Unwinding

The world is indeed a noisy, chaotic place. And we all need to unwind and destress and get away from it all once in a while. Otherwise we might lose it someday and explode out in anger and maybe have a mental breakdown or something. I’m like most people and there are days when I need to get out and leave the rest of the world behind.

I hav a few places that I like to go to. If I am outside then I head to a coffeeshop which isn’t filled up with people and order a cold coffee to cool me down. And just relax, switch off my brain and let the coffee take over. Or I could go to a bar and get some ice cold beer or some vodka and sink in the chair and let the drinks take their effects.

But the best place to unwind is at home in my room. If I can have some cool drinks and some tasty snacks and the internet at my fingertips there’s really no place like home. That’s what I am doing right now. Minus the tasty snacks.And just some coffee. Cause I am stressed. I plan an early night with a movie watched while I am between the sheets.

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RIP Pandit Ravi Shanker

Indian musical legend, sitar maestro and cultural icon Pandit Ravi Shanker has passed away at the age of 92. On 6 December 2012, Shankar was admitted to Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego after complaining of breathing difficulties. He died on 11 December at around 4:30pm PST.

Shankar was born Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury on 7 April 1920 in Varanasi to a Bengali Brahmin family as the youngest of seven brothers. At the age of ten, after spending his first decade in Varanasi, Shankar went to Paris with the dance group of his brother, choreographer Uday Shankar. By the age of 13 he had become a member of the group, accompanied its members on tour and learned to dance and play various Indian instruments.

Having toured with them in Europe and America in the early to mid-1930s and Shankar learned French, discovered Western classical music, jazz, and cinema, and became acquainted with Western customs. He then trained under Allaoudin Khan and had training on sitar and surbahar, learned ragas and the musical styles dhrupad, dhamar, and khyal, and was taught the techniques of the instruments rudra veena, rubab, and sursingar.

For nearly three decades, ever since his first solo tour of the United States and Europe in the 1956-57 season, Ravi Shankar has served as India’s unofficial ambassador for music.

The music doyen was awarded India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna in 1999. He also received three Grammy Awards and was competing against his daughter Anoushka Shankar, also a sitar player, for another Grammy in 2013. An affair with Sue Jones, a New York concert producer, led to the birth of Norah Jones in 1979.

Ravi Shankar (7 April 1920 – 11 December 2012)

Madagascar 3 : Europe’s Most Wanted

After Ice Age, the next big animated gang is Madagascar. The first movie was just simply superb and the second one was about the same too. After watching this, the 3rd movie of the beloved zoo animals who make it out, I’m not feeling the same. Madagascar 3 : Europe’s Most Wanted, released in 2012  is directed by Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath and Conrad Vernon. Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett-Smith & Chris Rock return as the voices of the 4 main characters and returning once again are Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer & Andy Richter. Newcommers are Tom McGrath, Bryan Cranston, Jessica Chastain & Martin Short.

So what’s the movie about? Alex is homesick for New York and the zoo and having big goodbye to the penguins 2 weeks ago and even his friends making him a miniature New York city with sand doesn’t satisfy him. He convinces Marty, Melman & Gloria that they should head out to Monte Carlo  to get the penguins to fly them back to New York City, which they agree to. At the casino where the penguins and the monkeys are living it up, King Julien blunders and cases havoc.Monaco’s animal control sends for Captain Chantel DuBois to capture and deal with the animals.  A high-speed chase ensues between the relentless DuBois and the animals in a truck driven by the penguins to reach their aircraft and they depart on the plane, barely escaping DuBois.

But the plane fails while still in France and they fall down. With Dubois hot on their heels, the friends seek help from a traveling train filled with circus animals and lies that they are from a circus in the US. They are reluctantly taken on board the leaving train. Wanting to help the circus in return and get them an American tour, the penguins use money they got while disguised in the casino and buy the circus and get rid of the humans. At the next show however the performances proves to be a disaster and the crowd turns angry and violent and demand their money back and the animals are chased to the station from where they head for London. En route to London, Stefano soon reveals to Alex that Vitaly was once their inspiration. Once a professional ring jumper who used to leap through incrementally smaller hoops to excite crowds and was always pushing himself to the limit, his attempt at an impossible jump through a flaming pinkie ring ended in disaster when he burned his fur, which he had coated in extra virgin olive oil in order to slip through the narrow opening, destroying his confidence in his talent and the whole circus suffered by his example.

