Thursday, March 25, 2010

palladium-will it be mumbai's ultimate luxury mall?

palladium is a rare and lustrous silvery white metal and is very is an element belonging to the platinum group of metals and has extensive and varied applications. the new super luxury mall at the phoenix mill compound at lower parel has been quite appropriately named.

two lakhs square feet of floor space covered with italian marble and a sheer delight to watch for its magnificence is the palladium mall. covered on top with a lovely glass domed atrium, it has four levels housing shops of international power brands like the 'body shop', 'zara'(yet to arrive).' the fashion store'. 'movenpick' the famous swiss icecream chain. 'the manchester united cafe bar','burberry','emperio armani','hugo boss','estee lauder','tommy hilfiger' and a host of other international brands with a foodcourt at every level. and for the desi food lovers there is 'rajdhani' and the 'punjab grill''s very popular 'comedy store' is likely to open soon.

we took our grandkids the other day to have a look at this awesome upscale shopping centre and to dine at the 'punjab grill' about which we had heard a lot. it was a fantastic experience. very importantly,it was children-friendly.

on the whole it was a wonderful and entertaining experience. i guess that at least for many years the 'palladium' mall will remain mumbai's ultimate luxury mall. if you have an itch for phoren shopping, you don't have have to go to dubai or singapore. lower parel is nearer home.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

karthik calling karthik

it's not a run of the mill movie. it's diferent. it's about a schizoprhenic guy (farhan akthar) who suffers from hallucination. the death of an imaginary brother keeps coming to his mind. in the imaginary scenario the overzealous brother tries to push him in to a well. but the protogonist escapes and the bad brother trips and falls into the well and dies. this picture keeps coming to karthik (farhan akthar) as he is over-ridden with guilt for an incident which did not occur in reality but only in the mind.

karthik is a hardworking fellow in a builder's office. because he can never say no, work is thrust on him by everyone. there is a charming woman (deepika padukone) who has not had any interaction with karthik ever since she joined this builder's office. he is besotted with her and secretlly loves her. he writes emails to her everyday which he saves as he is too scared to send it to her.he can see her in her office-room from his office and is pretty mesmerised by her looks and panache. but then sonali (deepika padukone) has a lover in a colleague who is married with a kid but has not disclosed that to her. karthik's boss (ram kapoor) is overbearing and one day thrusts a hugeworkload on him. he demands that he goes through all the contracts and have them ready by next morning. karthik works throughout the night, completes his job and keeps it on the boss's table. the boss on seeing the incomplete output is livid. karthik has missed checking some other important contracts. an altercation follows and karthik is fired.

karthik is totally dejected and is about to committ suicide when the phone in his room is then that he starts getting a mysterious call every morning at 5. the caller calls himself karthik and advises him how to get along in office and in his private life. it is a motivational pep talk. karthik follows the caller's advice. he becomes self-confident, ticks off his boss, gets a huge salary hike and a great cabin and even sonali falls for him. the one proviso the caller has laid down is that karthik should not tell anyone about the caller lest they think that kartik is insane.he promises not to divulge the secret. but as he and sonali decide to keep no secrets between them he discloses to her about the caller.

then all hell breaks loose. the caller is very angry and decides to finish him. sonali is upset with karthik's strange behaviour and walks out of his life. karthik's boss reprimand's him for letting out some company secrets and fires him again. karthik,unable to bear the loss of his sweetheart and his job leaves his room and city and just decides to go somewhere. he lands in cochin, takes up a room and lives all by himself. he works for a law company and his new boss is happy with his performance. the boss insists that he keeps a landline and a mobile phone so that they can remain connected .he was in a state of mental peace all theese days without the phone. now once he gets a new landline, the early morning call restarts.the caller vows to finish karthik as he has broken his promise. sonali meanwhile leaves mumbai and comes to cochin in search of karthik. she takes him back to mumbai and they consult a psychologist (shefali shah). there is an improvement .

