Sunday, February 27, 2011

And Rahul Tyagi's oscars go to....

Now that I have seen almost all the major contender's except Black Swan, here are my awards.. (not my predictions, as most of these hardly stand a chance...)

Best Picture: The Social Network (close runner up: Inception)
Best Director: Chris Nolan (not even nominated, I know... among the nominees, I'd give it to David Fincher)
Best Lead Actor: Javier Bardem
Best Lead Actress: Annette Bening (haven't seen Blue Valtentine either)
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo (close runner up: Jacki Weaver... close runner up to the close runner up: Haillee Steinfeld)
Best Original Screenplay : Inception (not seen Another Year yet)
Best Adapted Screenplay : The Social Network
Best Animated Feature : Toy Story -3 (haven't seen The Illusionist yet)
Best Cinematography : True Grit (close runner up The King's Speech)
Best Editing : Inception (again, not nominated... among the nominees, perhaps TSN or 127 Hours)
Best Original Score: Inception 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2011 Oscar Nominations

The nominations were announced about half an hour ago, so here is the obligatory 'reaction post' (even though the equally obligatory 'my wishlist post' never made it beyond my facebook status message).


- for A R Rahman, of course. Twin nominations, once again! And this time it feels even better than 2009 because that year those nominations were almost inevitable, unlike this year. 127 Hours lost a lot of steam because a lot of people just weren't interested in watching it (the theme/story doesn't really make it an audience magnet). Also, right at the fag end of the year True Grit released and sort of pushed around some of the not-so-sure nominees out. I was afraid that 127 Hours might've missed the bus. But it didn't!!! :) Now I'm getting greedy. I actually am hopeful that he'll WIN one of these. Perhaps not for original score, but If I Rise must stand a very good chance!

- for Pixar, as usual. Best picture and Best animated feature were a given but I didn't think the screenplay would get the recognition. Moreover, I had completely forgotten about Day&Night being in the run for the best animated short.. so that was a pleasant news!

- for Jackie Weaver. Animal Kingdom was a movie well worth watching, and Jackie Weaver's performance essentially carries the movie through the extremely engaging last hour or so of the movie. Ben Mendelsohn was actually really good too, but one can't have everything!

- for Winter's Bone. 4 of the biggest nomination categories!! Picture, actress, supporting actor and screenplay! It was a pleasant surprise to see that people remembered this small movie even though it was released way back in the summer. (unlike The Ghost Writer, which released pretty early in the year and was completely forgotten)

- for The Kids Are All Right. see 'Winter's Bone'. except that this actually did release closer to the oscar season, and hence wasn't really a surprise.

- for Javier Bardem. Haven't seen the movie yet, but I'm always delighted whenever a performance in a foreign language movie gets such attention. He missed out on a nomination for Mar Adentro, but perhaps this will be his year again (after Anton Chigurh got him a well deserved oscar). Then again, Colin Firth (or James Franco) might have something to say about that..

- for all the obvious nominations of The Social Network and Inception. There's no way they were going to miss out on the obvious ones like best picture, screenplay, music etc... Then again.....


- for Nolan. now THIS I didn't see coming. He has never been nominated for direction before (actually, before today he had only 1 nomination.. for Memento's screenplay), but this should really have been his. The guy has had an astounding decade. I think they will soon give him a lifetime achievement award (at age 45!) to atone for all these sins.