Alex stops the train in the Alps and inspires the animals to get new acts and make a solid impression. His enthusiasm rubs off on everyone except Vitaly. Alex, Marty, Melman & Gloria are in the act too and it seems that Gia & Alex are falling in love. As too are King Julien and Sonya, a bear! Dubois meanwhile escapes trouble with the local cops and gets her men together.  In London, the troupe prepares for the promoter in the audience, but Vitaly is discovered packing to leave. Alex convinces Vitaly to stay by reminding him of how he enjoys performing the impossible and suggests that he uses hair conditioner as a safer lubricant to perform his flaming ring jump. As a result, Vitaly’s stunt is performed perfectly, which proves to be the opening of a spectacularly successful show. After the impressed promoter arranges for an American tour, DuBois shows up with a paper showing that Alex was missing. Though the penguins are able to foil DuBois’s plan, Alex is forced to confess that the four of them are just zoo animals trying to get home, disappointing the others who feel used and lied from the four of them. Also, Julien breaks up with Sonya, telling her that he can’t be a part of the circus.

All the animals finally arrive back in New York but Alex and gang are disheartened and find the zoo to be now small and restrictive. They decided to try and rejoin the circus but Dubois captures them only to have the zoo authorities mistake her for a hero and returning the animals. Julien is able to alert the circus animals of the others’ predicament and upon learning about the zoo animals’ plight, Gia and Vitaly convince the circus animals to rescue their friends and they set out for the zoo, performing aboard a flying circus. The circus animals arrive in time to stop Dubois from secretly trying to kill Alex and a massive brawl occurs where the circus uses all of what they had developed as part of their revamped act. As the group tries to leave, DuBois attempts to kill Stefano, who is stranded at the zoo. However, Alex saves Stefano and all the animals then defeat DuBois and escape. Heartened by this valiant demonstration of their new friends’ love, Alex and his friends decide to join the circus permanently. Meanwhile, DuBois and her men find themselves inside shipping crates on a cargo ship bound for the island of Madagascar.

The film was released on June 8, 2012, to critical and commercial success; it is the best-reviewed film in the series, with a 78% “Certified Fresh” approval rating on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. It is also the highest-grossing film in the series with a worldwide gross of over $741 million but I still found it lacking compared with the first two. Still 8 outta 10!

Hit By The Bus Strike

Today the people of the state of Kerala had to endure another one of those miserable strikes. The private bus worker’s unions had called a strike a couple of days ago, to be held on the 10th of December. Why? Well in lieu of the petrol & diesel prices going up in recent weeks the private bus owners group held a strike as they wanted to raise the prices of the bus tickets, especially the minimum charge from Rs.5 to Rs.6. Initially the state government did not agree so the strike took place. Predictably after a day the government agreed to increasing the bus tickets rates and the strike ended after 24 hours. In effect I now pay Rs.9 instead of the Rs.7 I was paying to travel from home to the office.

However we had another strike today related to the same incident. The bus workers union (drivers, conductors and door checkers – why the fuck do we need so many people operating a single bus?) were not happy as even though the bus fare was increased, their salaries weren’t. They demanded a good pay hike, which is standard across all the unions and bus owners, as the rates of commodities have been increased. It wasn’t done and so they held a strike today. So no private buses! Great, big fucking great! The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation runs it’s own buses but they are few and far between and worse thing is that there are so few that run from my place to my job in Kakkanad. So I waited for 45 minutes this morning in the hot sun waiting for a bus and on finding the only one completely filled with people like sardines in a can, I took an auto just to reach to the office on time. I was 20 minutes late and poorer by Rs 160.

I left the office early to try and get home quickly but wasn’t able to get into a bus. The couple of ones that were going in my direction were packed like crazy. I waited and I waited and then got an auto to Palaraviattom -> Rs.60. I waited some more, then had a cup of coffee and waited some more and finally at 7pm gave up and took another auto and came home. Rs.100 poorer! Tired, needing a shower and hating this stupid state and it’s people and it’s unions and it’s striking mentality.

