The Avengers : Review!

* Warning – contains possible spoilers

Photo courtesy manocks_6 on photobucket.com

Ironman made an  “I’m sexy and I know it” appearance, Thor shone in all his blonde godly glory, Hawkeye didn’t miss a single shot (Big Surprise there!), Black Widow and her endless legs were eye candy…and also kicked some serious butt while a green superpower banged around. And no I’m not talking about Flubber *Hulk Smash*  –  Joined by all American, Captain Rogers.

Bringing them all together? The brawny, stoic, makes all the tough decisions in furious circumstances – Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. It was a Marvel party and all the legends were invited. Kudos to director Joss Whedon for turning it into an ensemble driven entertainer rather than a one-man show, with everyone getting plenty of screen time  – including the theatrical but rather ordinary God of Mischief, Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston.

The special effects were Hollywood standard high, dialogues clever, with the few gems thrown in for good measure – “he’s adopted” and “puny god” being my absolute favourites.

So where did The Avengers fail? Just the tiny thing called original story – Supervillain attacks earth, uses crazy energy source and it is the end of the world as we know it. Now we haven’t seen that before have we ? While the story picks up through the film with faultless performances by the ensemble cast – Mark Ruffalo’s The Hulk does steal the show, with a storyline and dialogues woven to thrust him into the limelight. But the climax isn’t climatic enough and for those who have seen Joss’s previous work we all know he could have done better.

That said, I will be back to watch the sequel. Of which I’m sure there will be one – if you don’t believe me just stick around for the post credits sequence.

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Avengers for dummies

If everyone around you has jumped on The Avengers bandwagon and you feel a little left out, this list should help you catch on right away

Photo courtesy ALJB62 on photobucket.com

 The Good Guys

Ironman – self proclaimed “genius, billionaire, playboy’” With an armour/suit of his own invention as his weapon, he’s possibly the most conceited superhero of them all. But he has got style and snappy comebacks on his side. Played with flawless panache by Robert freakingawesome Downey Jr.

Captain America – a war veteran kept alive, but unconscious for over 60 years he’s orthodox, selfless and I have to say this – a little bit boring. Chris Evan brings this staid, good man to life.

Black Widow/ Natasha Romanoff- essayed by the girl with the unreal curves, Scarlet Johansson. She is the super spy/assassin who knows how to get the job done – kicking, punching and smashing her way through things. And she does it all looking like a sexpot. That’s right.

Hawkeye – human, master archer who never misses his aim. And with tranquilizer-dipped arrows, he’s sorted. Portrayed by Jeremy Renner

Thor – only a demi god could have perfect unruffled blonde locks after being dropped from the Heavens and that’s exactly what he is. The Norse god of Thunder( played by Chris Helmsworth) joins the motley crew to get his brother God of Mischief, Loki in line.

The Hulk/Bruce Banner – that mild mannered doctor who thanks to prolonged exposure to Gamma rays turns into a hulking green monster who is virtually indestructible.  Played by Mark Ruffalo

Nick Fury – Director of espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D, the core of the group without actually being in it, is your atypical man in charge – solid, makes all the difficult decisions and kicks ass when need be. Comes alive thanks to Samuel L. Jackson.

The Bad Guys

Loki – a.k.a adopted brother of Thor, God of Mischief and all round mayhem creater. On earth to take it over – of course. He uses the Teserract (an explosive source of energy) to open the portal to a realm, allowing dark alien creatures to enter earth (specifically New York) and attack, in his bid to gain control.

The binding factor

 The Tesseract – the storyline is woven around this source of this energy that basically everyone is trying to get their hands on.

The characters are iconic Marvel legends and fans don’t feel shortchanged by my descriptions, it’s all in good faith! For those who’re meeting them for the first time (what rock you been hiding under?), sit back and enjoy the ride – it is first class.

I got the power !

Want a chance at playing god? A creative interactive installation titled Dashavatar – the evolution of life exhibited at the Kala Ghoda Festival 2012, Mumbai. It gives you the chance to embrace the Dashavatara (10 avatars) of Vishnu who is revered as the preserver while plunging you into the “does he exist” connundrum all over again.

While the installation narrates the tale of the evolution of living beings from fish to the present day man – just like scientists state, it uses our cultural paradigm of Dashavatar as a visual. These are the versions of Vishnu, a God who appears during different ages to save the world, one way or another.

