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Archive for January, 2010

The Little Cellphone


In a bright store with clear plastic tiles lay a little cell-phone. And for its age, it was a very advanced cell-phone. Why, it was the littlest cell phone anyone had ever seen! And all that week people wearing branded shirts, ties and accents stood and welcomed the little cell-phone into the world. Cameras flashed to get a glimpse of this tiny thing, and televisions couldn’t get enough of talking about how great the lil one was. Of course, all this lasted about a week before another cell-phone not quite as little but one that could yell quite loudly and never get tired took the spotlight.

That didn’t bother the littlest cell-phone at all though, cause in the brief days that he was the only colored ad on the last page, someone had come to that store with the bright lights and taken him home. And oh the admiration that was to follow. The young girl and all her young friends wanted to hold him, check out his shiny surface and smooth keys and all the new software in him. He was placed with utmost care in a crystal stand which made the light reflect in crazy angles. He had the sweetest voice which is the first thing the young girl heard as she woke up. He was also the only one she would look at with those eyes full of love and hope. Everytime he beeped, her heart leapt lightly and a slight blush came over a cheek.. and he was the only one she shared her sorrows with as well, like that time after a really long call at 2 AM. In all, they were the best of friends. She took him out everywhere, even in the rain which he liked a lot cause it tickled as it ran into his boards and to the discotheques which he didn’t like as much cause no matter how loudly he’d yell she would never hear him there. But she did listen to him at other times, sometimes very intently. There was this once when she was telling him a story, about a collar that was pretty and white that had many adventures with a garter, an iron and a ballerina scissors, who cut him in spite. He ended up in a bin and later was turned into paper on which that very story was written. It didn’t make any sense to our lil cell-phone, all this talking collar bit. But he listened nevertheless, cause that’s what the best of friends do.

One day, the lil phone fell down from the bed. He kept saying that he had rolled over a lil too far, but the radio that sat beside the night lamp had seen the young girl’s hand push it down. And then the other day, she flung him out of her purse while he was ringing his sweetest tune. Again the cell-phone said that he had been day-dreaming and fell out quite by himself. The falls had done their damage, his sparkling armour was scratched and dull, and of late his hearing was not that good either. And then one day it happened. She came home with another plastic box that had a brand new cell-phone which didn’t even speak the same language as him. He was cast aside on the second shelf above the pile of unopened letters from the Bank, right beside the expired bottle of Nyquil, some broken light bulbs and 24 pens that don’t write anymore.

The bulbs were sympathetic to the lil cell-phone, and even the pens agreed with his plight.. the bottle of Nyquil didn’t offer any words but the phone was too much in sorrow to bother about others. He sat there and watched as his replacement was shown off to her friends. He watched the old TV who had said so many funny things to the family over the years get replaced by a slimmer one with a red, evil eye that was always blinking on. He watched as that black laptop she always typed at was replaced by a smaller, white one. He watched all these things and only shut his eye when the new cell-phone was place beside him on that neglected shelf. He figured it was someone else’s turn to stare at the changing things.

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A story written in a style as that of the fairy tales of Hans Christian Anderson. If you’ve read these recently, you’ll recognize the style of narration by inanimate things, the abruptness of the events. You’ll also spend some time thinking what the moral of the story was. The fairy tales were written for kids and supposedly held a moral, but I really feel HCA just wrote such stories cause they were fun to read by kids who didn’t care about the philosophical moral in discussion. I suggest you do the same.

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Is it good?


Review on Avatar, watched in 2D.

No. Uh huh. Nope. Absolutely not.

Before we proceed any further and I justify this biased stance of mine, I’d like to put forth a disclaimer. A lot of my friends have watched it, enjoyed the movie, and have watched it twice as well. There must be something(s) that I overlooked that made the movie enjoyable. So definitely do go watch and form your opinions. This is just me getting out all that I had wanted to say.. and didn’t have the heart to with my friends.

