Friday, September 23, 2011

An Open Letter to Facebook

Dearest Facebook, 

I have been an FB loyalist (bordering on an addict) since the last four years now. 

No, I may not have grown crops or tended the cattle but I have painstakingly taken most of the quizzes my friends asked me to even if it meant answering what my favorite color was only to know that I am supposed to be married in 2012, when I already have been at the altar way before, but never mind that.

Though I am guilty of ignoring help requests on mafia wars, I have tried to honestly reply every time I 'visited' my own profile and you asked me "What's on your mind?"
I have lol'ed and rofl'ed on PJs my connections posted, I have graciously "liked" and "commented" on crazy pics, I have controlled my rising temper at being poked unnecessarily by random strangers, I have kept my wall 'well-posted', and myself updated on all the notifications...
Over the years, I have patiently put up with all your makeovers and supposedly improvised look and feel (s); I have even indulged your eccentricities via blogger, twitter and the now extinct Orkut...

...And all that I ask in return is please STOP complicating the user experience - whatever happened to the KISS principle - Keep It Short and Simple! You introduce Friend Lists to help me control better what I share with whom and then you go ahead and come up with this totally insane idea of 'Subscriptions'. Why the hell would I want to subscribe to someone I am not even friends with - Do not give me the TWITTER example - I'd rather tweet instead! 

One reason, I haven't dated Google Chrome as yet is because it tried to do too many things for me. And that's exactly where you are headed, darling FB.
Now, I login to FB and can't figure out where my lists are amidst all the clutter. I am still struggling to find out how to see the friends in a particular list.
A 100 usability experts might come up with a 1000 reasons on why the new interface is better, and over time I will get used to it and even find it convenient, but then like someone very aptly "shared":

I realise that this is your way to use new tricks to keep the old flame alive, but my love, take this tiff in the right spirit, and always remember to pls KISS and make up!

With all my love,
A slightly jilted (us)(lov)er

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Vandhan Vendraan

So finally - my first tamil movie in a theater - Vandhan Vendran (He Came, He Won)! 

Definitely not a good pick for a first timer, but then I had been warned enough so my expectations were pretty low - I was more excited about the experience of watching a tamil movie in a theater in Chennai - and that was quite enjoyable - so the movie itself is pardoned :D. (I have seen better tamil movies but only on TV/DVD and with sub titles.)

I swear I have never seen such enthusiasm and cheering and hooting and whistling in any other movie I have watched till date - People tell me this is nothing compared to the roaring applause and vocal support that movies with Rajnikant, Surya and others get - So till I am able to vouch for that first hand - this movie tops the list :).

Now you might wonder how I - a non-tamil speaker managed - Simple, I seated myself next to one of the most patient person in the group who painstakingly translated the movie to an extent that I could fully understand not only the story line but the double meaning humor (and as they say, the punch) too. 
As for the "watching experience", didn't you already know I am a fast learner - So when Jeeva entered, and Nanda graced the screen, when Tapasee made her appearance and Santhanam made an entry, I took the cue from my neighbors and clapped my hands and joined in the hooting (it's a pity I cannot whistle) - and believe me I had super fun. I also cheered (super loudly) when certain dialogues were spoken in hindi - what was that saying - "when in Rome, do as the Romans do" :P :P.

I feel inadequate to really critique the movie, so no rating but here's my opinion on it - The story line was not at all compact - it was too flawed and long winded with all the nested and never-ending looped flashbacks. The movie itself could do with a lot of editing!
There isn't much to talk about the cinematography, though I must mention I loved the Kerela shots. 

As for the music - quite pleasant to the ear...Infact I took an instant liking to the closing credits song:

Coming to the cast - I absolutely fail to understand why Tamil directors cast these north indian actresses - who cannot speak the language, cannot emote, cannot act, cannot dance and do not even look pretty! What's the point - fair skin doesn't buy you an audience - hasn't that been proven time and again at the box office? Are none of the beautiful tamil "ponnus" interested in Kollywood? And that's all that I have to say for Tapasee!