Walk with me as I as I unmask …

 Matsya – the Fish

Kurma– the Tortoise Varaha  – the Boar

Narasimha – half lion/half man

    Vamana– the Dwarf

Parshurama– the man with the axe

Ramachandra– the legendary prince of Ayodhya

Krishna – who is usually pictured with a flute as  he spreads the melody of love to people

Buddha – The spiritual man

                                                                                                                                        

Kalki -yet to appear

While it doesn’t end man’s existential dilemma or throw light on who this ‘God’ creature really is it did succeed in its goal of drawing out the brave hearts from among the crowd – urging them to shed their inhibitions. In the age when being yourself and being unafraid to express it, is constantly battling with the human need to fit in, this installation allows you to step into another’s shoes – only if you’re brave enough. So, are you going to be the one behind the camera or in front of it?

“Dashavatar” curated by Dr Ajanta Sen, Founder, Design In India 

On Display at the Traffic Island, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, 4th – 12th February 2012

Photography by Shruthi R (Twitter id – ShruthiR11)

Published in: on February 7, 2012 at 7:15 am  Comments (2)  
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Kala Ghoda Festival ’12

Ever year that nondescript street, a few minutes away from Churchgate station is transformed into the stage for our own little carnival – larger than life sculptures, exhibits and stalls selling everything from wooden watches to furniture, make Kala Ghoda come alive.

The street festival of Mumbai city holds special significance for me – more than just being a reflection of the city’s dynamic, pulsating and ever growing arts scene, it’s a reflection of who I’ve been and who I’ve become.That first year as a Jr. college student of St.Xaviers was all about making the ultimate ‘artsy’ statement, one of those things expected of the jhola carrying passouts of the institution – but all we managed was a candy floss induced high and confusion at the installations that dotted the street.

Today it’s about being lost in a world where everything stands for something and being yourself and having the courage to express it, is the ultimate style statement. The art isn’t just about the creations we see on the street, it’s about the people who make the choice to fashion them- believing that art means something to the world. It is about the people who who walk the street – because self expression is the truest form of art. It isn’t about bohemian clothes and a devil may care attitude, it isn’t for a select few belonging to the creative industry – it’s about everyone and everything..where you live and what you do..

With the theme of this year being ‘the art of Mumbai’ I picked a few of the things that for me are quintessentially the city – walk with me…

P.S – You can never have enough candy floss. This year or the next.

Mumbai is incomplete without these two..


You haven’t really lived in the city, unless you’ve been woken up thanks to their incessant and oh so annoying cawing..

Among my favourite installations was this one – old pens, even a stray telephone are what have been used to ornament the car – look closely, cause even those worthless things can become quite meaningful…


In the chaos and sometimes unbearable din of the maximum city it’s easy enough to lose peace of mind – but it doesn’t have to be lost for always…

Every year the iconic Kala Ghoda (the original stands in the Byculla Zoo)is reinvented – this year’s version mirrored Mumbai, quite literally – it can seem bleak but it always manages to catch the light..

The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is on from the 4th -12th February 2012. Timings – 11:00 am to 9:30 pm Along with a number of Arts and Crafts Stalls and displays, there will performances and screenings, log on to www.kalaghodaassociation.com for a full schedule

Published in: on February 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm  Comments (1)  
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Crazy little thing called… Fear

So. You’re insanely afraid of snakes. In the unlikely event that you’re faced with one, your fear will paralyse you – you can’t move, you can’t breathe so you just stand there – and with one bite, BAAM, you’re dead.

We tend to discount just how much our fears determine the way we live but the truth is they are with us, in every step we make, like the shadows that are bound to us. We even let fears dictate our actions, unwittingly making them come true. Don’t believe me? Just look around you or simply look deeper within yourself.

The guy who’s scared of commitment is the one that picks flaws in a relationship and does all he can to destroy it, bypassing happiness in the process. The woman, who’s terrified of abandonment, acts possessively and ends up driving those very same people away.

Interestingly enough, fears reveal more about the person than you’d think – I’m scared of people not loving me, not being good enough to be cared about.

Any shrink worth his salt would say all three of the above suffer from deep rooted self esteem issues. The best advice he can give? Just get over it. That basically sums up how to deal with fears – you can either let them consume you, control you or just break away.

Society plays a deep role in instilling and manipulating fears – Sagar Chabbria, a 24 year old man says his greatest fright is that of failure – not succeeding in achieving what he needs to, while one of 22 year old Gayathry Latheef’s fears include not being able to have her own children.

Me man – I bring food, you woman- you make babies – the stereotypes associated with Stone Age men and women have been so deeply ingrained, that you can see them even in the 21st century.

