Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Beautiful Mini Cooper Interiors

I had a chance to take a ride in my friend's Mini Cooper - and while the car is known to be a looker from the outside, it's interiors are no less. Have a look at these absolutely delightful controls and knobs!

My Harry Potter Moment

London At Night

Storefronts at Bath

Interesting Signs At Stonehenge

Hyde Park on Sunday

If you are in London on a Sunday, don't miss the speaker's corner at Hyde Park - it's just an amazing experience seeing anyone and everyone who wants to make a point get going, whether he/she has an audience or not, and have people stop by, get involved in some intense debates - everything JUST for the love of talking and debating, with other rhyme or reason!


Movie Review: Mr X

Hmmm. Do I really need to review this one?

After 3 hours of "you can call me X", all I could think of was, "Y?"!

Emraan is Emraan, including the smooch. Amyra actually is quite pretty, although a few dozen kilos too thin! And she definitely has a long way to go as an actress. The story isn't too bad, actually, and some of the nearly SFX are promising, but there is just too little to hold your interest.

And yes, someone will need to do some real convincing to get me to watch another movie with  Arunoday Singh.

Movie Review: Fast And Furious 7

Like every other FF franchise, FF7 delivers exactly what it promises - stunning action sequences, sizzling hot cars, a fantastic cast, and some great humor!

You need to keep your logic at home to enjoy scenes of cars being parachuted into the jungle, or to watch with amazement as a supercar jumps from one high rise to another, and further on to a third. But then, with FF, you never really need to question logic, do you?

Just go to the theatre, put on your goggles, sit back and enjoy the ride!

PS: The tribute to Paul Walker is really touching, and probably the only way it could have been done for the wonderful actor, who will really be missed!

Movie Review: Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!

DBB! (with the y and the !) is not a film adaptation of the original writings of Byomkesh's creator, Saradindu Bandopadhyay. Neither does it have anything much to do with the TV series on DD that made Byomkesh a household name and launched Rajit Kapur.

Our Byomkesh is fresh out of college. He is socially challenged, clumsy, uncomfortable with the ways of the world. He reminds you a lot of Inspector Clouseau. He misses details, takes time to make conclusions, but he loves solving problems, and he is persistent.

The real hero of the movie is Calcutta of the 40s. The movie opens with a simple tram ride through the narrow, smoky streets with an out-of-focus Byomkesh in the foreground. Banerjee's Calcutta is like a living painting. Shadows lurk at every corner and smoky opium dens choke your breath. The threat of bombs is always in the air - it's the second world war, and Japan is threatening to over run the city at any time. This is the setting in which the young Byomkesh gets cracking at his first assignment.

The investigation into the disappearance of his client's father quickly envelops him in danger - everyone from a local politician, his pretty mistress, and deadly drug dealers are involved. Throats are slashed, a lot of blood is spilled.

The movie is very slow, and the darkness gets overwhelming at times. The plot is complicated, but pretty predictable, and doesn't really hold you for long. 

The cast has an interesting mix of characters - and while there are shades of good performances, Sushant Singh Rajput is not flattering as Byomkesh. The female leads, Divya Menon and Swastika Mukherjee, barely have a role to play and fail to impress. Anand Tiwari shares a good chemistry and sense of humor with Sushant and is my pick for the best of the cast.

Not bad, but definitely not Dibakar Banerjee's best!

Movie Review: Cinderella

Cinderella is a dazzling and beautiful story of an orphaned girl who wins the heart of a handsome prince, reproduced by Disney with a keen attention to detail - the fireplace cinders that gives Ella her nickname Cinderella, the pumpkin that turns into a carriage along with Cinderella’s best friends - the mice and the lizards, and, of course, the gorgeous glass slippers.

“Have courage and be kind” is the mantra Cinderella lives by, a promise she has given to her mother before she passes away, plunging her beautiful and loving home into gloom. As Cinderella grows up, the apple of her father's eye, she never gives up her credo, even after her father marries the wicked step-mother, and brings her home along with her two jealous and stupid daughters. Her loving and patient nature, compassion for all creatures, and self-belief is what endears her to you, and makes you root for her.