- for Inception editing! If anything could be even more disappointing and puzzling than the Nolan snub, it had to this! Inception, NOT nominated for editing! I have no idea what to think. I REALLY need to see those other movies. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Writer's Block

Creative writing is hard work. I have always admired the people who have written such wonderfully engrossing books and often wondered how much time, effort, patience, perseverance and clarity of thought would it have required to come up with a good literary piece.
Scientific writing is no piece of cake either...I have come to realize that lately while working on an assignment. There are times when you simply lose the enthusiasm to write even a word. Sitting in front of the computer staring at the screen, idly browsing the internet, I came across a website which listed several quotes from writers and thinkers of every type: journalists, novelists, poets, philosophers (here). There are some which are really worth pondering over and I believe....whenever you lose the enthusiasm to write and whether or not there's a deadline to this and get back your groove :)

"I believe that the so-called “writing block” is a product of some kind of disproportion between your standards and your performance… One should lower his standards until there is no felt threshold to go over in writing. It’s easy to write. You just shouldn’t have standards that inhibit you from writing… I can imagine a person beginning to feel he’s not able to write up to that standard he imagines the world has set for him. But to me that’s surrealistic. The only standard I can rationally have is the standard I’m meeting right now… You should be more willing to forgive yourself. It doesn’t make any difference if you are good or bad today. The assessment of the product is something that happens after you’ve done it."

"Stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position."

I think I am ready to stop pretending to work while roaming aimlessly on the web and get back to my writing.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

No One Killed Jessica

Braving the cold winds and the fog, last week we went to watch No One Killed Jessica. By then we had already heard a lot about it and it did turn out to be worth it. A good start for this year :)
Though I found the first half a bit slow the second half of the movie completely made up for that....good performances by most artists and a very very good music score. Amit Trivedi's music was great to listen to on its own....blending with the movie had an even better impact. My favourite till now is Aitbaar.
I would not go as far as saying that the movie is awesome...and perhaps it won't ever feature in my Top lists....but nevertheless....a good watch, one of better movies churned out by Bollywood in the recent past and definitely worth spending money go ahead and watch it :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Continental Drift

Ok's what happened to earth several years ago :P :D :D

Sunday, January 2, 2011

funny ad

Running on TV channels in india right now.

The Road Not Taken

Stumbled upon my old school book of poems today..... so here's one of my favorites :)

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

By Robert Frost

Thursday, December 30, 2010

24 Carrot cake :)

Today I tried my hand at Carrot cake for the first time.....

Inspiration "Rahul's favorite cake"
Motivation "Bored of working" :P :D

Anyway....with lots of adventures and misadventures (like realizing midway that the flour is not enough and other stuff is already in...dashing in rain to get it......I know i know that was not very efficient of me...) and waiting with fingers's the end result.

It turned out quite yummy (Caution: you need to like the idea of having carrots in a cake first...many don't).

For anyone interested here's the recipe that I used:


Carrots shredded - 4cups
Sugar - 2cups
Maida(flour) - 1.5cups
Cornflour - 1.5cups
Oil - 1cup
Eggs - 4no.s
Baking powder - 3tsp
Cinnamon powder - 2tsp
Salt - 1tsp
Vanilla Essence - 1tsp
Optional (Nuts, raisins, fruit chunks etc.)

Sift the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt 3-4 times and keep aside.
Beat eggs till fluffy and keep aside.
Put 1 cup sugar on the carrots, mix and soak for 20 mins (u can add the raisins here too).
Mix the other cup of sugar with the oil and beat till smooth.
Blend in the eggs, cinnamon powder and vanilla essence.
Gently fold in the flour mix to this and finally add the carrots.
Grease baking dish with oil and dust with flour, pour in the cake batter.
Bake in preheated oven at 180C for 30-40 mins. (toothpick test to see if its done).

And lo.....its ready :)


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kuch bhi....

Have been idle here for a while and feeling guilty about it many posts came to mind and went away.....
Finally today I thought of writing at least something......and here it is


Coming back with more soon.....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Found this on NPR ( National Public Radio)...

It seems that a bunch of carrot farmers + ad agency came up with this idea glorifying carrots by calling it "Junk Food". They approached a local school to set up a vending machine for baby carrots to which the school readily agreed to. Guess what .. Initial results are +ve, though we should not forget that none of the other vending machines were working. Seems children don't mind buying carrots (as a last option) when thrown out of a vending machine. It more cool.