Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Guide for Tourists visiting India

I came across an interesting article I came across on BBC. The local administration in Ajmer, Rajasthan prepared an document to inform tourists about cultural dos and don'ts while visiting India. I have taken the guidelines from the article, "Indecency guide for tourists to India" .

The guidelines say:

  • Men should never touch women in public, even to help a woman out of a car, unless the lady is very elderly or infirm

  • In Indian culture... men socialise with men, and women with women

  • Married couples in Asia do not hug, hold hands or kiss in public. Even embracing at airports and train stations is considered out of the question

  • Generally it is improper for women to speak with strangers on the street and especially to strike up a casual conversation

  • Drinking alcohol or smoking in public, no matter how innocent, are interpreted as a sign of moral laxity and are not acceptable.

The only thing I kind of disagree is the smoking in public part. I don't think smoking in public is considered as bad. It depends on where you are though. If around conservative Indians then it definitely would be not looked upon kindly.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Lara Surpasses Border

Brian Lara surpassed Alan Border's 11,174 by 13 runs to become the highest run getter in test cricket. He took 35 fewer tests than Border to achieve the target. What's been great about Lara is that the West Indies have looked a very pale shadow of their world champion days. But time and again Lara has been this supernova that makes everyone sit up and take notice. He got back is highest score in a test match last year in April by scoring 400 runs again England. That shows his true class. Not only did he do it once it did it again.

Border was very gracious in his remarks on his record being broken.

"I pass on my congratulations to Brian Lara," said Border. "He is a very worthy holder of the mantle of the greatest run-scorer in Test history. I played against Brian when he made his century in Sydney in the season of 1992-93 and I would rank him as one of the best three batsmen in the world."

Sachin Tendulkar maybe a more consistent batsman than Lara, and thats why I think he will overtake Lara someday soon. He is pretty close at 10,000 odd runs. But I don't think he can ever score 400 runs or play some of the innings that Lara has played. It seems strange but there are more Dravid and Laxman innings that can be compared in that league. Especially the one at Eden Gardens when they batted the whole day.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Shah Rukh's New Look


Check out Shah Rukh Khan's new look for the movie Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (Never Say Goodbye!). This is a Karan Johar movie. Well we can either hate Karan Johar movies or love them, but can't certainly ignore them. He assembles a unparalled cast for the movie with Amitabh, Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Abhishiek, Urmila, Priety, Kiron Kher, and Arjun Rampal. The lead in the movie are Shah Rukh and Rani. The premise of the movie is that both Shah Rukh and Rani are married to their respective spouses. (I think Shah Rukh Khan is married to Urmila, and Rani is married to Amitabh. Yup not Abhishiek but Amitabh) They both think they are happy in their respective marriages until they meet each other. What starts as happy banter turns into love. Now I think the premise is nice and all but if Karan Johar turns this into another K3G, it will be really sad. Its a very hollywood-esque theme. I mean you don't have married people falling in love in Hindi movies. So its a first of its kind. The film is currently being shot in New York City. Well since its a married couple falling in love, it had to be in the US, gosh they can't show Indian couples in India falling in love with other people. The unofficial dictacts of bollywood cinema still strongly control the themes of the movies made.

My best three of the year: Black, Sarkar and Parineeta. Brilliant movies. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Lalu's 15 year reign ends.. what does that mean for Bihar?

So Lalu's reign ends with the NDA coming to power in Bihar. The new government has to be very careful and not turn into another Lalu regime. Bihar has the lowest per capita income, lowest literacy rate, really bad law and order situation, murder, rape and kidnapping are rampant. If you have travelled by road in Bihar, its very easy to know that the infrastructure is almost non-existent. The new goverment has an uphill task of rebuilding Bihar. The first thing they should work on improving the law and order situation. Then Bihar can take a leaf out of other emerging states. Uttaranchal has offered tax sops to companies for setting up their units there. They are also designating certain parts to be industrial areas. Haryana is another state that really hard to bring invesetment. Gurgoan is attracting a lot of IT companies with new developement. Poverty breeds a lot of ills, so creating lucrative jobs in Bihar is key to its development.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Caption Contest