True Blood – Season 5

Starting off right where we left the last season, season 5 sees Sookie & Lafayette mourning a dear Tara when Pam appears. Sookie and Pam make a deal: if Pam resurrects Tara by turning her into a vampire with Pam’s blood, Sookie will help repair Pam’s relationship with Eric. And so we now have Tara who is turned into a vampire, sire by the hot Pam. Ah Pam! OK, meanwhile, Bill and Eric are arrested by the Vampire Authority for Nan Flanigan’s murder, when Nora, Eric’s ‘sister’ rescues them and has sex with Eric. Rev Steve is now a gay vampire and has his eyes set on Jason but is saved by Jessica.  Eric and Bill are grilled by the Vampire Authority in their headquarters in New Orleans and ask that they spare their lives in exchange for their assistance in stopping the former king-now-fugitive Russell Edgington.

Alcide has his own issues as he comes forward to the wolf pack and reveals he killed Marcus, not Sam. Sam is released from his torture and Alcide has to now take his place as the pack master as he was the werewolf that killed the old one, Marcus. Hoyt refuses to listen to Jason’s explanation & excuses for his fling with Jessica and this puts a strain on their lifelong friendship. Pam initially doesn’t care much for Tara and the pleas of Sookie to help her but when Tara attempts suicide, Pam’s instincts takes over and she stops her from doing so.  Pam forces a reluctant Tara to embrace her nature and live as a vampire. Terry gets a visit from a friend from his days in Iraq and their past comes to haunt them really badly. Alcide & Sookie almost hook up but are interrupted by Eric & Bill who ask for her help to find Russell. In the parking lot where Russell was buried, Sookie uses her fairy powers to discover that a woman from the Vampire Council glamoured Alcide’s employee and rescued Russell. This leads Alcide, Eric, Bill, and Sookie to a charnel house where they find humans used as food. They find Russell recuperating; as Eric says that they’ve “come to finish” what he and Bill started a year ago, Russell states “give it your best shot” when it cuts to another werewolf surprise attacking Alcide from behind.

Wolves attack Eric, Bill and Alcide while Russell attempts to feed on Sookie, the Vampire Authority appear and take Russell, Bill and Eric to the Authority–after glamouring Sookie and Alcide–where they are praised as heroes. Sookie learns from Jason about their parents’ true death (they were killed by vampires), which Jason learns by stumbling upon a shielded fairy club and they go to the fairy night club where they discover their parents died because of Sookie’s scent, the vampire having smelled Sookie and killed her parents. Alcide changes his mind and challenges JD, who makes the wolves drink vampire’s blood, for the pack master’s position. He is however beaten badly. Meanwhile, Roman the Vampire Authority leader is killed by Russell & Salome reveals where her true allegiances lie, admitting she was the one who dug up Russell’s grave after following Eric and Bill the night Russell was buried. The Chancellors, Nora, Bill and Eric, under Russell’s lead, drink the blood of Lilith and become high. They raid a private party and feast on the humans present. A vision of Lilith (portrayed by actress Jessica Clark) appears, commanding them to continue draining the humans, while looking at Nora. Godric appears in a vision to Eric, stating Eric knows what he is doing is wrong but his sister does not, and Eric must save her.

Hoyt finds new friends who hates vampires, wolves & shifters and they are responsible for shooting at Sam & Luna – Luna has her daughter Emma stay with her grandmothers for safety. Hoyt’s new friends kidnap Jessica for him and initially it looks like Hoyt will rape & kill her but he helps her escape. Salome has sex with Bill who bites her but hallucinates that he’s having sex with Sookie, he bites aggressively throughout sex; but afterwards we see Salome pleased with the rough sex and Bill holding some of her blood on the tip of his finger. Russell meanwhile steals Emma away as a pet for his new lover Steve. Bill will betray Eric for a powerful position in the authority. Hoyt asks Jessica to glamour him so he can forget her and Jason and move to Alaska. Meanwhile, Nora and Bill convince (force) Eric to believe in Lillith and Bill summons Jessica to the AVL. Sam and Luna sneak into the AVL to try and find Emma while Russell has other plans on his mind, plans that concern walking in the sun by drinking fae blood. Bill losing control orders Jessica to turn Jason into a vampire but she tricks the guards and does not turn him. Meanwhile, Pam takes the fall for Tara’s murder of the new vampire sheriff and is taken to the Authority and Steve & Russell go in search for the faeries club.