Losing a member of a family, suffocating and then dying are among the few common yet paralysing fears that people face today. Some of us manage to overcome our fears – by taking them on for a reality television show or by seeing them come true and continuing to survive. Then, there’s a third unfortunate kind that spends their lives hiding behind these ever strengthening shadows. So which one are you?

Published in: on December 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Things I’ve learnt

My views – From the playful to the profound

  • Chocolate is the world’s most multipurpose food aphrodisiac – drug – dessert. The list is endless.
  • You can never stop loving someone you’ve truly loved. You can only pretend.
  • We never really change. We’re always who were were and are going to be.
  • Men will always try and manipulate you. Jokes are always on about how women never win arguments, but the truth is the men don’t try because they’d much rather make you feel bad about what you’ve said, later and then use it against you.
  • Couples in the 21st century, love each other with conditions and convenience. A tragedy because love without “if you do this for me”, truly makes you a happy person – ask any parent.
  • We rarely learn from our mistakes. We take people for granted and then when they start to forgive you, we do it again.
  • The more you run to men, the more they run away from you.
  • Wearing cap sleeves can make anyone look fat – even Heidi Klum
  • The people you grow up with have your back  forever. No questions asked.
  • Pizza is the best comfort food on the planet. Second only to greasy Chinese.
  • Once an asshole, always an asshole.
  • Every girl wants to be Carrie from Sex and the city. Every boy would like to be as suave as Mr.Big
  • The person you love will not wait for you forever.
  • Tell your family you love them often, they’ll be gone before you know it.
  • No matter how old or mature you get, your younger sibling will still be able to annoy you as much as he/she did when you’ll were little.
  • If you pretend to smile, you do begin to feel a little happy…try it.
Published in: on December 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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For you

Memories aren’t special because of what happened during them, but rather because of the people that make them with us. There’s a lot to be said for bonds that link you, transcending borders and years. These links are the one’s that mark your life, kind of like the lines on your palm.

Sometimes, there are no explanations as to why you’re drawn to someone without reason or logic. Why, in spite of fights, time and space coming in the way you still turn to only them in times of need. Sometimes, it feels like you’ve known them for eons and they are here to continue a relationship from a past time. and often, we trust them and love them against our better judgement, and that’s when they show us their loyalty.

A few people have played strange roles in my life -sometimes I’ve run from them, very often I’ve missed them but above and beyond all of this, I’ve always gone back to them. Family, you’re kind of forced to live but these people you love because of and in spite of what they bring to your life.

Once you’ve felt the strength of these bonds, that seem bigger than yourself you cannot settle for the superficial. Thank you to those who have been there for me, tolerated my nonsense and loved me even though you didn’t need to – this is for the original skinny, Big B, my chinki eyes, my co-cougar, meredith from a few seasons ago, the other skinny and the one that calls me lil one.

Published in: on December 21, 2011 at 9:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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Heartbreak, Heartache

I’m not the first person who has ever written about it and I will definitely not be the last but if you’ve felt it, and I know you have… read on.

We’re all living in a world where people run from and to each other. We fight, we cry, we’re mean and then we collide. Because we need to feel something. We’re all doing everything that we do because we need to feel like we’re alive and the only thing that can make you feel it is the sense, the touch and the warmth of another human being.

In this pursuit of life, we hit roadblocks… just like the physical injuries on a sports field, our hearts get hurt, they get broken, they ache and then one day, you’re mended. No, chocolate and ice cream don’t really act like the medicine that could heal that little crack that feels so physically real, nor does drinking or whining with your oh-so-sympathetic friends. But, they definitely don’t hurt!

The road to being fixed is a long and arduous one. And best taken alone because no one will ever understand what you’re feeling better than you do. But we can be reassured in the fact that there are millions of people, since the dawn of time and till the very end of it, that have and will feel the pain of a broken heart and survive.

Nothing teaches you quite how to love like having truly done it, at least once. So heartbreak? Its nothing but life telling you, this was just your first run… next time you’ll be much better and that’s why I’m going to sign off with what the greatest poets of our time put so simply “Love, Love me do…”

Published in: on November 26, 2011 at 8:29 am  Leave a Comment  

The streets of Mumbai

A city has the potential to be a friend, a lover, a protector or the greatest antagonist that ever was and Mumbai (Bombay) can be all these and more in one single day. Walk through the streets of the place I’ve called home, lived in and lost in with this series of articles dedicated to the city with ephemeral moods but a lasting spirit. Plunge into it with…

 Cruise along the Causeway

Jewellry

Tousled haired foreigners with backpacks wander through the street, stopping when they see something that catches their eye. What follows is a raucous party of loud voices, in different languages. Each trying to convince the other that he should be listened to. That’s Colaba Causeway for you.

