Thursday, June 29, 2006


Okay, these are the remains of my Norway photos...

It's a pain to go on holiday somewhere and find it swarming with tourists. Rather than feeling disappointed, it's best to appreciate the people-watching opportunities that such a situation affords. Taking paparazzi-style photos increases the fun:

Unfortunately, while capturing this huge camera I forgot to turn off the flash. You can see it reflecting in the window opposite. Very embarassing because an entire Japanese tour group turned around, wondering why I was taking a photo of them.

I'd love be a Japanese tour group leader. I think I'm attracted to the power. I had a friend in Hong Kong who swore she'd seen a whole tour group follow their leader into the ladies toilets at Star Ferry Kowloon side.

German tourists can always be recognised by their weatherproof clothing. I'm sure it's handed out free at airports as they leave the country. This man had decided to forego the usual bright colours for a subdued monotonal number.

This woman has decided to pair a traditional bright weatherproof top with very unweatherproof footwear. Are socks and sandals also part of the national dress?

I did much more than just people-watching in Norway, however. I also looked at signs. Norwegian road signs are particularly elaborate. This one informs drivers that they share the road with people playing football. It's nice to see parents spending quality time with their children, even if they are engaging in risky activities.

Likewise, this sign warns drivers to watch out for Gene Kelly.

Possibly rushing home for an umbrella.

And this one warns about humps, right?

Monday, June 26, 2006


I finished my final uni assignment last week. I'm now officially on semi-holiday, working only two and a half days per week.

Uni will start again in August but I'll only be taking one subject. Both my employers want to give me more work but this depends on funding decisions that might not happen for a month or two. I'm feeling lazy already but it doesn't seem worth looking for a third job in the meantime.

This gives me time to do less important things. I took a trip to the Columbia Road flower markets yesterday with friends. Carrying my purchase home wasn't that easy but it did make me incredibly popular. I was stopped about five times by admirers.

I'm thinking of taking it out for walks, just to get attention. I've just bought a new book, 'Maximum city: Bombay lost and found', maybe the plant and I could go spend a lazy afternoon in the park. I really should name it first, any suggestions?

I've also been able to give my blog some attention. I started out wanting to fix my profile photo and ended up attempting a complete makeover. It may look minor but it took hours with my non-existent HTML skills. Let me know what you think...

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Man jumps from balcony copying Hritik's Krrish

Reviews have confirmed my predictions. Krrish is a plotless ode to Hrithik's grotesquely large biceps. Lack of a plot is not the only problem however, as the Hindustan Times reports:

A resident of Madhya Pradesh's Khandwa district was so overcome after watching the flying stunts performed by Hrithik Roshan in his latest Krrish that he too jumped from the balcony of a cinema theatre, fracturing his hands and legs in the process.

The incident occurred during the night show at Khandwa's Abhishek Theatre on Friday when Vishnu Jagannath, 21, inspired by a flying scene enacted by Hrithik, climbed up to the 30-foot-high theatre balcony and tried to do the same by jumping from there.

Jagannath, who runs a tea stall near the theatre, was immediately taken to the district hospital in an unconscious state around 10.30 pm. "His condition is now stable," DC Sagar, Khandwa superintendent of police, said.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The parental paparazzi

I've had three weird Australia connections this week.

1. My increasing interest in football is pushing me towards an identity crisis. I've always sworn complete disinterest in team sports.

During the Australia-Brazil match I had the TV on while doing other things. Tonight I was glued to the screen while Australia played Croatia. I whooped for goals and shouted at the referee. Soon I'll be hanging a flag out of the window. I'm confused.

2. At work my favourite game is 'You say it like that?!?'. I was shocked to find that British people pronounce tabouleh as 'tabbalay' (stressing the first syllable). The Australian pronunciation stresses the second syllable so that the word rhymes with 'coolie'.

Even more bizarre is that the British stress the first syllable of pergola so that it sounds like 'burgler' with a 'p'. The Australian pronunciation stresses the second syllable so that it rhymes with 'molar'.

