Saturday, December 12, 2009

COMIX.INDIA - The self-published black & white comics anthology

(Update: The CDBi forums are no more. It's all been integrated with the Comix.India website.)

It's an exciting time to be involved with the local comics scene. There's a new comics anthology on the cards, and it's titled COMIX.INDIA. It's being edited by Bharat Murthy and designed by me.

The magazine's features are:
- Black & White pages, with a color coer
- Size: 7"x9"
- Page count: 250-300

This is a completely fan-driven venture, with no commercial backing. Anybody can contribute content. It won't be available at the shops. It'll only be available online at, a print-on-demand site. Since there's no initial investment needed here, there's no real risk of commercial failure.

Get more details at the COMIX.INDIA forum.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Website: Ravi Udyawar Films online

After a lot of work, edits, and revision, the spankin' new website for Ravi Udyawar Films, one of India's premier ad-film production house, is finally online.

Click Here Or On The Image Above To View The Website

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Logo designs for the Project C initiative

Two tentative logos I created sometime back for the Project C comic magazine that's in the works.

Option A: A custom-made font, composed of blocks. The logo can be extended to comfortably accomodate info like the issue number, date etc.

Option B: The circles on top can be seen as a depiction of the half-tone process used in a lot of color printing (though, truthfully speaking, this could use a little refinement).

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Mind-bogglingly awesome poster designs

UK-based designer Simon Page created 10 space-themed retro-feel posters for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 campaign.

My favourites: 1st and 3rd on top; 2nd and 3rd bottom. Brilliant.

You can purchase these prints.

Link via David Airey.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Out phishing

I check my yahoo mail today morning, and I get a mail from twitter - We detected a link in your profile (bio, URL or location) pointing to a phishing site or other harmful material that we identified as malware. We removed the link from your profile. My site's gone bad!

A quick google search returned the following message - "This site may harm your computer."

Well, I'll be damned.

I contacted my web-hosting ppl, who shot off a quick mail with some clean-up instructions. Blah blah, I had my newly upped site scanned by and, both report it's clean now. So it's been submitted to Lord Almight Google for its approval.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Tin Man's Broken Heart - Work in Progress

EDIT: This design is up for voting on Threadless!

the tin man's broken heart - Threadless T-shirts, Nude No More

It's a slightly modified version of the design below.


New t-shirt design for threadless! Being critiqued here.

"...when the Tin Man went to the land of Oz, and asked the Wizard for a heart, he didn't think of all the bad things that would happen to him. He never stopped to think, if you have a heart, you'll also experience a heartbreak..."

I've visualised it as the Tin Man going on a city-wide rampage. Him being godzilla-like is largely a symbolic thing.

Two things I'm debating:
1) Should I keep it completely monochromatic?
2) Does the city need more elements like cars, fire-hydrants etc? Maybe some people running about in terror?

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Uninteresting Basterds

I used to like Quentin Tarantino. His movie were in a league of their own. Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction wer, and still are, brilliant. He was also a great writer of dialogues and scripts, and I enjoyed From Dusk Till Dawn and True Romance all the more for it. I haven't, however enjoyed any of his recent works. Kill Bill 1 and 2 was an exercise in self-indulgent, and the first half of Death Proof was a crashing bore. So I wasn't really expecting much from his supposed "World War II epic" Inglorious Basterds, and that's a good thing, because I left the theatre less disappointed for it.

What I liked, a somewhat idiosyncratic list:

Hans Landa: Wow. Just, wow. I haven't seen a more chilling, creepier villain in recent times. He was an outstanding character, and fantastically brought to life by Christoph Waltz. He's going to storm hollywood oon, having already landed the role of the villain in the new Dreen Hornet movie. Awesome! He rightly deserves his Cannes best actor award.

Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz: The only interesting Basterd. Which is ironic because he wasn't even one of the nine of the original American squad. He's a German recruited in Germany. A traitor, really. Til Schweiger did a fabulous job, and would have single-handedly destroyed the rest of the Basterds in Mortal Kombat. Hah!

Bridget von Hammersmark & the clandestine basement operation: A very short, yet pivotal part, played out way better than deserved by Diane Kruger. it certainly helped that she was absolutely gorgeous! This Clandestine Basement Meeting was hands-down my favourite sequence in the movie. It so aptly demonstrated Murphy's Law, wherein anything that can go wrong, will. It was an incredibly well written scene, that reminded me in some ways of the what-if car-crash sequence in Benjamin Button. Anyway, this scene also had one of Tarantino's directorial trademarks, the Mexican Standoff, and the shoot-out at the end was simply fabulous.