The plot of Avatar is fairly known by now. This is my first point of complaint. A complete lack of originality, value or simple sense in the plot that struck as me as obtusely cliched. Why would I bother so much with this though? Why not let it be.. it’s just a movie after all? I don’t know. Maybe I expected something much more from a movie that claims so much. Maybe I’m just super critical. Wait, there’s no maybe in the second point :P. Anyway.. plot was cliched. Villain was villain, and though villain had all the cool gadgets he is still bad without question. The hero when a man is your typical patriotic soldier, all for serving his commander’s order.. and while an ‘avatar’ is all for mother earth and Gaya gig. Something repulsive in that itself if you ask me. Now I would be an environmentalist if not for bring in grad school, and I appreciate nature a lot. But the whole “I was blind before.. but I fell in love with a forest” routine did not fool me. You have the super smart scientist   (but who cannot handle a pippette); who understands the broader goal, is headbutting against a management that’s singularly profit minded. The aliens were as aliens would be, even down to the jealous boyfriend-to-be of our heroine. No character was dealt with any amount of conviction, depth or significance.

The dialogues were not memorable. Throughout the movie I had a feeling that I’ve heard this kinda lines many times before. So, plot and dialogues get a no-go from me. Next comes the effects and gadgets. I watched it in 2D.. so I really cant comment on the effect. The big machines that can walk and are extremely dextrous didnt impress me, and neither did the flying reptiles come across as anything else. So, lets leave it at that. All these points are very biased, and I know that I’m not as displeased with all this as much as with the fact that the movie just irritated me. It seemed arrogant, even obnoxious, the way they showed the military being total brutes, the scientist being all aware and the aliens being oh-so-pure.

And what was the point of it all? What was the crux of the movie?? What did the director hope to show us.. these awesome effects, but is that it? I guess I’ve overthought this. Trying to find the meaning of life in a film meant to be enjoyed for its animations. And that’s where my review fails as compared to other, more positive reviews. But is it a good movie? Would I want you guys to go to the theatre and experience this for 3 hours?

No comments :P.

Awesome Butter Biscuits for dummies


I’ve come a long way from my initial kitchen début (revisit the pancake fiasco). With the help of this awesome recipe book called the internet, I’ve learnt the art of not-having-maggi-for-dinner. And I must say I’ve enjoyed cooking much more than I thought I could. It’s a quiet pleasure, in having a kitchen and ingredients and making something that tastes just like what mom’s cooking did. Any guys out there who think it’s just a feminine thing are welcome to think so.. you just don’t know what you’re missing out on. I’m not concerned with the arguement of whether women belong in the kitchen. Cooking is very much like my work at a molecular biology lab. How much does pepper offset the flavor of other spices, and how much BSA will be too much for xyz restriction enzyme. (Ok, that’s kinda geeky). The fact remains that once you get the hang of it, you can pretty much make anything that you see in a recipe book. And as long as you have supportive neighbours to cook for, you’re well set :).

Watch out for my next self-help book titled “You can cook too!”. But for now, here’s one of my fav recipes, by popular demand. – Shortbread Cookies

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1) Mix together 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla essence.
The best thing about these cookies are that they are so easy to flavor. Add powdered cinnamon, or elaichi (cardamom) powder to get some fragrant cookies. Grated orange rind makes it citrusy, and minced almonds makes your house smell simply awesome. Crushed peanuts also give a good flavor. I tried it with chocolate chips, but they didn’t fare too well in the oven. Feel free to try it out anyway. 

2) Soften butter (around 100g, unsweetened is better.. salty butter make the cookies less sweet, thats all). Cut up the soft butter in pieces and mix it in the dough nicely.It should end up a lil stiff, not soft.

3) Knead the dough into a long cylinder, that you can cut slices out to make circular biscuits.

4) Wrap the dough in wax paper, saran wrap, or just cover it and keep in the fridge for 45 mins. It turns from a malleable dough into a hard something.

5) Cut out thin slices with a sharp knife. The dough should be firm and not bend under pressure.

6) I put the cookies some distance apart in the over at 375F for 12-15 mins (until they brown at the edges).

.. and voila :).

It’s not hard at all, I just broke it up into points to make it seem as though the process is important.