Friday, June 27, 2008

When Insults had class

Thanks to Ramanan uncle for sharing!!

When Even Insults Had Class...

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."

*-- Winston Churchill

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure"

*-- Clarence Darrow*

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."

*-- William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."

*-- Groucho Marx

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."

*-- Mark Twain

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends."

*-- Oscar Wilde

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play, bring a friend. If you have one."

*-- George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill...followed by

Churchill's response: "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second, if there is one."

*-- Winston Churchill*

"I feel so miserable without you, it's almost like having you here."

*-- Stephen Bishop

"He is a self-made man and worships his creator."

*-- John Bright

"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial."

*-- Irvin S Cobb

"He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others."

*-- Samuel Johnson

"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up."

*-- Paul Keating

"He had delusions of adequacy."

*-- Walter Kerr

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?"

*-- Mark Twain

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."

*-- Mae West

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

*-- Oscar Wilde*

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Double Tap - My Review

If you like Grisham, you will Love Martini!
Double Tap is the first Steve Martini novel i'm reading and i'm certain that i'll finish his collection soon.
Unlike Grisham or any of the other popular court-room thriller writers, Martini doesn't introduce a protagonist who rises from the ashes and does something incredible to turn the jury to his client's side. He in fact, does not even get into the backgrounds of the lead lawyers. No Family, No flash-backs, No Skeletons in the closet, nothing on the personal front.
No Girl friend / Opposite number love interest either!!

The novel is pure court-room and not at one spot does he deviate from his story-line. That probably is Double Tap's greatest strength.
The plot actually is simple - One of the world's richest women is murdered and her ex-body guard is easily the number one suspect. Actually, he is too easily the number one suspect. Paul Madriani is assigned the case and he, along with his partner Harry and Investigator Herman get into defending Ruiz (the Ex-BG).
There are some very unique things about the way Martini takes us thru the story
  • The whole story is narrated in Present Tense! It is truly incredible.
  • The story does not end in the court-room. It goes on beyond.
  • The Defendant has absolutely no hysterics.
  • The Font is BIG, which makes reading a pleasure.
Actually, there are many more, but i'm trying not to divulge the plot, you see!!
The whole book is a ripper. Won't let you down at all.

The story takes you from war-sufferers to delta-force to contemporary glass art to many more things!
I absolutely loved the characters of Harry (Madriani's partner) and Templeton (The prosecution lawyer). Martini's skill lies in the fact that he managed to etch remarkable chacarterizations for people like The Honourable Samuel Gilcrest (Judge), Nathan Kwang (Congressional representative), Madelyn Chapman (The Victim) and Karen (secy) without delving into any of their backgrounds!! Wonderful.

Get hold of this book guys (and gals). It might start slow, but will grow on you big time!!
I'm off to find the next book Martini's written!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sivamani - Ilaiyaraja - Tremendous!!


It is a known fact that Ilaiyaraja picked up Sivamani when he was just starting out and helped mould him into the Superstar that he is today.
When Ilaiyaraja had a show in Chennai, Sivamani came to pay his tribute.
Awesome music!! Must Watch :)

I picked this video up from the net. No idea of who posted it. Thanks!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Hunt for Atlantis - My Review