Shoshanna's plot: The only parts of the movie that felt like a cohesive story. If Tarantino had elected to completely edit away the rest and make the movie only about Shoshanna, I couldn't be happier. Infact, if I will ever get 'round to watching this movie on tv, I'll skip through all the frivolousness and just watch her scenes.

What I didn't like, an unfortunately more complete list:

The Basterds: The movie title is misleading, because the basterds are hardly in the movie. but I'm not complaining, because this uninteresting bunch of rag-tags felt more like charicatures, than serious characters. Brad Pitt's Aldo The Apache talked and behaved like a redneck hick (which he probably was, seeing as how he sold bootleg liquor, and apparently escaped a mob lynching), and was a very bad choice to be the face of the movie. The Bear Jew, supposedly an important character, was reduced to a symbol that played out in exactly one scene, and spent the rest of the movie merging in with the scenery. And the other seven in the squads, heck they were faceless cannon-fodder.

Old wine in a new bottle: That's what Tarantino's direction felt like. There really wasn't anything fresh or exciting here. It just felt like he was recycling his older tricks, with less success. Quirky characters that turn out to be inconsequential, older American Music totally out of place in a movie set in Germany, a half-baked effort to get in some retro graphics, and so on.

The Score: Seems like Tarantino can't look beyond his favourite record collection. I was expecting some really good German music, or something suited to a World War II movie, but no, we get some more retro American stuff. Which in itself isn't bad, but an absolute misfit here.

Character Treatments: All through this movie, major characters are built up, and then do absolutely nothing, and something totally out of character. The Bear Jew appears as a terriying baseball-bat-psycho in exactly one scene, and does nothing for the rest of the movie. Aldo The Apache shows no realy leadership abilities, nor does he do anything that really distinguishes him. Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz is the only Basterd who gets an awesome back-story, but is once again reduced to mere cannon-fodder, and knocked off without real glory. Worst of all, is what happens to Hans Lands. His ending was atrocious, and a major disservice to him. The whole idea that he would even consider surrendering to the Americans seemed kind of lame. He just didn't seem like the traitorous or turn-coat types to me. Basically Tarantino built up his character, and had no idea what to do with him, so he got one of the worst endings possible. Pathetic.

In closing...

This is a juvenile escapist fantasy, and not a very interesting one at that. I am, ofcourse, in the vast minority that didn't like it, as most of my other friends seem to act as if this movie is the cure for cancer. Cure for insomnia is more like it. I think Tarantino ought to stop hyping himself so much, and maybe skip directing for a while, in favour or writing. That's his strength, really. As a director, he's lately been just too self-indulgent.

Friday, October 02, 2009

A.I. Ailment

New design up for voting on Threadless!

A.I. Ailment - Threadless T-shirts, Nude No More

What do you prescribe for a sick computer? A binary feed, of 1's and 0's!

I got this idea sometime last week, when I was sick and admitted to a hospital for a few days. So I guess something good did come out of that illness!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Twitter bgs

Hmm, I meant to post this before, but it slipped my mind. I whipped up a quick twitter bg for my uncle's twitter page.

A custom bg for my twitter page too. Whatdya know, it's raining bottles!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Two designs up on threadless!

Kickass, I got two designs up for voting on, for their "Threadless Loves Horror II" competition. It's a pretty tough show, and I don't have any delusions about winning, but it was a thrill entering anyway!

Design One - Don't Be Fooled By The Smile...

A bunch of smileys representing various horror monsters and icons.
Vote for it here:
don't be fooled by the smile - Threadless Loves Horror II

Design Two - Past Its Expiry Date..

Zombies = bad blood = not good for vampires.
Vote for it here:
past its expiry date - Threadless Loves Horror II

Friday, September 04, 2009

Tracer Bullet!

Two wallpapers in accordance with last weekend's hangover:


Tracer Bullet: An all-percussion symphony was playing in my head, and the acoustics were incredible.

Forgive me Bill Watterson, I mean no harm.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Smashing September Calenders!

It's a new month! Which means it's time for a new set of wallpapers! And this month, Smashing Magazine has a gorgeous set.

Some of my favourites this month:
S for September - Gorgeous! My favourite this month! Luka, do one for every month!
Prelude (I love wallpapers with a single hue or color scheme)
Upside Down World Map (again, nice colors and concept, but I didn't like the typography)
Neon House Spirit (nice minimalistic color usage)
Field of Gold (great image and placement, but bad typography)
Curiosity and the Rose (love the image!)
Smashin September (very bold, interesting typo)
Septypo (nice colors and typo)
September Colors (the colors, hah)


OrneryBoy. What an awesome guy! And DirtGirl. Whatta babe! This is now officially my new favourite webcomic. It's got a crazy beautiful art style - vert vectorised. Which is no surprise, seeing as how the strip is actually drawn completely in flash! Which not only leads to a solid line-work and bold lively colors, but also, the occasional animated panel! And this isn'y half-baked animation really. It's very dynamic, and adds a lot to the appeal of the comic. I have hence compiled a list of every animated comic in the series:

(SPOILER WARNING - These strips are smack in the middle or storylines, so they may spoil stuff for you. I suggest you read the strip from the beginning, and use this as a quick reference guide. You have been warned!)

