Friday, June 19, 2009

Moving to a new blog

This blog is no longer updated. You can check my current blog here.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year' Eve at Times Square

It is probably one of the most famous events in the world and is a must-see for most of the year-end tourists in the country. But this was an event which none of my New York colleagues were eager to visit.

New Year's Eve at Times Square means getting jostled and hustled, pushed and shoved among the loud and crazy, drunk and hazy crowds who are just out to have 'fun'. Plus it invariably means, standing for long hours on end in the midst of a sea of humanity with no food or water and little shield from the elements. And yeah, like they never fail to mention, no restroom breaks ! All that makes the prospect of going to Times Square on the last evening of the year pretty unattractive.

Well, the curiosity and the excitement of being a part of the celebration just overwhelmed my pragmatism this year. And there I was, on New Year's Eve, trying to get ahead of the endless throngs of people so that I could get onto Broadway.

Ah, I should have known. It was six hours still to go for the New Year but 42nd Street/Times Square was closed to the revelers. Why? Because, there already were too many !

So, on we (me and a friend) trooped uptown all the way and for a moment, I even thought that I'd end up celebrating my New Year in Central Park. :) Well, it almost happened too. Just four streets before CP, we were finally allowed to get onto Broadway and now, with thousands in front of us, we needed to figure out a way to get back to TS.

Well, after two hours of hustle and bustle (and plenty of ops of getting hurtled), we finally ended up on 55th Street. After getting stuck on the same spot for more than an hour, those thirteen streets seemed light-years away. Plus there was little to look around. Other than the crowds, of course, who were getting more and more restless by the minute. Times Square, the ball-dropping ceremony, the rock shows and what-not...well, there wasn't a clue whether anything was going on, as we were still quite some distance away.

After what seemed like ages, we had to move out and seemed destined to head back and catch the ball-dropping ceremony on our TV sets. Well, that definitely seemed to be a sensible option now. But then, we were there for the New Year and we had to catch it somehow.

And that we did. A couple of typically desi-ish moves and whoa, all of a sudden, we were right in front of Times Square. Of course, it wasn't so fast. :) By the time we reached there, the last half an hour before the New Year had begun. And then, started the celebration and the fun.

Balloons, pom poms, confetti, pyrotechnics, music and a million of your closest friends. This is something that you simply can't be prepared for. There is a buzz in the air, and the whole place throbs with excitement. So much that you simply forget about all the waiting and the standing that you've done so far.

As the clock passes 11-59 and the ball begins its minute-long journey downwards, every single person joins in, in the Countdown. And there are more than a million out there. As the clock strikes twelve, more than 3 tons of confetti rain down on you making it all one big party for mankind.

And the cheer brings about different responses from people. The romantics just kiss each other in delight, the loonies dance away to new heights, the kids exult at the sights and even the sapped souls would want to stay up all night. The happiness out there is contagious, the exhilaration palpable and the experience quite ethereal.

New Year's Eve at Times Square is simply a once-in-a-lifetime experience. If for nothing else, just to see a million people in the New Year with joy and delight in their hearts.

Happy New Year !

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Munnabhai is fun !

Just back from watching Lage Raho Munnabhai and whoa, what a movie ! If you thought that the first one was funny, this one is funnier ! And more sensible, and more lovable too. Suffice to say that I have been absolutely bored of all the super-nonsense sequels being churned out all summer. And this one comes like a whiff of fresh air...easily the most likeable movie this year. Wow...great job, Rajkumar Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Hats off to you two !

More info on Movie Watchers ...(yeah, even while feeling so goody about a movie, I still remember my advertising side!)

Meanwhile, go, grab some tickets and check this flick at the nearest theatre.

Enjoy !!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Movie mania

These days, I am on a super binge of movie-watching; have watched more than 10 in the last week only. As such, I have an appetite for all kinds of movies, but recently, have been watching too many thrillers.

It all started with Harrison Ford's Jack Ryan movies - Patriot Games and Clear And Present Danger, real pop-corn crunching stuff. Followed it up with another Ford thriller, Presumed Innocent, just about passable fare. Then, there was the Clive Owen-Jennifer Aniston starrer Derailed, which was more like a Bollywood flick than anyone of the rest. Followed it up with another mediocre attempt, A Murder of Crows. And finally, watched Spy Game yesterday.