In the fifth season finale, Eric arrives just in time and kills Russell Edgington and saves the faeries & Sookie from being killed by him. Eric holds Nora back from draining Sookie, who has saved his life on more than one occasion. Along with Nora and Tara, he convinces Sookie to assist them in overthrowing the Authority, with Jason tagging along. Jason carries his parents’ images with him, who aren’t fond of vampires. Meanwhile, Luna skinwalks as Steve Newlin to rescue Emma and announces the Authority’s crimes to the world while Steve is on air. Sam breaks free and ends up killing Chancellor Rosalyn and escapes with Luna, Emma and the rest of the humans. Back in Bon Temps, Andy is forced by Morella to deliver her quadruplet faerie babies with assistance from Holly; afterwards, she goes off without them. Alcide, with help from some vampire blood from his father, kills J.D. and takes over as leader of the pack. At the climax, Sookie, Eric, Nora, Tara, and Jason infiltrate the Authority complex and kill all of the guards in a huge bloodbath and free Pam and Jessica where the reunited Pam and Tara share an affectionate kiss much to Sookie’s suprise and Jessica’s amusement. Before Sookie and Eric go after Bill by themselves, Bill tricks Salome into drinking blood laced with silver and kills her. He then drinks Lilith’s blood in front of Sookie and Eric, faces the “true death,” only to rise a more powerful vampire than before. Eric screams for Sookie to run…

Arsenal 2 West Bromwich Albion 0

Mikel Arteta scored two goals and put atleast a temporary halt to Arsenal’s recent slide into mediocrity with a win against this season’s Cinderella side West Bromwich Albion. Both goals came via the penalty spot which the Spaniard specializes in. The midfielder’s first spot-kick came after Steven Reid was controversially adjudged to have fouled Santi Cazorla. The visitors almost let in a second when Gervinho pulled the ball back for a lunging Jack Wilshere to poke an effort wide. The visitors thought they should have had a penalty for a Per Mertesacker handball but they struggled to create any real chances. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was fouled by Chris Brunt for Arteta’s second and a first Arsenal win in four league games.

Lukas Podolski should have put a more convincing gloss on the win only to scuff a late shot horribly high from six yards. That was a terrible miss which made me jump up from my chair and yell out “Oh for Fuck’s sake!” For West Brom, it was a third straight top flight-defeat but they will no doubt point to the decisions of referee Mike Jones for playing a part in their downfall. Victory will come as a relief for the Gunners as they battled to a result that moves them up to sixth from 10th in the Premier League. Arsenal were watched by former striker Thierry Henry amid talk he could return to the club on a temporary basis from MLS club New York Red Bulls, but he will have seen a side a shadow of the title-winning ones he spearheaded.

Beer Review : Tennent’s Lager

Tennent’s is a beer from Scotland. Wellpark Brewery is a brewery situated in Duke Street in the East End of Glasgow, Scotland. It was founded in 1740 on the bank of the Molendinar Burn by Hugh and Robert Tennent. It is currently owned by C&C Group plc, which purchased the Tennent Caledonian Breweries subsidiary in late August 2009 from Belgian brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev (formerly known as InBev). And Tennent’s lager is the beer that I was trying tonight.

Before this evening I had never seen or heard of Tennent’s lager and was apprehensive about getting this beer. Ofcourse the beer I had was brewed in India, as most international lagers that we get here are. They will have a tie up with a brewery in India, in order to sell their swill in this country. I usually go for Carslberg, Tuborg or Kingfisher (only the latter is purely Indian) but the beverages store didn’t have any other beer available. So I got this one.