#255 Quick Get Some String - Cthulu monster's swaying tentacles

#257 Fountain of Filth - Stream of blood and bones

#258 Full House - More tentacles and raging sky

#269 Down The Drain - Walking zombie dudes

#270 Dance of the Dead - Zombie Headbangers!!! (my favourite)

#277 Down with OrneryBoy - Ornery falling down an open drain

#289 Who'll Fall - Hangin' Zombies!

#291 Sewer Scramble - Ornery and Zombie running!

#329 Shopping Block - Flashing Police Lights

#330 Hanging in the Balance - More Flashing Police Lights

#331 Dirty Bomb - THRESHER on the move!

#332 Explosive Payload - THRESHER's antennae, and the "bomb" explodes!

#333 Out of the Closet - Fumes and flies

#334 Bones of Contention - Dirtygirl screaming

#335 Necronomagain - Anti-zombie magic

#336 Prod Squad - Kids poke Mr. McMeddle's man-boobs with a stick

#342 Zombie Makeover - More anti-zombie magic

#344 Flames of Passion - Fire in DirtyGirl's eyes

#350 The MC stands for Melodramatic Cheese - MC Brian on the run

#356 Eye for an Eye - The cat chews

#357 Stabby-Go-Lucky - Self-stabbing action

#360 Cataclysmic Visions - Cat+flashbacks (look carefully, stare for a while)

#361 Depends on your definition - Cat pees on Ornery

#364 No Sauce Blues - Rain outside the window

#365 Soliloquy - More rain

#367 The Fellowship of the Flapp - Keyboard lights

#368 Hostile Takeover - Ornery on drums

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Boli Lagao! India's first paise-auction site starts now!

My latest project to go live - designs for Boli Lagao, India's first paise-auction site. A friend of mine is a partner in the venture. I've created the logo for for their venture, and have also coded and uploaded their teaser website. Sign-up, and you can start bidding soon!


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Center align your webpage!

I recently designed a site that was self-contained within 950px by 500px. Looked real good as a photoshop template. Converting it to html however, was a bitch. Turns out, there's native support for horizontal centering, but no code whatsover to align the entire site vertically central!

So I turned to google, the first and obvious answer to each and every question. I got a whole lot people complaining about this, and rightfully so, but no easy solution. There were a few real complicated workarounds using a mish-mash of css, javascript, and flash, but those were a headache to decipher and adapt. I was rather surprised at this roadblock, because I was sure I'd done it before.

And then, it hit me. Flash. Hah! You see, Macromedia (now Adobe) Flash has this option where you can export your file directly as an html page containing the swf. And you can center-align the file! Awesome! So all I had to do was replace that code with mine, and I had a real easy solution to the problem!

1) Make a document in flash, any size.
2) Go to Publish Settings, check the html option.
3) Head over to the new html tab. Keep the "flash alignment: vertical and horizontal" options to center & center.
4) Publish the file. You'll get an html page, where the swf is centrally aligned, and a .js file.
5) Open the html file in notepad or Dreamweaver, and simply replace the swf with your desired code. Voila, centre-aligned! Works with IE, Opera, and Firefox. You can safely delete the .js file and the javascript too!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Welcome to me!

KAILASH IYER dot COM is live!

No more need to send across pdfs to prospective clients. It's all on the net!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Best seats in the house? At the Front Stall!

Front Stall Pictures is a-go!

Here's a preview of the site:

Front Stall Pictures

This design is a continuation of the design I used for the visiting card, meant to convey a sense of nostalgia for days of old, when movie tickets used to be stubs.

Comics for firangi desis...

Vimanika Comics gets some press.

Selections from the article:

“The thought of putting out Indian mythology to everybody in the world and presenting our forgotten warriors and gods to them in an appealing and appeasing manner inspired me to launch Vimanika Comics,” says Mumbai-based (Karan Vir) Arora. “And that exactly is our USP.”
This sounds very much like what the recently-deceased Virgin Comics was attempting. If a powerhouse like that, backed by people like Richard Branson and Shekhar Kapoor, couldn't survive, I'm a little sceptical that a smaller publisher could keep the same concept afloat.
“We have definitely had a very positive response. People are in awe of the art, colours, and the theme. It was a refreshing change for many of the comic book readers,” (Vimanika’s Philadelphia-based director of international marketing, Kanika Choudhary) said.