Here is an interesting picture, come up with a caption and win bragging rights.
Oh and for those wondering what is being advertised, its "chilled beer".
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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The third Potter movie was better than the earlier two, and keeping up with traditional this Potter movie turns better than all three. Yup better than the third one too. So what changed? Its no longer a movie for children. The plot, the story and the setup is very much like a regular movie. Good action, some suspense full momements, exciting thriller, normal human emotions like jealousy and competition, someone dying, and elements of a love story. I think the movie does quite well in combining so many facets and yet doing a good job of it. This movie is definitely darker than anything seen so far, its PG13 rating is very much required. Well the gang has certainly grown up a lot. Daniel Radcliff does not look a 14 year old who is is a mismatched with the 17 years old. Ruper Grint looks very buff and grown too. And to think the movie seris just skipped one year 2004 where they didn't have Potter movie out. The first came out in Novemnber 2001. There are a lot of talented actors on the cast, but most of them end up being neglected, but thats what the book is for. Read about how each character is developed. Ralph Fienes is totally wasted as Lord Voldemort. His look is erriely similar to the one he had in English Patient, the strechted skin and bald look. But I gotta to admit he does bring something special to the character of Voldemort. Bredon Gleeson as the Dark Arts teacher is another delight. For Harry Potter fans this is a real feast, and for non Potter fans this is a good watch given the dearth of good movies in theaters. In fact dare I say its better than the book in some ways. The book rambles for about the first 100 pages, about the appearance of Voldemort and the Quidditch world cup. The movie gets straight to it and finishs the those events in a well executed 15-20 minutes. Like a good thriller, very well paced. The cnn review claimed that movie tries to do too much. I don't think so. I think it is fit to compare it to a movie like Independence day in terms of entertainment value. The Goblet of Fire is bang on and fits perfectly in that category. It was funny last night on abc they were showing Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Well the movie wasn't funny but the fact that all the actors looked so young was funny. I don't really know how they can keep the same star cast for the rest of the movies given the rate they are growing up. Go see it, its a good one.

Queen Mary

This is a picture of the ship Queen Mary taken from a boat on the Long Beach harbor. The Queen Mary is cruise ship from the 1930's. Its now been converted to a hotel and doesn't go to sea anymore. The interior definitely gives the feel of it being old. It has wooden boards instead of regular flooring. The strange thing being on the Queen Mary made me feel like I was in B'bay in Morarka House. It probably the sea breeze and the old look.
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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Pathan & Sehwag stop the rampaging Proteas

Irfan Pathan and Virendra Sehway demolished the Proteas dream of equalling the Aussie's unbeaten run of 21 matches. The path to glory ended at 20 matches for the South Africans. After being reduced to 35/5 on a Flat wicket in the previous game, the Indians bounced back with a good win. The five match series is leveled at 1-1 now. Winning 20 consecutive matches is no joke. Given the hectic schedule of mordern day cricket, its even more commendable. A lot of teams are preparing well for the 2007 WC.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Dull Diwali Releases

This year the movies released during Diwali are really lacklusture. Have I seem any of them? No. The point being I don't even want to see any of them. Traditionally we have seen some of the best movies being released during diwali.

Unassailable lead

India have an unbeatable lead of 4-0 in the 7 match series. I think this is the time it can experiment with its team. There is an adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". But the point is, it is going to break sometime ( a winning configuration). So better be well prepared for it. I think the one thing that they can really experiment with is Dhoni's spot in the batting. Like Adam Gilchrist, I think he would do really well in the opening slot. And drop Sachin to a one down position. And Yuvraj should take Dhoni's spot in the line up. I think getting rid of Ganguly has strengthened the batting line up. But we should not make haste in writing the obituary of the Bengal Tiger. If anyone he has the potential of working hard and making a strong comeback. With Dhoni doing so well Dravid must be breathing a sigh of relief. It means that he won't be asked to don the gloves anytime soon for the ODIs.