3. But my most exciting discovery came today when reading the Sydney Morning Herald online. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban's wedding on Sunday is reportedly going to take place in St Patrick's Estate, just over the back fence from my parents' new house. An sms to mum got the following response:

Yes it's all go at our place! Helicopters buzzing over yesterday. We are going to sit on roof with binocs!!

Binocs. We actually use it in speech as well. Australian, British or just my family? I'm not sure...

Monday, June 19, 2006


It's a week and a half now since I got back but I've still got a couple of blog entries to milk out of the Norway trip...

The highlight of our holiday was a day trip through the fjords. It was incredibly beautiful, marred only slightly by the touristy feel.

When our train stopped at the waterfall below, mysterious music started playing and a couple of dancing women popped out from behind the little stone hut on the right hand side. A Japanese tour guide feigned surprise by waving to the women and making excited noises but her tour group of couples over 60 were too cool to do the same. I wanted to yell 'wah, wah, en-core lah' but no one would have appreciated it.

After getting off that train we hopped on a boat to cruise through a couple of fjords. It's the kind of incredible scene that's too big to capture on camera. Here's my best attempt.

We then got on a bus to go up a road which contains 13 hairpin bends and is supposedly the steepest in Norway. The man in front of me took video footage of the whole journey, turning his camera to a different side of the bus after each hairpin bend. I pity the friends/relatives who have to watch 45 minutes of shaky video footage containing a fair amount of bus interior. It's better in a photo.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Summer Fillums

The next few months are going to be huge for Hindi films. And being in London will mean that I can watch the best ones at cinemas nearby.

I went this week to watch 'Fanaah' (destroyed in love). I had such high hopes for Kajol's comeback film. Alas, after five years she still has a monobrow. Acting was great but the plot was ridiculous.

I knew in advance that the film was a love story about a blind girl and a terrorist. But that's only just the beginning. After falling in love the terrorist returns to his mission and disappears. The blind girl then has miraculous surgery, giving her perfect vision. She thinks that her lover died as a bomb blast victim

Eight years later, the terrorist is on another mission. He escapes the army by helicopter, parachute, snow board and snow mobile and accidentally turns up at her door in the middle of a blizzard (it's Poland but supposed to be Kashmir). The girl doesn't recognise him because she never saw him after her operation...

So Fanaah wasn't that impressive. I'm not holding out big hopes for Krrish either. Critics predict that 'India's first superhero film' will contain a mish-mash of elements from Spiderman, Superman, Batman and The Matrix. The fact that it is the sequel to 'Koi Mil Gaya' (a Hindi version of ET featuring a singing, dancing alien) doesn't help either.

One film I am looking forward to is 'Omkara', a modern day retelling of 'Othello' set in the wilder parts of Uttar Pradesh. I read Othello at high school and I have soft spot for the wilder bits of UP. And the cast is superb: Ajay, Saif, Kareena, Konkona Sen Sharma, Vivek, Naseeruddin and Bipasha.

And for something a bit less gritty, 'Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna' (never say goodbye) releases in August. There's no way that a film by Karan Johar (whose 3 films to date have always started with K and contained 4 words) can be anything less than fabulous.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Norway was just like my stereotype of Scandinavia - clean, friendly and hideously expensive. It was a good thing I was there with my parents.

We stayed for four nights in Bergen, birthplace of my great grandfather. We only have one relative there now - my grandma's cousin. Communication was fun because he doesn't speak a word of English and our Norwegian was limited to 'and', 'grandfather', 'airport bus' and 'summer house'. It was fascinating to see the ancestral house which was full of old family photos and paintings. It was also incredibly cramped - rooms were tiny and only 2m high.

At first I wondered why Bergen seemed to remind me of so many different places. After a couple of days I realised that I hadn't seen the sea or real hills since I arrived in the UK. I didn't realise how much I missed both!

And I've missed seeing the sun go up or down. The incredibly long days meant that sunsets lasted forever. I didn't stay up long enough to find out if it got dark.

Friday, June 02, 2006


On the radio they've announced a heatwave and started playing 'It's getting hot in here'. People outisde are walking around in thongs, wearing the skimpiest of clothing. Public parks are packed with sunbathers. It can only mean one thing...

The temperature is going over twenty degrees! Yay! It's going to be twenty one degrees today!