The beer comes in the dark 650ml bomber bottles that we are used to here in India. It smelled strong and even a little bit, the tiniest bit ever mind you, fruity but it poured a pale yellow colour. The colour of piss after you have had too many beers. But to taste it was dry, bitter and not as strong as I thought. I didn’t have anything to help the process at all except for some salted biscuits which seemed to work. It was poor beer. I’m better off sticking with Tuborg & Carlsberg or even Kingfisher.

Below is the video for the beer :

December Is Hot & We Have Mosquitoes!

Simple, Free Image and File Hosting at MediaFireIt’s December and even if we here in South India don’t get a winter season – no snow, no ice and not even cold weather – and it’s usually just warm, this year it is really bad! Last year we had mornings that were cool with a little bit of morning mist. By mid morning it would be warm and kinda normal but it wasn’t that hot during December-January. This year not so much!

This year it’s mostly hot with more heat piling up. It’s quite sunny and hot these days, from say around 9 am till evening 6pm when atleast the sun goes down – and it is getting darker than usual this month. I’ll give the season atleast that much. But the evenings are worse cause I can’t keep the windows open. It’s hot and sweaty and even if there isn’t much of a breeze I’d love to be able to keep the windows open but I can’t because of all these damn mosquitoes! I’m finding it hard to sleep at night because of them bastard vampire insects buzzing around me all night long, going into my nostrils, my ears and flying into my face and biting me all over. I guess I’m going to have to get some mosquito repellent (I’m allergic to most of them) sooner rather than later.

Damn, I hate Kacheripady when it comes to mosquitoes. Having lived in a place that didn’t a problem for 19 years and then moving here to find that this is a mosquito haven, ugh! And the heat, shit we’re all gonna need personal airconditioner packs some day soon! Global warming – and to think there are idiots who think that global warming is a myth!! Don’t they read the papers, morons? This is all because of mankind being irresponsible and having causes depletion in the ozone layer.

Endless Nights

Based on novel by the same name Agatha Christie’s Endless Nights is a 1972 British crime movie with perhaps a shade of supernatural (not really as we find out) in it. It’s a movie I have seen a couple of times many years ago and felt sad while watching it and I remembered it a couple of days ago and just had to download it and watch it again. Directed by Sidney Gilliat and starring Hayley Mills, Britt Ekland, Per Oscarsson, Hywel Bennett and George Sanders. Until watching the movie I didn’t know any of the actors except ofcourse for sexy Britt Ekland but it is impossible for a straight guy to watch the movie and not fall in love a little with Hayley Mills’ character Ellie.

Ok so the story goes like this – Michael is an ambitious but aimless drifter who has lofty dreams that never seem to take place. He goes from job to job much to the chagrin of his well meaning mother, who prays that he doesn’t take after his ‘useless’ father. In the beginning of the movie, Michael is a rent a chauffeur, who visits museums to look at pretty paintings and pretending to big for pricy art in auction houses. He gets fired from his job when he pisses off an obnoxious American tourist & customer. He then goes to spend a day by himself as he dreams of building a magnificent house on a particular spot of land along the Devon coast called Gipsy’s Acre. While snapping photos there he chances upon lovely Ellie, who is an American visiting England. They both hit it off and go off to have tea after spending a few hours talking in the meadows but not before being spooked by Miss Townsend, an old woman who claims to have been a member of the last family that owned the land. Unknown to him, Ellie is actually a wealthy heiress and they fall in love, promising to meet each other in a few weeks.

Michael is angry with her on finding the truth and even more angry when Ellie confesses that she bought Gipsy’s Acre. But when she claims true love for him, they make up and get married in a town hall. The now very rich young couple – Ellie having turned 21 and having control over her inheritance – decide to build Mike’s dream home in Gipsy’s Acre and give the job to a famous architect who had befriended the two of them separately. Meanwhile Mike has to face Ellie’s unhappy family – her step mother and her new husband, uncle and aunt and uncle Andrew the family lawyer who is more forgiving. Despite his good natured charm uncle Andrew tells Mike that he has been asked to offer Mike a large sum of money in exchange for a quiet divorce. Mike refuses and says that he truly loves Ellie and she him. The young couple avoid the family and settle into their new house when Ellie’s German companion visits them. Tension arises when her weekend stay looks like being an almost permanent move instead and Mike & Greta clash. At a party thrown for them by the local doctor, Ellie has to put herself in between a quarreling Mike & Greta in full view of the other guests and Ellie’s family, who also do not approve of Greta.