Having had grown up on an overdose of Hollywood and Bollywood, I like my actors to be good looking - and that's where Jeeva fails - he is very average - can't say much for his acting - I think he did an overall okay job. In comparison, I liked Nanda a lot - he was convincing as the bad boy (and scored a notch higher in the looks department too).

Santhanam made a reasonably decent comedian - His south indian hindi was really hilarious, especially in certain dialogues, and so was his acting - I enjoyed watching him and his antics!

Like I said - sorry, no recommendation or final verdict on this one - Vandhan Vendraan will remain special for being my first tamil movie in a cinema hall!

[Image Source: Google Images]

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

WTF Series: Episode 04: Assange vs. Mayawati, 2-1

Love All


U.S. Embassy Cable: “Mayawati – Portrait of a Lady.
Key phrases include:
“…eccentricities, whims and insecurities”
“…employs nine cooks (two to cook, the others to watch over them) and two food tasters”
“…When she needed new sandals, her private jet flew empty to Mumbai to retrieve her preferred brand”
“…she constructed a private road from her residence to her office, which is cleaned immediately after her multiple vehicle convoy reaches its destination”

Assange vs. Mayawati, 1-0


Key excerpts from Mayawati’s defense:
“The owner of Wiki leaks appears to have gone mad or he has joined hands with our opposition parties to malign my government."

“Mr. Assange should be sent to mental asylum by the country he belongs to and in case if there was no place for him, he should be sent to Uttar Pradesh. We will put him in the Agra mental asylum.”

“Those who have said that I have 9 cooks must be lounging in my household somewhere and washing dishes, that is why they claim to have such detailed knowledge of what happens in my house.”

Assange vs. Mayawati, 1-1


Assange’s rebuttal:
“…(CM should) admit her error and apologize.”
“Should she fail to do so, she is welcome to send her private jet to England to collect me, where I have been detained against my will.”

“…I would be happy to accept asylum, political asylum, in India–a nation I love. In return, I will bring Mayawati a range of the finest British footwear.”

Assange vs. Mayawati, 2-1


What entertainment in international media – It’s almost like kindergarten kids arguing back and forth – I wonder what will be the defining game point!

Seriously WTF!

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Myth of Sisyphus

Even if you are not half the FB addict that I am, I bet you must have noticed the "On This Day in 20XX" notifications that pop-up on your sidebar in Facebook, giving your status updates on the same dates for the previous years. It's like a forced trip down memory lane, but guess what - I am not complaining. 

I am totally enjoying not only reading my old status messages (yeah, yeah, go ahead and call me a narcissist :P) but also all the comment threads that follow. It is super fun - ofcourse, you need to be jobless enough to (a) notice the side bar, and (b) have the time to read all the old stash - but then oh well!

What made me write this post was this uncanny the following was my status message on this day in 2010, where I mention feasting on butterscotch icecream. 

Surprisingly (or not), I am doing exactly the same thing today - binging on butterscotch icecream - I swear which is not my favorite flavor. 

And thus, I was reminded of Albert Camus. The Myth of Sisyphus, anyone? In a way, I am where I was and continue to do what I was doing - 12 months just sneaked in from nowhere. I have always sworn by Camus' philosophy of absurdity and the futility of human life, and with each passing year my conviction only gets stronger - there is an inherent pointlessness in all the toil and the days that go by...

(However, with this realization I am still not going to give up my material (or online) possessions or obsessions - because if everything is meaningless, then I'd rather scrounge for the pseudo yet satisfying sense of satisfaction that these little (!) things give me - so don't worry, I am here to stay :D).

Coming back to FB and Camus - it is kind of oxymoronic to say this - but both continue to rock (till a more profound tragic moment of self realization hits me)!

Oh yes, hello September!


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