Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Piranhas in a fishbowl

They are like piranhas in a fishbowl, my ego and me. There isn't enough space for the two in my head and therein lies my existential conflict. They say it's good to acknowledge your ego, to even massage it once a while. But when do you rein it in? And how do you spot your ego when it dresses up as pride?
I hope to find the answer one day under the Bodhi tree. Till then we will gnaw at each other like piranhas in that fishbowl.

PS: I heard the songbird today ... about 30 seconds before it shat on my head.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Why didn't Mickey win an Oscar

I was rooting for Mickey Rourke but Sean Penn won. What the hell, I love Sean. And his acceptance speech was 24-carat Penn, calling the cream of Hollywood (and some Bollywood in this year's case) "sons of guns and Homo lovers". He is a conformist, all right.
The world finally recognized the genius of A.R.Rahman. He has done much better than Jai Ho in his time but two Oscars are not something to be sneezed at. He was a picture of nervous dignity and we should be really proud of him. Loved Kate Winslet's acceptance speech too, just fell short of Halle Berry's glycerine-charged performance at the Awards a few years ago.
But the highlight of the morning for me was Zee News which had parked its OB van in the middle of a Mumbai slum. A hysterical anchor was whipping sleepy kids into an Oscar frenzy. She didn't even give them enough time to get into their tuxedos.
Mickey should have won though.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Any which way you lose

I watched Appaloosa, that's its real name no kidding, and I wept. Generous critics call it old fashioned, methinks it's a turd fossil. Appaloosa is a Western without Clint Eastwood, about nomadic gunslingers hired to clean up a cow town. Been there, seen that.
It has Viggo Mortensen which is about its only saving grace. But Ed Harris is director and top gun -- he gives himself the cheesiest lines and the girl. The girl being Rene Zellweger, a loose mattress-back, the kind Pramod Muthalik loves. Never been fascinated by Renee who somehow thinks being crinky-eyed puppy-fatish clown is cute for a thirty-something.
To cut a long Western short, Harris is no Eastwood and Appaloosa is no Unforgiven.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Chicken tikka and other stories

I committed the cardinal sin of wandering into an Indian restaurant here in London. I could feel the chicken tikka masala turning hostile in the English kadai. “what’s he doing here,” the tikka asked the paneer. The Indian waiters with their spiky hair seemed equally unhappy. “He is going to complain about the kosherness of the food now,” they eyeballed each other and the tikka masala.
Some random white folks trying to crucify a naan with forks look up at me in surprise. “Jesus, these Indians are everywhere.” I nod appreciatively at every one and sit down purposefully. The food is not as bad as the tacky descriptions in the menu. The highlight of the meal was spiky hair describing poppadums to the fat lady who was choking on it. Good thing, he doesn’t cook … he surely wrote the menu though.
I could hear a collective sigh of relief when I grabbed my jacket to walk out. Spiky hair even managed a smile when he saw his tip. I am going back there for sure, it’s too much fun to miss.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Alfie male

Alfie Patten is 13 years old and looks eight. Good on Alfie but he shouldn't have had that baby. Alfie, all of 13, is the father of Masie Roxaane. Mercifully, his girlfriend Chantelle is older ... she is 15.
And that's not the most shocking thing. Alfie's father thinks there is money to be made here. Channel 4 and The Sun are reportedly negotiating exclusive deals with Alfie's father on the teenage pregnancy soap.
Ever since news of the media frenzy over the boy's baby has broken out, eight other teenagers have staked claim to the baby. They all certify to have rolled in the hay with Chantelle at some point in recent history. Alfie is ready to undergo a DNA test to prove he is the real father and his father is negotiating with Channel 4 to have the results aired live and exclusive on the channel. Which father would you spank? Stand by for more from London, I love this city.