With the curse hanging over the land and weird sightings of Ms. Towsend who seems to haunt the couple, mysterious accidents pile up and soon Ellie has a midnight accident. Later while Greta is away and Mike is at his new antique shop, Ellie has a fall while horse riding and is found dead. A devastated Mike has the local authorities question the circumstances of her death but they find none. Mike travels to America to sort out some estate matters and meets with Andrew while Greta takes care of things at Gipsy’s Acre. Just when he is to leave back for England, Mike is called to his architect friend’s deathbed who gets angry at him for his ‘foolishness’! We are left to ponder as to what he meant as the architect dies soon after. Andrew says that there is only more paperwork for Mike left which he will mail to England. Mike takes a long trip by ship back to England and comes back home only to see an image of Ellie waiting for him near a tree. He brushes off the image and goes into the house – where Greta is waiting with champagne & celebration! It turns out that the two planned the whole thing together and now engage in sex.

As we find out in flashbacks, Mike met Greta in Amsterdam and they became lovers. Greta told him about Ellie and they planned the chance meeting which was meant for Mike to woo Ellie. Their plan was to make Ellie fall in love with Mike and have them get married and have Mike get control of Ellie’s wealth. Once that was done, Mike paid Ms. Townsend to spread the ‘curse’ of the land and to scare Ellie, even spooking her horse while Ellie was riding and causing a fall. Ellie died due to her pills being altered in such a way that the chemicals that killed her couldn’t be detected after a couple of hours. And now Mike & Greta have all that wealth and the house to themselves for sharing. Also in flashback we see Mike letting his best friend drown in their childhood just so he could have his friend’s expensive gold watch. However Andrew had a spy track Mike and had found out about Mike having met Greta before he met Ellie and also found a photo of the two together in Holland. Greta & Mike argue and quarrel and Mike goes mad and kills Greta and pushes her body into the pool. The next morning Mike is arrested by the police with evidence provided by the local doctor & uncle Andrew.

The movie is narrated by Mike as told to his doctors at the mental asylum. As they ask him to repeat the story again for recording, Mike hallucinates about an image he had seen as a child and then a haunting & scary image of Ellie standing in Gipsy’s Acre and a single eye – Mike screams as the movie ends!

Sad and bitter, I especially love the melancholic song that Ellie sings a poem by William Blake “Every night and every morn,Some to misery are born,Every morn and every night,Some are born to sweet delight.Some are born to sweet delight,Some are born to endless night”. 8 outta 10, considering the budget, the year and the nostalgic feeling I get when I see this movie!

Describe Your Room

My bedroom. I live in a small 3 bedroom apartment with my folks and it’s on the 7th and top most floor of a building. Just 2 apartments per floor so just 14 in all. My room is on left side of the end of the apartment, if you look at the front door to be the front of the apartment. The second bathroom is next to my room, not attached but right next to my room and just adjacent to the bathroom is the common room which serves as the room with the iron board, library & storage room and prayer room for my folks.

So on the left side of the bathroom, and my door faces the door of the common room, is my bedroom. Ofcourse I have the queen size bed, which I push against the wall. As said before, I only use half of the bed despite my size – lonely bachelor I’m still leaving the right side of my bedroom for whichever woman wants to share it with me. Ofcourse I am kidding – not just any woman! I have standards you know! I have a small computer table on which my laptop, speakers, some dvds, 4 external hard drives and various other stuff rests. A chair for me to rest my ass on while I spend most of my free time on my computer. I also have a steel cupboard in my bedroom and a round clothes rack and I also have an old computer chair, which is damaged but still serves as a bit of storage for me – I keep some books and stuff on it.