“For India and the US, our sales and subscriptions are increasing at an exponential pace. Over the next year, we are expecting to increase our subscription base to 20,000 in the US, which we have already achieved in India alone.” (Karan Vir Arora)

Whoop! Now these last two quotes sound a bit dicey. 20,000 subscribers in India? I haven't seen any of their comics anywhere, nor have I read about it on any online blogs till now. They've apparently got three titles so far: the “Sixth” based on Karna from the Mahabharata, “Mokshas” based on Hanuman and Parshuram and “Dashaavatar”.

They also claim that these are widely distributed in Britain and the US. While I'm all for people getting into the comics business, I really wish they'd (a) stop pandering to the NRI audiences (if there is any such thing), as itmakes them look like the Karan Johan of the 4-color world, constantly making pulp for the firangi desis; and (b) stop beating the dead horse of Indian Mythology. Sheesh. Another retelling of the Mahabharata and Hanuman and I'm gonna puke.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

And the world got a little bit closer...

The greatest description for a song, ever:
31. Boney M – “Rasputin”

Possibly the greatest disco song that uses both Serbian and Turkish folk songs to outline the romance between a hemophiliac Russian queen and her mystic lover/advisor —who was famously murdered and castrated, and whose penis has its own Wikipedia page —by a group of Caribbean transplants living in West Germany and singing in English. Ever.

From here.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Russia Pics - Set 1

I though I'd upload them all at one go, but that doesn't seem to be happening. So here is the first batch of pictures.

Day 1-2 :

Day 3 :

The perils of working for Dracula

..or, the greatest Dracula comic strip ever!

Click on the 'ol image above to read the complete story!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Awesome Spidey!

This is hands down the most awesome spidey comic on the web yet! Clickity-click on 'ol wall-crawler below to bask in it's awesomeness!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Orange circles make a table

Sometimes you look at a design so simple in idea, and yet so striking, you want to kick yourself in the ass for not thinking about it first. Ofcourse, if that idea is a furniture, I wouldn't have built it anyway, but hey, this is a beautiful, beautiful table, that I just stumbled upon while googling for, orange circle, I believe?>

Isn't it a beauty? I might make one at home. Or not.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Someone shares my love for the Watchmen movie..

I was going to post a rant about my "love" for "visionary" director Zack Snyder's "adaptation" of the Watchmen comic, but really, could I say it any better than THIS and THIS?

Monday, July 06, 2009

Back from Russia!

I got back on the 2nd, and really wished I could stay back for a few more days.

Offhand, my trip in pointers:

Ryazan is a very relaxing place, kinda like Pune about 5 years back (before it was destroyed by the malls and flyovers).

Moscow chicks are hot! They all look like cover-girls on their way to a photo-shoot. And they dress the part too (This isn't the observation of a horny male, it's a general consensus, even by the other parents in the group).

St. Petersburg is like an idyllic 18th century European city. Something out of a literary classic. There's a big river flowing through the city, with quaint, but not-so-little draw-bridges at regular intervals.

Moscow has a massive underground Metro network, with nearly 14 different lines. I got me a metro-map t-shirt.

Nowhere do you get water for free! We got free tea, coffee, beer and vodka at various places, but no free water, anywhere.

People there don't talk to anyone. Their buses, metro, and trains are the quietest I've heard anywhere.

St. Petersburg was having it's White Night! Meaning, light for 23 hours of the day!

It is absolutely legal and safe to consume alcohol in public, on the streets, and in public transportation. Infact, you can buy alcohol at supermarkets along with bread and milk.

People respect road-rules. They halt for pedestrians, no one jumps signals, no one cuts lanes. Plus, the fines are ridiculously high, and cop take a lot of money as bribes.

No one speaks English, there's no literature in that language either. Everything's in Russian. Plus, the people are fiercely patriotic.

Did I mention that the Moscow chicks were ridiculously hot?

Massive Movie weekend!

This was a massive movie weekend for me! Ijust got back from Russia a few days back, and wanted to make sure I caught up on everything I missed. So I went and saw 4 movies at the theatres!

Saturday, first up, we went and saw Ice Age 3 (not in 3D, that gives me a headache). This was pretty much as entertaining as the first two, and there was a steady stream of laughs. For a movie supposedly targetted at kids, there was a fair bit of adult, or rather, non-kiddie humour in there. Which ironically, was when the audience was laughing the most. The new character Buck, voiced by Simon Pegg, was a great addition, and along with the ever lovin' Sid, stole the show. Infact, if they had eliminated Manny and Diego completely from the movie, and focussed on Buck and Sid, I daresay the movie would have been move focussed, and a tad better. Anyway, the direction here is outstanding, the best of the trilogy so far.