Lily James (Downton Abbey's Lady Rose) is an excellent choice to play Cinderella - she is the pretty girl next door, yet, when she rides her horse or dresses up in her Cinderella costume, you can understand why the prince will go to any length to find her and marry her! Richard Madden is also perfect as the prince, and plays his part, including managing his very tight trousers! 

Do catch this with your family - it's a gentle reminder that the world can actually be a beautiful place after all. You just need to have courage, and be kind!

The Beautiful Moon!

Got this on Whatsapp... have to be some of the prettiest pics!

Lucky Cat - A Heartwarming Story

Restaurant Review: Peep Kitchen

Next time you are in Goa, do not miss the amazing sea food on offer at the cute Peep Kitchen, tucked away on the old Panaji - Dona Paula road. Fresh food, excellent service, and reasonable prices...

The amazing tandoori crabs

And even better, the "Bangdyache Lonche"!

Quote Of The Day

Two Generations

Mauli with her baby Shanti Priya

Paan Masala!

Vistas Of UK - From My March Trip

A few of the best pics from my March-end trip to London and day trips thereabouts...

The beautiful waiting room of the Grand Royale London Hyde Park Hotel where we stayed... completely transports you to Downton Abbey!

At the Hyde Park on a beautiful Sunday afternoon

View of The Shard from the London Eye

Big Ben from London Eye

At the foot of London Eye - loved the fluorescent blue!

The city of Bath

The city of Bath

Greenwich University

Grounds of Leeds Castle

Grounds of Leeds Castle

Grounds of Leeds Castle

London Kings Cross St. Pancras Station

The lake in Leeds

At the lake in Leeds

The park at Leeds

All That Glitters...Is So Pretty

A friend captured these leaves glittering in the glow of the street halogens in Pune...

My Audi A3 Technology Diesel - Myra (Part 5 - After Sales)

Already had my first after-sales experience too! On reaching Goa, I was washing Myra up when I realized one of the tires had a small bulge in the sidewall. Barely half a centimeter, but I didn't want to take chances. Unfortunately, being the weekend, Audi Goa was closed. I called them on Monday, but there really was no time to take the car all the way to Verna, where the service center is. Audi Pune looked at the pictures, and assured me it was OK to drive, as long as I didn't hit high speeds.

As I mentioned earlier, the spare is no use for long drives, so I put faith in the Pirellis holding up and drove back. As a precaution, I switched the tire from the front to the rear.

First thing on coming back to Pune, I took an appointment (which I only got for Saturday). After taking pictures of the tire, to send to Pirelli for analysis, Audi Pune assured me they would replace it for free, even though, as most tire manufacturers would claim, it is probably due to hitting a pothole hard, rather than a manufacturing defect. The tire wasn't in stock, so I am waiting for it to be delivered sometime this week.

As an aside, I also got my plates replaced (free of cost, again) - the earlier ones had dropped the leading 0, and a cop actually pulled me over to tell me to ensure all 4 digits were on the plate!

My Audi A3 Technology Diesel - Myra (Part 4 - Photos)

The controls for the seats - 6 way movement, plus extra push/support for the back and legs through the circular control.

A very generous dead pedal!

Lots of details and information on the dash. Notice also that temperature and fuel indicators are nifty leds. Also, interestingly, the dash lights go dark in the late evening, as a reminder to the driver to switch on the lights!

Rear view camera and display factors in the position of your steering wheel too!

Vanity mirror auto-switches on a tiny light, which has delighted every lady passenger who has ever tried it out!

The AC vents and charging point between the seats makes it a tad uncomfy for the 5th passenger

The signature Audi DRLs add so much to the car's personality!

After her Sunday morning spa in the garage, seen with the sun roof open. Photobombing her is my 9 year old Fiesta, Reona!

Most of the car's functions can be controlled through the steering wheel - notice the voice command button on the right side.

Posing with the "kombdo" in Nerul!