As soon as you see the title of the book, you are tempted to say Oh, one more???
Atlantis has been the inspiration of hundreds of authors and film makers since 10000 years!
I actually picked up this book with apprehension from the library. I'd got tired of reading little little books which don't last a few hours and i wanted something substantial. So, this 500+ page book immediately appealed.
Now, Andy McDermott does a pretty good job! The story is unlike any other Atlantis story you've read. In fact, it even puts Atlantis at a different place compared to what has been popular belief!
The main protagonist Nina is an archeologist and Ex-security man Chase is her protector. Together, they not only find Atlantis, but manage to do something unbelievable!
There's a host of well-defined characters like Kristian Frost, Kari, Hugo Castille (poor guy!), Jonathan Philby, Qobras and many many more. There's ample gadgetry to make your ears buzz. There's enough science to make your IQ instantly jump up.
Like with my other reviews, i won't reveal the plot here. But one thing i'll ask, what's up with authours turning into screenplay-writers???
I mean, they are writing books straight away with an intention to sell it to some movie maker and write screen-play for it too.
It is clearly evident from McDermott's writing that he wrote this book with an intention for it to be made into a movie. And i won't be surprised if you see it on the screens soon.
It's got enough Masala to last you a year!! (or more!)
Actually, it is like a Telugu or Tamil movie, where except for the Hero and he Heroine, everyone else dies in the attempt, but they come out unscathed!
McDermott's writing style is so much like mine - he uses unnecessary exclamation marks and ends sentences mid-way!
I guess he used to be a blogger too before turning novelist :)
One thing must be appreciated though - The sheer ingenuity of the plot - it's so unbelievable, so unbelievable, that you'll believe it! After you read thru a couple of hundred pages, you get accustomed to his writing style and can start second-guessing what's next. Most of the times, you'll guess right too!, but still you'll want to read ahead.
The best thing about the book is the font. Kudos to the publishers for keeping the typeset BIG. It's so much more easy and convenient to read at that size. Hope other publishers too follow the cue.
So, if you have a few days to kill, and you're looking for adventure, pick this up. You'll atleast become an expert on Atlantis and the ancient civilizations!!
And i'm definitely looking forward to the movie - it'll be immensely enjoyable!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Life Ambition - In College :) Hilarious!!

This one's exceptionally apt!!!!
This is exactly what happened to me in college. If anyone shares this with me, do drop in a comment!

Boys will be boys!

Boys will be Boys!!! This one's too cute :)


I actually wanted to write this for my 100th post on this blog.
Without noticing, i went past a 100.
So, i thought why not make Nelson's count?
Thanks to each of the 2218 people who've dropped in here over the last 4 months.
All of you should be given a nobel prize or something close for bearing with me!!!
Thanks :)

Friday, June 06, 2008

Dilbert's One-Liners!

These are really good ones!! If you are a Dilbert fan,
you will definitely like them.

Ø Born free taxed to death.

Ø Life is unsure; always eat your dessert first.

Ø I say no to drugs they just don't listen

Ø A friend in need is a pest indeed.

Ø Marriage is one of the chief causes of divorce.

Ø Work is fine if it doesn't take too much of your time.

Ø When everything comes in your way you're in the wrong lane.

Ø Smile, it makes people wonder what you are thinking.

Ø If you keep your feet firmly on the ground, you'll have trouble putting on your pants.

Ø It's not hard to meet expenses- they are everywhere.

Ø I love being a writer... what I can't stand is the paperwork.

Ø A printer consists of 3 main parts: the case, the jammed paper tray and the blinking red light.

Ø The hardest part of skating is the ice.

Ø My phone number is 17. We got one of the early ones.

Ø The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. The guy who invented the other three, he was the genius.

Ø In a country of free speech, why are there phone bills?

Ø If you tell a man there are 300 billion stars in the universe, he'll
believe you. But if you tell him a park bench has just been painted, he has to touch it to be sure.

Ø I had a friend once. Then the rope broke and he got away.

Ø If you cannot change your mind, are you sure you have one?

Ø Beat the
5 O'clock rush. Leave work at noon!

Ø It's not the fall that kills you. It's the sudden stop at the end.

Ø I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.

Ø Hot glass looks same as cold glass. - Cunino's Law of Burnt Fingers

Ø Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.

Ø The cigarette does the smoking you are just the sucker.

Ø Someday is not a day of the week.


Thanks to Ranjna for sharing!
Scott Adams is a genius!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Ant and the Grasshopper - Indian Version - Too Apt!!!!

Really a class analogy..

An Old Story:

The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The Grasshopper thinks the Ant is a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.

Come winter, the Ant is warm and well fed. The Grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.

