’t go for such things if you cannot face the music. Either convince your parents or elope. Ensure that you and the guy can fend for yourselves and do the courageous thing if you are sure – go out on your own. If you cannot do this then don’t fucking get into a relationship! Stay at home, meet the guy your parents choose for you, agree if you like him, fuck the stranger on your wedding¬† night and make babies in less than a year! Simple as that, make your own choice!

Grown Ups

Directed by Dennis Dugan, written and produced by Adam Sandler, Grown Ups is a 2010 comedy, a bromedy if you will, starring  Sandler, Kevin James,Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider. The ladies are Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolf and both Norm McDonald & Steve Buscemi have bit roles in it too.

The movie is about 5 school friends who were part of a won their junior high school basketball championship in 1978. 30 years later each of them get a phone call that their beloved coach has died and they met up for the funeral with their respective families. Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler) is a high-powered Hollywood talent agent who is married to Roxanne Chase (Salma Hayek), a fashion designer, and has three children, his two spoiled sons, Greg and Keithie who always play with the latest gadgets and his cutie little daughter, Becky. Eric Lamonsoff (Kevin James) claims he is now a co-owner of a lawn furniture company, is married to Sally (Maria Bello) and has two children, Donna and Bean – Bean continues to nurse on Sally, which is source of much hilarity in the movie. Kurt McKenzie (Chris Rock) is a stay-at-home father who is married to Deanne (Maya Rudolph), the primary breadwinner of the family (who is also pregnant) and has two kids. Deanne’s mother also lives with the family. Rob Hilliard (Rob Schneider) has been divorced three times and has daughters Jasmine, Amber, and Bridget from those marriages. His current wife, Gloria, is 30 years older than him. Marcus Higgins (David Spade playing David Spade as he does in all his roles) is a lazy womanizer.

After their reunion at the funeral, including a funny but touching song by Rob, the 5 friends bring their families to a big lake house where they used to have a lot of fun growing up. Roxanne wants to leave the next day to go to Milan for a fall showing but Lenny wants her to stay and have all the families bond over the 4th of July long weekend. ¬†At a local restaurant, Lenny runs into his old nemesis, Dickie Bailey, who is still upset at Lenny because he allegedly had his foot out of bounds when he made the long-ago game winning shot. Dickie challenges him and his friends to a rematch, but Lenny declines, noting that Dickie is decidedly out of shape. The 5 friends scatter their coach’s ashes according to his wishes and then proceed to have fun – going hiking, taking the families to a water park where Bean is finally weaned off breast milk and onto milk from a carton. Rob’s two older daughters show up – two rather hot daughters who the men keep ogling at – and his 3rd daughter looks a lot like him.

While hiking they play a game of arrow roulette – shooting an arrow straight into the air and running for cover – but it backfires when Rob gets it impaled on his foot. At the water park they continue to have a lot of fun and run into Dickie and his friends and Wiley (Buscemi) gets injured when he attempts a dangerous stunt in the air, crashing into a cabin. The kids bond while playing cup & strings in the night much to Lenny’s delight.¬†Roxanne ultimately figures out that it is more important to stay at the lake house than going to Milan. On their final day at the lake house, Lenny and his buddies are challenged again to a basketball rematch by Dickie. At the game-deciding shot, Lenny purposely misses in order to allow Dickie to finally win. Before the end of the film, Marcus plays another game of arrow roulette, this time with an entire crowd of people, and everyone takes off, with the already-injured Wiley getting his foot impaled by the arrow.

It’s fun it’s silly. Not the best bromedy comedy I have seen but it’s still fun. I’ll give it an 8 outta 10!