We followed that up with The Hangover, and this is hands down the best movie I've seen all year. It's bloody freakin' hilarious! I mean, WHAT THE FUCk HAPPENED LAST NIGHT?? Yeah, I need a t-shirt with that line on it. I'm gonna go see this movie again next weekend.

Sunday, I ran off to the theatre a lil early to watch Terminator Salvation. I had to watch it on the big screen for the effects and the 'bots. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Infact, I pretty much enjoyed it. The fx was outstanding, the 'bots were killer, and Sam Worthington was a worthy (pun not intended really) addition to the mythos. The story did seem a bit convulated, but that wasn't why I was watching the movie anyhow. The only thing kinda off was that the post-apocalyptic setting didn't seem real enough. There were very few 'bots around, and he humans seemed comfortably entrenched. Perhaps the inevitable fifth movie will up the stakes a bit, and show us a full-fledged war, and not just a covert infiltration op. Oh, and the Arnold appearance was sweet!

I came outta the cinema and went back in to see X-Men Origins: Wolverine with my friends. This was easily my least favourite movie of the weekend. There was so much wasted potential here. So many mutants, yet most hardly had anything more than a glorified came. Liev Schrieber's excellent turn as Sabretooth totally ate up Hugh Jackman onscreen. Plus Danny Huston was good as William Cox. Overall, the fights were ho-hum, except the last one with Sabretooth/Wolverine and Deadpool, that was brilliantly executed. Anyway, I'm hoping the sequel will be better (though I can't for the life of me figure out what thet'll do in Japan), and I'm looking forward to the Deadpool movie. Gotta love the merc with the mouth.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

See the Moon!

I'm a Sam Rockwell fan. I think he's a terrific actor, and he's always been entertaining in the scant few films I've seen him in. So I'm always happy to hear about any new projects he's involved in.

Like, Moon. It's a story of a man who's been on the moon for three years, mining Helium-3 - a rare gas which is the solution to Earth's energy crisis. He's got two weeks left before he gets back to Earth, when things happen that shouldn't.

Sounds interesting enough, but the reason I'm salivating like a mad dog, is because of the kickass poster design for the film. It's the most brilliant design I've seen in a very long time:

Rockwell Rocks!

Click on it to see a bigger, better version.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Art Online

The final edits have been made to the Cariya Breemen website, and it is now fully functional, with no more "coming-soon" sections. The site is her online portfolio, and it showcases her art under three main sections:

1) Visual Art - Her paintings, mixed-media work, and art installations.

2) Couture Art
- One-of-a-kind designer clothes, often a direct translation of her paintings, a sort of "wearable art", if you must.

3) Culinary Art
- Her newest endeavour, exotic food items prepared for special occasions and events

Major edits on the site are:
- New write-ups for all sections
- Images added to the the "Couture Art" sub-sections
- New "Culinary Art" page added, with text and pictures

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bane is a Metallica fan!

Yes, that's right, he digs Metallica!

That's right, he's singing Enter Sandman!

Or not?

Either way, you should take out a moment and head towards original post.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Gigs this month

The gig scene has been pretty decent the last few days, including one virtual experience.

Them Clones were playing at Hard Rock Cafe last week, with Shaair+Func as the opening act. Bad idea! Shaair+Func were brilliant! Their music was a lot different than what I was expecting really. For one, I didn't expect them to have a backing band. I don't know why, but I always assumed that it would be just the two of them on stage. Anyway, Randolph was pretty good with his guitar, and his funky eyewear was absolute high-fashion! Monica Dogra was hot! She had a great stage presence, sang the pants off everyone, and did I say she was smokin' hot?

So this was why it was an absolute bad idea for Them Clones to play after them. They seemed like some kids at a local gig. No stage presence to speak of, and apart from their single "My Life", the other songs were kinda lacklustre. Lets hope the songs sound better on their album, the corny sounding "Love, Hate, Heroes". Check out the song and video online.

This was followed up a few days later with Iron Maiden's Flight 666! Whatta kickass experience! It was great, revisiting the bombay concert, and watching the global hysteria and the mad chaos at all the venues the band visited. Man, Latin and South America is crazy! People camping out for days on end, guys quitting their jobs to watch the band, and people coming in from neighbouring countries, even! Brilliant! The documentary itself wasn't so hot. I would have enjoyed some more behind-the-scene revelations and snippets, and less concert footage. But what-the-hey, it's a great adrenaline rush watching it anyway!