Ah well, I also thought of writing a blog about the movies, and the result is Movie Watchers, where you can find me and Bloomiboy spouting crappy reviews about movies. You might like it or you might not, but you just can't stop us from ranting on and on. So, check it out at your own risk.

And if you are one who takes risks, you will find that we do watch some really whacko stuff, and even our recommendations can be absolutely might-bending. But then, what else did you expect from a couple of crazed fellas?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

An unearthly experience

The past couple of days have seen my health go a bit down and up, no thanks to a mild bout of flu. A day off from work coupled with a cocktail of medication seem to have brought me back to my best, but then hadn't really planned for the associated fallouts - the grogginess and the daze.

Anyway, everything seemed fine, except that I was having a sleepless night yesterday. Perhaps, an effect of sleeping all day, or maybe, due to the new non-drowsy cough syrup I was trying out. So, there I was looking at the minutes ticking away on my alarm clock, trying to catch at least a few winks of sleep before daybreak.

I finally seemed to have dozed off when I was awakened by some sounds from the living room. The clock showed 3-49 and I realized that there were just another three hours of possible sleep left. I almost drifted off to sleep again when I heard the sound of the shower running. Now, was it from my bathroom, or was it so silent that I could hear the sounds from my adjacent apartment? A minute or two of soporific thought and I had to dismiss the latter idea as some creative imagination from a hyperactive brain. Still, the thought of getting up to check out the source of the sounds was a bit too much for me.

As I lay in my bed wondering what to do next, it suddenly hit me that there might be someone out there. Now, blame it on a sedated mind or the horror-buff that I am, my first thoughts weren't about any burglars or thieves. The very next moment though, I laughed away at those fantastic ideas. And then, I sensed something was really wrong.

As I suddenly turned around to look, a white specter passed my bedroom door. In a jiffy, the sleep from my eyes vanished and I was wide awake. As I jumped off from my bed, I found him at my bedroom door looking straight at me. The ash-white skin and blood-red eyes presented a spine-chilling spectacle. And suddenly, life had become a horror film in itself.

"Calm down", he said and surprisingly, I somehow managed to soothe my nerves. "I used to live around here...", he went on as I found the room suddenly turning frosty and unable to concentrate on what he was saying. The words just sounded like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo until...

"...before death came in". Damn ! Those were the last words I wanted to hear. So, this spooky-faced, ash-skinned fellow said he was a ghost. Now if he really was one, he wasn't doing anything scary at all. Other than appearing uninvited in the middle of the night, that is.

"Can you fly?" I was embarassed the moment I blurted out those words. But at that instant, it seemed to be the only plan that I had of getting him out of my house. And well, the words simply came out the moment I thought of them.

With a smile, he slid out the open windows and hovered in the air. But before I could even think of closing the windows, he was back in. And my mind simply blanked out. He started on with his stories once again, but I was in no position to grasp a word of it, and I guess I must have simply passed out.

The fresh sounds of the morning woke me up and to my bitter surprise, I found him sitting next to my bed and still babbling on and on. I looked at the clock and it was 6 am, but the daylight seemed to have no effect on him. Slowly and stealthily, I slipped out of my bedroom, ran out onto the stairs and out of the building. Well, I guess I wasn't really successful as he was there right next to me.

As luck would have it, I found some of the morning joggers near the entrance and quickly scampered towards them. He followed. What was strange though, was that none of them were alarmed by him, even when he simply flew over them. In fact, nobody even noticed him. And that got me thinking all over again.

Was I simply imagining this? Flying phantasma and ghostly apparitions! Hey, these are not supposed to exist. Was my mind playing tricks on me? Did my mind finally give way to the stress of a high-pressure job day in and day out?

I turned to look at him again and there was no one out there. Oh boy, guess it was time for me to see a psychiatrist... damn, but I had never felt schizophrenic at all. And this was a first of its kind experience too. Was it because of lack of sleep, or was it because I had really lost it? I just stood there at the entrance to my building wondering...

...when my train of thoughts was broken by the alarm clock going off. As I opened my eyes and looked at the bedroom door, try as I might, I couldn't even imagine seeing a ghostly specter. When it came to dreams, this really had to be the weirdest of them all. Guess Sigmund Freud would have something to say about it.

And yeah, the non-drowsy cough syrup seems to be seriously muddling my brain. I was better off with the usual one. It at least guaranteed blissful sleep.