Indian Version:

The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The Grasshopper thinks the Ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering Grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the Ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.
NDTV, BBC, CNN show up to provide pictures of the shivering Grasshopper next to a video of the Ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

The World is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be that this poor Grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Arundhati Roy stages a demonstration in front of the Ant's house.

Medha Patkar goes on a fast along with other Grasshoppers demanding that Grasshoppers be relocated to warmer climates during winter .

Mayawati states this as `injustice' done on Minorities.

Amnesty International and Koffi Annan criticize the Indian Government for not upholding the fundamental rights of the Grasshopper.

The Internet is flooded with online petitions seeking support to the Grasshopper (many promising Heaven and Everlasting Peace for prompt support as against the wrath of God for non-compliance).

Opposition MPs stage a walkout. Left parties call for 'Bengal Bandh' in West Bengal and Kerala demanding a Judicial Enquiry.

CPM in Kerala immediately passes a law preventing Ants from working hard in the heat so as to bring about equality of poverty among Ants and Grasshoppers.

Lalu Prasad allocates one free coach to Grasshoppers on all Indian Railway Trains, aptly named as the 'Grasshopper Rath'.

Finally, the Judicial Committee drafts the ' Prevention of Terrorism Against Grasshoppers Act' [POTAGA], with effect from the beginning of the winter.

Arjun Singh makes 'Special Reservation ' for Grasshoppers in Educational Institutions & in Government Services.

The Ant is fined for failing to comply with POTAGA and having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes,it's home is confiscated by the Government and handed over to the Grasshopper in a ceremony covered by NDTV.

Arundhati Roy calls it ' A Triumph of Justice'.

CPM calls it the ' Revolutionary Resurgence of the Downtrodden '

Koffi Annan invites the Grasshopper to address the UN General Assembly.

Many years later...

The Ant has since migrated to the US and set up a multi-billion dollar company in Silicon Valley,

100s of Grasshoppers still die of starvation despite reservation somewhere in India,


As a result of losing lot of hard working Ants and feeding the grasshoppers,
India is still a developing country…!!!

Thanks to Raji for forwarding! This strikes a chord, right?? Comments welcome - Aditya

Monday, June 02, 2008

A Thousand Splendid Suns - My Review!

UnDoubtedly One of the best books from this part of the world!
Khaled Hosseini has a tremendous gift of story telling that creates a virtual image of whatever he's expressing in front of our eyes!
Since the day i've seen 'Kabul Express' ( I've been fascinated by Afghanistan. Not by it's troubles, but by it's resilient people!
Over the past three decades, the patient people have seen like, everything!
Mujahideen taking over their country from the Russians after a long long guerilla war, Taliban ousting the Mujahideen and the regional warlords, people supporting the Taliban in the beginning, Taliban converting the country into an Islamic republic with lots of Religious despotism, Bin Laden's 9/11, USA declaring war on the nation at large, a puppet prime minister and finally, a bit of peace!
What i've realised after reading the book is that a whole generation has been laid to waste in this struggle! Still, what gladdens the heart is that the people don't lose hope!
Now, Khaled Hosseini hasn't written this book for the sympathy or empathy of people!
The story is fiction, but seems like it isn't. He takes us deep inside an Afghani family and the strong women in it.
A Thousand Splendid Suns is the story of Mariam and Laila. 2 Women whose lives turn around faster than Mr Bean's Car!
Born into 2 paradoxically different families, fate brings the women together into Rasheed's household and their lives are entwined in strange ways.
What Hosseini does so beautifully is take us into the repercussions of the war without going into the gory details!!
So, in effect, this is a story within a story - on the outer, it is the story of 2 ordinary women who are thrown into extra-ordinary circumstances and how love works it's magic in various stages. On the inside, it is the story of Afghanistan - a country ravaged by war, chauvinisms and ego. A country which would have gone to dust, except for the resilience of people.
Three Cheers to Hosseini for bringing this master-piece to us.
Now, i'm waiting to read 'The Kite Runner!'