And lastly, the Channel [V] and BigAdda Concert For Change. This was mixed bag, if anything. With a line-up that included the Launchpad finalists (Cassini's Division, Faridkot and Reverse Polarity), The Raghu Dixit Project, Anoushka M, Bappi "You are my Chicken Curry" Lahiri, and Kailash Kher, I was absolutely not sure just who their target audience for the gig was.

Anyway, it got off to a bad start with me missing The Raghu Dixit Project and Cassini's Division, sob sob. I believe I was, at that time, having a bloody cold coffee at a local restaurant. What can I say, I suck. I walked in just as Reverse Polarity was finishing their gig. Probably a good thing, as I was not a fan of their music. They are a very tight band, and if they stick together for a few more years, are sure to do bloody well.

Next up, Anoushka M. Blah, boring. A very bad billing. Faridkot came on next. They were pretty decent. A very Jal/Atif Aslam kinda sound, they were probably the band that would have had the best pan-India appeal. Kinda monotonous after a while though. That monotony was broken by the fabulous sounds of Bappi Lahiri! I still have a hard time deciding if people actually liked his music for what it was, or just as a novely act. Either way, the crowd went ape-shit insane. Probably the most successful act of the night. Even Kailash Kher, who came on next, couldn't really get the crowd going as much. Infact, he even sounded a bit less energetic than usual.

Sometime before or after the final act, Reverse Polarity were declared Launchpad winners. I was personally hoping for Cassini's to get it. Anyway, for a gig titled "Concert for Change", I dont know know if anyone got any message out of the show or not. I didn't, really. There were some cool Channel V promos on all the time, with Santa and Banta and stuff, plus some occasional messages being show, that I couldn't decide were being serious or spoofs. It was, anyway, a free gig, so that was good.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Fire Still Burns...

I recently met a bunch of guys, who, like most of the people in the city, seemed more or less disillusioned with the whole Political Circus that keeps playing out all around, perhaps most easily accessible on your local "news" channel. They've decided to step up and try and make a change in the attitude of people. While this whole excercise was initially geared towards getting people to vote, that space was already cluttered. So they're kinda hoping to just make people more aware of their civic right, and become less apathetic.

As a first step, they've recorded a song and uploaded it on their website, that went live a few days back.

I'm, as of right now, working with them on deigns. Phase one includes a logo design, and a basic, functional website, primary for hosting the song, and getting people to sign-up for their cause. Check it out.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Movies this month

A quick assessment of some notable movies I saw this month:

The Hunt for Red October: I hadn't seen any Jack Ryan movies before this, and I thought he was more of a hands-on field agent. It was interesting to learn that he was actually a research analyst. The movie had a fairly interesting storyline, but it seemed to drag at places. There wasn't much happening visually on screen really. I'm thinking the book will be a lot more interesting too read. Sean Connery does a pretty good job, but Alec Baldwin is relegated to almost a guest appearance status. Anyway, I'm intrigued enough to someday watch the other Jack Ryan movies.

Being John Malkovich: What a nutter of a movie! Absolutely insane! I must have jumped up astonished and dazed and shouted out HOLY FUCK atleast half a dozen times during this movie! It was fabulous, a real treat to watch. The story: John Cusack is a failed puppeteer, a loser basically (and he plays the role real good) who takes up a job to sustain himself. The job is on the 7 1/2 floor of a building, one of the many bizzare quirks in the movie. He discovers a portal there, behind a filing cabinet, that leads into the mind of the actor John Malkovich. Hah! And they then start seeing everything through the eyes of JM. Bizzare! There's a lotta existential thoughts in there, like what would happen if a man enters a portal that leads into his own mind, and are we all puppets and blah blah, which can safely be ignored if you want to just take this movie for what it presents at face value! This is simply an absolutely trippy movie, with fabulous performances by everyone involved!

Sleepy Hollow: When the movie had just released, I didn't expect the headless horseman to be an actual ghoul. I don't think that's how it is in the original story, but I could be wrong (I haven't read the book, I've just seen the cartoon on tv a looooong time back). I always though the story was more of a character study of Ichabod Crane (kickass name). Tim Burton directs it as a creepy detective movie of sorts, and it's fun. Johnny Depp is once more at home playing yet another quirky charcter - a police constable who's trying to get the police at large to adopt scientific methods to apprehend criminals and solve crimes (he also keeps having wierd dream interludes that I thought added nothing of substance to the narrative and killed the pace of the story really). The ghoul is question, the headless horseman, played delightfully by Christopher Walken, is a real bad-ass. He should get a spin-off of his own, that movie would be a rip-roaring gory fun-filled ride. It would be a great horror-comedy really. Anyway, this was a great movie with trademark Burton visuals and colors. And i really like it.

