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.