Senses have a tough job here as the sounds are overwhelming but the sights even more so. Clashing colours, stupendous shapes and thrifty trinkets all make their appearances. It’s difficult to mistake this street market as simply a typical tourist trap, which it is but locals swear by it as well.

Says avid shopper, Gayathry Latheef , “Shopping in causeway is fun because you never come back empty handed and you find everything you need in one street, from food to clothes to accessories and even, eye-candy.”

Mojris- For men and women

Formally known as Shahid Bhagat Singh road and informally as Colaba Causeway, it is as visited as its high profile neighbours, the Gateway of India and Taj Mahal hotel and palace. Gregory David Robert’s Colaba was one of intrigue, romance and drugs; the qualities that attract many who expect to relive his encounters.

It’s also just a street, where buyers meet sellers and relentless persuasion follows.  A curtain of jewellery, bronzed, silver and gold flutters in the air, alluringly, nudging you to enter the street. Café Mondegar one of Colaba’s oldest restaurants is Iranian owned and almost always full, is the first on the street.

As you walk along, it’s hard to escape the shouts of, ‘Miss, buy this. It’s the best quality’ but if you listen carefully you can hear that the prices for the locals and the prices for the unassuming foreigners differ as the vendors try to make a quick buck off those who don’t know better, a feature at almost every touristy location.

For the clotheshorse, there’s plenty to choose from. Whether its designer knock offs or indigenous outfits, it’s all out there and within grasp if you know how to spot what you like effectively and acquire it with smart bargaining.

Stalls that sell perfect replicas of perfumes, designer watches and sunglasses tempt those that want to look stylish but don’t want to pay the full price that comes with it.

Belts

Moving on, shops sell idols of Indian gods as well as hookah’s act as a metaphor for this street, that’s one thing in the day and a diametrically different one at night.

As day turns to night, this shopper’s street transforms, with visitors telling you that they’ve been propositioned by young women and drug peddler’s, surreptiously and sometimes, openly. Cafe Leopold, one of the iconic restaurants, been here since the 1800’s has a formidable reputation that goes beyond just serving delectable vegetable samosas.

Rainbow coloured

The streets of Mumbai are ever changing; one minute something is forever and the next it isn’t there anymore. Much like Colaba causeway, a quaint, busy street in the day unrecognisable from its night avatar.

Published in: on November 7, 2011 at 11:10 am  Comments (1)  
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Fashion Forward

Trends to try in 2011

Often enough we see celebrities all glamorous making runway looks work off the ramp and models splashed on the pages of magazines looking uber-chic but we don’t all have the figures and large enough wallets to keep up those appearances.

Take inspiration from the likes of Alexa Chung  who loves peter pan collars while Jessica Alba and Sarah Jessica Parker rock colour blocking.Make what’s in vogue your very own, easily and at lower prices. I’ve put together a picture and text collection of some trends that are both eclectic and easy to make a part of your everyday wardrobe.

Floral prints

Floral top

Spring may not be in the air right now but doesn’t mean you can’t infuse a little bit of flowery cheer in your wardrobe. Remember not to go over the top and wear more than one floral piece in your outfit. Go completely bohemian with a flowing skirt, combine printed tops with formal pants or jeans, wear a pretty dress or just spice up a one coloured outfit with a floral scarf or bag.

Colour blocking

Colour blocking

Not one for the faint hearted, this trend has been making waves all over the world. Combine contrasting, complementing or completely crazy colours together for a fun and totally fashion forward look. Don’t pair two colour blocked items of clothing together or you’ll look like a paint company’s brochure. Don’t be afraid to wear yellow with green or two shades belonging to same family.

Polka Dots

Polka dotted dress

These feisty things never seem to be off trend. A totally stylish little black dress (LBD) with a feisty twist is one that stays away from the stereotypes of fitted , solid coloured and cleavage baring. This peter pan collared, polka dotted, flowing but structured dress complements a number of body types.

Bold Bottoms

Green bottoms

Red pants

So, blue jeans have been a wardrobe staple ever since they made their debut oh so many years ago. Now’s the time for some vivid change! Pair bright hued pants or jeans with solid colours that makes for a look that has plenty of ‘pop’ but doesn’t look over the top.

I do not presume to be an expert on fashion but clothes are an extension of our personality and reflective of our moods and emotions. Use clothes well, interpret trends your own idiosyncratic way and you’ll find that they’re the perfect, pleasurable way to express yourself.

Published in: on November 6, 2011 at 9:51 am  Leave a Comment  
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