Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Half marathon.

Completed my first half marathon yesterday, yippie!!

Ran, jogged, trudged, walked, shuffled.. Accelerated on the downhills or when a peppy song came up.. Grunted and crawled on the uphills, or when my body just wanted to give up. Brushed away sweat, snot and raindrops and finally after some 2 hours and 45 odd mins, crossed the 21 km mark !

Although everything leading up to the day seemed to go wrong, right from work, health, practice, even the train and printers seemed against our going, but the run itself couldn't have been better. The weather was lovely, cool and cloudy for the first 10, and a gentle rain kept company for the second half. And no unexpected injuries or aches came up.

I found my own pace, and enjoyed myself thoroughly, walking when I felt like it, sprinting hard on a couple of  occasions, and had enough steam in the last kms to jog along ( and past!) some runners and cheerleaders who egged me on. The weather and the rain made a world of difference, nothing like running and raising up your face to feel the raindrops patter past the sweat. And it helped that the water stations were there every 2 kms without fail, and getting water/electrolytes was quite smooth, without too much crowd. I like to run while its still some fun, and not just endless pain and the proving of points..  this one suited me just fine.

And 2 thumbs up to a and l, running partners and friends without whom I might have never completed, or even signed up.

Now for a 25 k..  

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Emperor of all Maladies - Siddharth Mukherjee

Interesting read overall.

The book is a 'biography of cancer' as the blurb says, and its actually a pretty fascinating biography, specially considering that this is a disease we're following, not a person. The book traces the disease from its oldest mentions, delving into history and archeology, and traces a fascinating journey of our understanding of cancer, of our relationship with it, and of course the battle for the ever elusive cure.

The first three fourth of the book is really gripping, reading almost like a thriller, as the doctor throws the net wide, skipping from biology and medicine, to politics, geography and psychology as we try to dig into what causes cancer, how we could fight it.

The last fourth of it got a bit of a drag for me, as it got increasingly more technical, and I couldn't quite keep pace with the jargon, although someone with some grounding in biology would have found even that section pretty interesting.

Worth a read, although I'd say it could've been made a tad more concise.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ek tha tiger - Kabir Khan

so awesomely bad, that its almost good.

ok, so usually I filter out such movies just based on the names of the actors and the production houses. Can't remember seeing most of the barf inducing silly love stories. This one , under normal circumstances, I would have never seen, but ended up watching since the whole group was going, and there wasn't anything better to do on a holiday ( although in hindside i wonder if I shouldn't have finished up some pending office work instead) .


So our man Salman plays a RAW agent ( snigger), and SPOILER ALERT  - the comely lass Katrina , plays an ISI agent ( giggle), and then they fall in the yash-raj-patented-starry-louuu ( loud guffaw). That takes care of the first half, which ends with a loud bang which wakes you up in case you were dozing ( which I was).

During intermission, you remind yourself of that old saying - when a rape is inevitable, sit back and enjoy it. So you pull yourself together for the second half, dig out your cell phone games, open up any pending email, and get set for the rollicking second half.

Here our man does the job of ze he-man ( beats many baddies), ze spider-man ( flies across buildings and roofs), and ze super-man ( flies into a plane) all by himself. He also takes off his shirt, at which the entire hall ( including me ) scream in a wild feral frenzy. Unfortunately he puts another shirt back on, much to our disappointment. Still we follow his superhuman exploits with many whistles and claps, until finally the movie comes to an end.

For once I have nothing much to add of my own, I think that story does summarise it all. Ah ok, i should say at least something .. hmm lets see.. good production quality, pretty locales, happy endings - go enjoy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Gangs of Wasseypur - 2 - Anurag Kashyap

The steady refrain in the movie is frustiyao nai moora.. but i have to confess the movie did frustrate me, refrain notwithstanding.

It sort of continues in the same vein as the first half, saga continuing with the son, although he's a different sort from his dad. Honestly I don't know what to summarise the plot as, I'd forgotten half the names and characters from the first half anyway. When the story kicks off, the father has died, and the son takes on the bloody mantle. Much killing happens. I'm not quite sure who's killing whom, and why. I'm not sure I understand the characterisations. Suffice to say , after much frustration, and pointless shooting, the movie finally ended, and i was rather relieved.

Like the first one, this one has its moments of brilliance, isolated sequences which are pretty good, but as a whole, for me, the movie just doesn't string together. And this time, I can't even say that its because I went in with too many expectations, I didn't. I was prepared for the violence, I was prepared for the non-sensical ( or is it absent ?) plot. I wasn't prepared for the repeated mistakes of parading far too many people on the screen with no characterisation, and for the rather pointless violence. Reminds me of natural born killers.

In some ways I feel really really disappointed that so many of those brilliant sequences didn't find place in a more coherent and tight movie.

Anyway, perhaps its still worth a watch , for sequences in isolation, but the overall have to say I liked it even less than the first one. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Vicky Donor - Shoojit Sircar

Good fun movie overall.

A fertility doctor is struggling to find sperm donors to meet the demands of many childless couples. He finally convinces a young happy go lucky punjabi guy as a potential donor. While he's single, our good doctor has a steady supply, but once he's got other commitments ( namely a bong girl friend), things start going a bit awry.

What kept the movie going, specially in the first half was the brilliant brilliant performance by the doc, and our donors mom and grandmom, ably supported by the script. I was actually amazed that for a topic like this, the entire movie didn't have a single joke that could be called distasteful, hats off to both writer and director. The second half didn't quite have the same zing, although the bong - punjabi angle was good fun. Still, it was still a steady plot, even if not upto the first half's standards.

Definitely worth a watch!

Monday, August 06, 2012

My week with Marilyn - Simon Curtis

A nice little movie.

Roughly based on true events, it traces a week when the famous Marilyn Monroe was in London shooting for a movie ( The prince and the showgirl) with the equally ( if differently!) famous Laurence Olivier. And on the sidelines, is the young 3rd assitant director Colin, and its from his eyes that we see that week. As Marilyn  comes on the sets to shoots, we see a complicted web of emotions taking over.

There's Laurence, who seemingly can't stand her diffidence, insecurity, and sheer unprofessionalism, but is mesmerised as well. There's his wife, who seems like a most confident and self assured lady, but she knows what lies below Laurence's voluble complaints. There's the other young girl, whom Colin begins dating, before he falls victim to Marilyn, like everyone else. There's Marilyn's previous lover for a week and his warnings. There's the much older British actress and her kindness. And finally of course, Marilyn herself. Her insecurity, her raw appeal, her uninhibited behaviour, her good acting, her happiness, and her unhappiness. And dear poor Colin of course. First love, as Dame Judy says, is such sweet despair.

I quite liked the many angles between all the people, and the multiple layers a lot of those emotions had. Overall quite a decent watch.

Friday, August 03, 2012



In small proportions we just beauties see

And in short measures life may perfect be.

-Ben Jonson