Dog Soldiers: Rather thrilling, and high on action. It's not really horror, inspite of having werewolves, but it gives you a rush nevertheless. Oh, and it's very visceral, gory. The setting's pretty good. A bunch of Irish (or Brit) soldiers are in Scotland, on what they believe to be a training mission. Turns out they're , up by the Special Forces squad to be bait for werewolves. Whoohoo, let the massacre begin! The characters are all great (i loved hearing them talk), and the creature effects were very realistic. As real as a werewolf can be, anyway. A very engrossing creature feature.

Bubba Ho-Tep: There's a great behind this movie. The Elvis that died was actually an Elvin-impersonator, with whom the real Elvis had swapped placed. The real deal Elvis is now old and wasting away in a retirement community. Among his companions are a guy who believes he's The Lone Ranger and a black dude who believes he's JFK (he's black because the CIA dyed him that color - the greatest cover-up in the world). These whacky bits are fabulous, and good 'ol Bruce Campbell make a fantastic Elvis. The "creature" part of this creature-feature is largely disappointing. It's an egyptiAn soul-sucker, a mummy, who's killing the oldies one by one. It's upto Elvis n JFK to stop him. I suspect the low-budget killed most of the thrills that could have been there. I suspect the original story, by Joe R. Lansdale, will be a helluva lot more chilling (he's a pretty good horror writer, has done some amazing comics for Avatar Press - check out the By Bizarre Hands series, if you're interested).

Starship Troopers - I finally saw the entire movie from start to end. A whole lotta fun. The bugs attacking in humongous numbers as simply insane! On a side note, since the human goal was eradication of the bug world, and not colonisation, I didn't understand why they didn't simply nuke the planet from orbit, or use planet-busters of some sort (I'm sure that if they've advanced enough to develop warp travel and interstellar starships, the weapons development would have kept pace. I doubt bullets will still be used in the far future. After all, the first application of most new tech is in the military).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Coffee on the Net

The new, redesigned Paddy's Coffee website went live some time back. I'd been working on this for quite some time, though most of if was spent of communicating changes and making edits. It's done now, and a very good coffee shop finally has (what i hope will be perceived as) a pretty neat, matching website.

Check it out -

Monday, March 16, 2009

SulaFest 2009 - Minus the "fest"

I went to Nashik's Sula Wineyards on saturday, for the SulaFest 2009. A bunch of bands were supposed to play, and the place was to have been choc-a-bloc with activities, but I was there mostly to experience the wineyard and watch Jalebee Cartel perform live. I got to do both, and I enjoyed myself, but the "Sulafest" itself seemed to be missing.

This is what the press release promised:
...a day-long concert at the beautiful open-air, Greek-style amphitheater, set in the middle of Sulas own estate vineyards"

...a unique opportunity to not only taste wines but also participate in several allied fun activities, attend various artist shows and enjoy gourmet food, and enjoying shopping. The event will also include wine tasting sessions, Live 'Cook in Wine' sessions by renowned Chefs. Wine Accessories and Glassware sale, Wine Games and prizes. as well as the sale of various type of gourmet cheese and olive oil.

Sulafest will be offering some fabulous food offerings such as kebabs, sushi, falafel, pita bread, barbecue items and pizzas from our very own vineyard restaurant Little Italy at Sula.

As if that isn't enough of gasro-heaven, SULAFEST will be hosting the Best Vineyard Shopping Bazaar experience. The festival will see Art and craft stalls, Chocolate Cheese and Cakes Lounges, Spa Therapist, Tarot Card Readers, Relaxing foot masseurs, Jewellery stalls, Tattoo Artist, Nail Artists, Caricature Artist, Hair Braiders, Face Painters and much more.

The event will not be complete without the totally unavoidable chocolate,cake,pastry and cheese lounge at the event.
This was mostly a bunch of croc. Tthere were no activity stalls of any kind, apart from a tarot reader. Some stalls were selling what looked like designer clothes and accessories. I don't even think they made any sales, because within about an hour of the crowd turning up, the rain came pouring down, and they all had to fold up. Even the food was extremely limited in variety, - some kababs, pasta and pizzas. Nothing else.

I think from next year they should just call it the SulaConcert or something.

Anyway, if that seemed waaay too negative, it's not so, because I had a good time. It was a very relaxing trip, and the bands we heard were pretty good.

Sula had a winery-tour+wine-tasting for 150 bucks. I didn't much attention during the tour really. The wine-tasting was fun though. We tasted 6 different types of wine. Two white, one rose, two red, and one new desert wine. The last one was the only one I liked, all the others were crap. Nothing against Sula, I'm just not a wine drinker, 14% alcohol content suxx., heh.