I also have a built in cupboard to go with the steel cupboard. The built in cupboard is where I keep my clothes – underwear, shirts, trousers, more books and sorted files and cheque books in some of the drawers. Other than that there is nothing else, save for the cable for my broadband connection that comes through the windows and upto my desk which is on the wall opposite from the window. I have an artwork framed and a clock and that’s truly it!

A Dream Come True For Two

I met a former colleague & friend this evening. It was purely by chance that we met, both of us having decided on our own to go to the Abad Food Court in Bay Pride mall to get a burger, fries and pepsi each. Chance meeting – in my case because my lunch sucked and after eating it I was still hungry and was craving for a burger. So after work I took the bus to Menaka and got down there at around 6:15pm and went to Bay Pride and strolled in and using my card bought a classic chicken with fries and a pepsi. I sat down and dug in as soon as my order got ready and I went to get my tray from the counter at Mary Browns. In a few minutes a familiar face came and joined me.

His name is Prince (can’t remember his last name) and we worked together in Aspin Wall back in 2003 for a little over 7 months. After that he has worked for a couple of HR Sourcing companies and now he is a working for the Indian branch of a US based company that deals in ERP, SAP and stuff like that which I don’t have much information about. Ok so, back in 2oo3 he has told us that he was planning to go to the US along with his brother. His mother & father had migrated to the US a couple of years earlier and his maternal uncles were already based in the US, both engineers and they had gone around 25-30 years back. With her brothers being well settled, having gained citizenship there, Prince’s mom was being badgered by them to join them in the US along with her family. Since her husband had a really good job in India they did not want to leave for many years but once their sons both finished college they decided to take the plunge and migrate. Unfortunately this was just before September 2001! Yeah and immigration for their sons became a big headache.

Prince and his brother have been trying for many years to go to the US and it is finally happening. This May their mother had applied for and received citizenship. Yay for her! The dad will apply soon as well. So now, all the paper work is done and things are cleared for a go. Prince & his brother will both be leaving for Chicago in 2 weeks. And Prince is also luckier since he gets to work for the same company that he is currently working for. I think he said that the main office is in Seattle but he will work out of Chicago for a while, working from home for the time being. His brother will have to start searching & applying once they reach there. But still, its awesome for them. I’m happy, jealous ofcourse and envious but still happy for them. All the success, is my wish for the two of them.

Arrested For Laughing!!

This is from an actual trial in the UK (or so it is claimed to be so):

A young Woman who was several months pregnant was sittin in a bus. When she noticed a young man smiling at her
she began feeling uncomfortable on account of her condition.
She changed her seat & he seemed more amused.
She moved again and then on seeing him laughing more, she filed a court case on him.

In the court the Man’s defence was: When the lady boarded the bus I couldn’t help noticing she was pregnant.
She sat under an advertisement, which read ‘Coming Soon- The unknown boon’..
I was even more amused when she then sat under a shaving advertisement, which read: ‘William’s stick did the trick’..
Then I could not control myself any longer.

When on the third move she sat under an advertisement, which read: ‘Dunlop Rubber would have prevented this accident..
The case was dismissed as the judge fell off his chair laughing ?=))

Ice Age : Continental Drift

My favourite animated movie franchise & gang returns after a gap of 3 years. Ice Age : Continental Drift is the 4th movie in the Ice Age series, released in July of this year. Directed by Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier, it was written by Jason Fuchs and Michael Berg, and features the voices of Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Wanda Sykes, Queen Latifah, Peter Dinklage and Jennifer Lopez. There are a whole lot of new characters including a villanous group that prove to be a huge headache for our heroes.

The setting is a few ears after the events of the last movie and Peaches, who was just born towards the end of Dawn Of The Dinosaurs is now a teenaged mammoth. Manny is over protective and embarrasses his daughter in front of her friends and worse – in front of a male teenaged mammoth she likes called Ethan. However Scrat, like in the other movies is chasing a his acorn and attempts to bury it only to cause a mountain to break in two! Scrat then falls down into the Earth’s inner core and chases his acorn around it, causing the land on the earth’s crust to break and separate into seven continents and he gets shot out of the earth’s inner core. So take notes kids – our 7 continents were all caused by Scrat! Sid reunites with his family (who abandoned him during the first film), but is abandoned again, with his obnoxious Granny.

