Friday, February 29, 2008

Via Pondicherry


Unexpectedly successful weekend trips have to be among the best things in life, no? One such trip was had last weekend to Pondicherry, er..Puducherry. But let's just stick with the former name. Anyway, this trip happened as a diversion to a rather stressful three days in Chennai.

One noisy, LOUD Tamil-song filled bus trip was all it took to get to Pondy. A smashing colonial-style hotel was the place of stay. The staff here was not only charming, they also spoke perfect French! Friend, who claimed to have had four years of French classes in his youth, found that he could not even summon up enough French to translate Chicken 65 (it ended up as Chicken 69). He also loudly proclaimed that he felt slapped when the front-desk girl chatted in fluent Francaise about postcards with a French tourist.

Anyhow, the streets in the French quarter are home to many very sweet dogs and rows of pastel-colored houses with lush bougainvillea in pink and white. And these streets are very quiet relatively early at night. This did not prevent friend and me from traipsing down them, sometimes ringing doorbells at random after having swigged several healthy shots of rum and coke at the obliging cafe in the hotel.

Pondy was also historic in that it was the site where for the first time in my life I seriously thought there was a ghost in my room. The ghost made strange tapping/hissing sounds and then dripped some water on the floor. In my slightly inebriated state at about 3 am in a fitful sleep, I became convinced that a drowned girl named Jasmine was in my room. Fortunately, Jasmine obligingly turned out to be a faulty AC and then left me alone.

Also, I took some truly award-worthy shots of a man meditating against the backdrop of a Bay of Bengal sunrise. Reproduced here, though, is the work of a slightly less-gifted artist.

In the end, Pondy made even Chennai fun. Strange things do happen.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Misses and hits

A few thoughts on Oscar fashion. First, can someone explain why Tilda Swinton appeared in public with one arm ripped off her gown? Did she have a run-in with her cat, who after attacking her sleeve, then proceeded to claw at her hair for good measure? Then there was Best Actress Marion Cotillard, who was swathed in a scaly dress that made me wonder if it smelled like fish too. This dress was, inexplicably, loved by many fashion critics. As for me, all I can say is, slap her, she's French.
Red was quite the hot trend this time: Anne Hathaway chose a rose-encrusted disaster of a gown that had too much fabric in front, Heidi Klum in a hilarious shawl-collared creation and plug-ugly bun on her head, and of course, wearing the dress of the evening, Katherine Heigl. Please, oh please, what possessed this pretty girl to slather on carrot-hued makeup with a heavy-duty trowel? Her dress was va-va-voom and she certainly wore the hell out of it. But one look at her clown-inspired visage and the dress just faded out of one's sight.
However, Hilary Swank in black, Jessica Alba glowing in rich purple, and Cameron Diaz in blush pink redeemed the evening. Diaz was panned for her hairstyle, but come on. The girl is a surfer, let's cut her some slack. And last and best, Javier Bardem in his stylish duds, who tops my newly published list of male hotties. His nose!
That is all.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The tragedy of it

My vote for the funniest ad on TV these days: Deepika Padukone plugging some new face soap. She strolls down a ramp, poured into a green dress and looking heavenly. Then she twinkles, "want to know why my skin is so beautiful and youthful?"
The first time I saw this, I was in the middle of banging pots and pans together because the water wouldn't boil fast enough for my two-minute noodles. Spontaneously, I answered, "Because I was born in 1988!"
Then it struck me: the sheer hilarity of it. Twenty-year-olds should not be made to stump for youth-enhancing products. It's cruel.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Purple

I saw the first jacaranda of the season today.
I feel privileged.
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