The concert itself was to have happened at a beautiful open-air amphitheatre. The line up included-
Sridhar & Thayil
Shaair and Func
Jalebee Cartel
Salsa dancers, YMCA act & Fire Spinners

Shridhar & Thayil were from New York / New Orleans. They did some old school blues, I think, with a lot of spoken-word interludes. Not sure what, but they were fun. Unfortunately, they over-stayed their welcome, and the rain-gods decided to intervene. The raindrops were bloody massive, and the rain started rather abruptly. So we all ran for shelter.

Some of my friends wanted to leave asap, but it's a good thing we didn't. Jalabee Cartel started playing at around 8, inside the Little Italy restaurant. This was the first time I was seeing them, and they were fabulous! Incredible really! It wasn't the complete band, just two of them, so I'm waiting to see how the band as a whole sounds. The vocalist from Agni was jamming with them for a while, doing some wierd sanskrit stuff on the mic. It was horrible, and they quickly yanked the mic away from him, heh.

Anyway, we left the venue shortly before 10, just before JC were wrapping up. We saw some pandus at the venue, and I hope they didn't create any ruckus.

Click here for pics.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Buttons vs Chocolates

I've read in a lot of places, articles/message boards, that The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was actually made 5 years ago, under a different title - Forrest Gump. Now, I admit I didn't really see any hard and fast resemblance, but we could actually very broadly take the plots of both the movie to be biographical tales about two people who overcome terrible adversities to finally find their lot in life. On that basis, how do the two moves compare?

For one, they both travel a lot. Gump seems to have the more interesting life though. Button is implied to have been to a lot of places, but we only see postcards. Maybe he had a postal scam on. Gump on the other hand, had a lot more visibly interesting life. He was in the war, he was a sailor (ok, Button was both at once, he was a sailor in a war. He was also born when one ended, so maybe he was, well, born for it), and he was, most importantly, the original Smiley Face.

Love interest, hmm, hmm. Tilda Swildon first, for Button. I wouldn't like to do the freaky with the angel that sold out to the devil (or some such. A Constantine-the-movie reference.) Gump didn't fare too well with his girl, she got AIDS, and then she died. Button's second, (or really the first, if you believe in, what did she call it, "Kizzmet") Cate Blanchett didn't die, she just broke her leg, and her dreams got crushed. She also alternatingly looks like a ravishing beauty and a CGI blow-up doll in this movie. This is depressing. Let's move on.

Let's see, some similar supporting characters. Forrest Gump had Gary Sinese, one fine actor, he, playing a boat-hand at one point, and Benjamin Button had Captain Mike Lock, probably not so good an actor himself, but a heckuva lot more interesting character. And, well, I don't really care much about either movies to actually do a more detailed comparison, but some years down the line, I suppose I would choose Gump over Button, if they were playing simultaneously.

Also, a box of chocolates is more interesting than a box of buttons.

What I did indeed like about Benjamin Button:

The Cinematography. Beautiful, beautiful colors. Especially when they were at sea.

The Daisy Co-incident Incident. What a fantastic little sequence. Absolutely mesmerising and more interesting than the 75 minutes before and after, either way.

The Guy Who Got Struck By Lightning Seven Times. This says is all.

Brad Pitt On His Bike. He is a God.

And finally, The Blind Clockmaker's Tale. Frankly, David Fincher should have scrapped the rest of the film after this segment. He couldn't top it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The bigger the badasses, the harder the boot up your @$$

After a lot of research and bloody back-breaking hard work, MTV finally unvieled their list or the top 10 movie badasses of all time. A list that I followed closely as they teased us with one name after another.

Here's the list:
1. Dirty Harry
2. Ellen Ripley
3. John McClane
4. Mad Max
5. Walker (Lee Marvin from Point Blank, not the Texas Ranger)
6. Sarah Connor
7. Pike Bishop
8. Khan
9. Boba Fett
10. John J. Rambo

Were it up to me, I'd have added Leon the Professional, and Mr. Smith (Not "Mrrrr Aaaaannnddndddeerrrsssoooon", but the Shoot 'Em Up guy) in there someplace and taken out Mad Max perhaps. I must confess, with some shame, that I haven't yet seen the movies with Dirty Harry, Walker, Pike Bishop, Khan, and Boba Fett, so I can't really comment on them.

Coming to the point, while that list isn't too bad, not everyone was happy with it. Here's someone I firmly believe should have topped the list:

Here's my boot up your @$$

...except for one slight technicality - he wasn't in a movie.

Red - Proudly shoving a boot up your dumbass.