The separation of the land masses separates Manny, Sid, Diego and Granny from the rest – the four find themselves on a floating iceberg and have to suffer a rough storm through the night. Ellie, Peaches, Louis, Crash, Eddie, and the herd of other animals head toward a land bridge as adviced by Manny, hoping to be reunited with the missing 4. They encounters an ice ship, and discover that there are a group of animal pirates, led by a Gigantopithecus named Captain Gutt along with his first mate, a female smilodon named Shira. A fight ensues they manage to escape, breaking the pirate ship in the process. Gutt and the pirates survive the incident and are seen floating on their half of the broken ship. Shira is rescued from the water by our heroes. She will escape later and rejoin Gutt and her shipmates but is berated for failing to kill Manny & gang. Gutt who is furious at what had happened, quickly creates a new ship by breaking off a chunk of ice from a nearby ice wall and calls out for his narwhals to propel it. The pirate gang sets out after the herd, as Gutt is now determined to get revenge on Manny.

As our heroes head to the land bridge they encounter sharp-toothed sirens who seduce anyone by taking the shape of loved ones. Fortunately, Manny immediately realizes this and manages to steer the ship away from the sirens, before Sid, Diego, and Granny can get any closer to them.Ellie, Peaches, Louis, Crash, Eddie, and the herd of other animals reach the land bridge, but find it to be destroyed. Manny, and the gang finally reach home also finding it destroyed. Much to their horror, Gutt and his pirates have captured Ellie & Peaches. A huge fight errupts and Manny, Sid & Diego emerge victorious over the pirate animals with a big help in the form of a huge whale which Granny befriends and names Precious.  Gutt recovers, but finds a siren disguised as a female Gigantopithecus. Gutt goes up to it and gets eaten by the siren. Manny reunites with his family and reconciles with Peaches. Shira becomes Diego’s girlfriend and joins the herd and Louis is finally allowed to still be with Peaches whenever she hangs out with Ethan’s gang. With the continent being destroyed by the landmass, the herd and the other animals then find another continent which they accept as their new home.

A lot of fun but a little chaotic which I find is due to the many characters in it. To get true justice for this kind of a movie we need to focus on a core group of characters. Oh and Scrat finds a map to a giant acorn in the seas and finds himself in Scratlantis; a floating city filled with other sabre-toothed squirrels and acorns. Scrat, excited and gleeful, grabs many acorns on the island in a frenzy and eventually tries to grab a giant one, which was used as a plug blocking a hole for the island. He pulls it out, causing the city to flood and sink, leaving Scrat stranded in the middle of a dry desert in North America. LOL, 8.5 outta 10!

What Your Possessions Say

Choose and write about 5 (or 10) possessions that sum up who you are:

1) My Laptop Lenovo G550 – dusty, needs some work & updating, feeling the effects of time and plenty of usage (just like me). Not a top fancy model but sturdy, durable and gets the job done.

2) My BlackBerry Bold 9780 – treasured, waited for so long to get as I was short on cash. Works like a charm but no sooner did I get it then I was pinning for the newer BlackBerry models.

3) My work bad which is actually my Lenovo laptop bag – been put to good use since March 2011 for work and carrying my work related stuff from my place to Koratty and now to my new job much closer to home. I stuff some notepads, a cheque book, some papers, a pen, my spare spectacles, an umbrella, my lunch and boxes of biscuits for emergencies. Needless to say, the bag is not being used for it’s original purpose – to carry my laptop to & fro!! The shoulder pad on the strap is torn and soon the sponge will come out. I need a replacement along with a new laptop. Soon, I hope.

4) Beer glasses – I have 7 now and I don’t keep beer at home! Never! What does that say about me? Well for one, I love beer & beer glasses and I am gonna soon bring beer home.

5) My bed – it’s a queen sized bed and although I am a big guy, I still only lie on one half of it and rarely move to the right half of the bed. I keep a book or two (usually ones that I am currently reading), a couple of dvds of movies that I am soon planning to watch, my earphones and even a bill or two. Plenty of space. I am missing my better half – still waiting for the woman of my dreams to come and share my bed. When will she join me?

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