greatly talented farhan akthar does a brilliant job in a role suited to his personality.he puts in an award-winning performance. deepika is sizzling and does a good job too.ram kapoor as the overbearing boss puts in some fine piece of acting.first time director vijay lalwani treads an unbeaten path but falls short of covering his tracks well.the movie gets lost before reaching its finale. music is just ok. the song 'uff teri ada' is very hummable,though. the magic of farhan akthar is there all the way. see it for that and nothing more.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Dial 'G' For God

i am a very strong theist. i believe in the omnipresence and omnipotence of God.i think i know what needs to be done to attain salvation. but there are many who question His existence. they are the doubters and naysayers. the agnostics and atheists. unlike my generation, the younger generation is sceptical about religion. this is more true in europe than in our country.

a recent survey in france has come out with the startling statistics that less than 2% of those in the 18-29 age group of catholics make it to the church every sunday. the young do not find time to go to church, busy as they are in their virtual world of video games, internet and cellphones. social,moral and religious values have taken a backseat.

we are now in an age of the 'instant God'.technology is now at the service of those spiritually inclined-a simple phone call.a group of catholics in france have found an ingenious way of communicating with Him.the name of the company is 'aabas interactive'.mr hautier and his wife camille thought of this service keeping in mind those people who are not able to confess because of immmobility due to age or illness or disabilities. just dial a number. 0 892 46 GOD. it is a pay telephone line called 'le fil du seigneur' which means the line of the Lord. the caller can directly confess his sins to God. the service providers are a bit cautious and circumspect. they say it is only for minor sins. the answerer asks you to press 1,2 or 3. 1 is for advice on confessing,2 to confes and 3 to listen to others' confessions. there is no priest and there is no absolution. it is only a service to help you take the burden of sins off your chest and an aid to prayer and meditation.the cost of the phonecall is quite stiff. 0.34euro/min (rs 22/min), 40% of which would be donated to could also leave your confession and also decide to grant its replay to other users.

the church of france has understandably denounced it. according to the church, the actual presence of the priest is required at the time of confession. confessions cannot be done by phone or internet,they say. on the other hand 'aabas interactive' say that "confession is not the exclusive exercise of a priest. we may confess by meditation and prayer and receive God's grace".

'aabas interactive' are clever marketeers. they have chosen the period of "lent" (the period of fasting and confessions before easter) for this initiative. for a start, they are expected to make money. but in the long run whether it is a viable business model, time and faith alone will tell.

Friday, March 05, 2010


after a gap of many years,i played holi this year with my daughter and grandchildren. we were invited to my daughter's sister-in-law's home for a holi bash. it was colours all the way. from the time we stepped into the heritage house till the time we reluctantly left, either we were smearing one other with colour or throwing pichkaris and buckets of coloured water.

there were children,youngsters and adults as well. the grown-ups and grandparents who brought their own supplies of paint and colours started pelting one and all with it. some were known persons and some strangers. yet all got together in this great bonhomie. that is the beauty of our country and culture.

our hosts were careful in the selection of colours and paints and had kept many buckets of water and pumps ready for the fun and frolic.the colours were all organic. some threw coloured water right on the face and some like l's b-i-l shot me with a water spray from his pump. he even had his own supply of water on his back and looked llike a scuba diver. the teenagers were all excited though my grandaughters r1 and r2 were a bit subdued understandably as this was their first holi experience.

the eats were terrific. punjabi samosas, jalebi,fafdas and green chillies. and plenty of beer.i had had lots of fun when i was young playing holi. this was like reliving those days. sadly the bhaang was missing. it would have been an unforgettable and inebriating experience had the element of bhaang been there..

m and n! are you listening?

Monday, March 01, 2010

papayas aplenty!

these days we have papayas galore at wife who runs a home for senior citizens at neral has a passion for floriculture and horticulture.she likes to grow vegetables,fruits and flowers.papaya is one of our favorite fruits.everytime she visits neral,which is atleast once a week,she returns with a carload of papayas after distributing them to the inmates and staff there.this time she brought some real jumbo papayas. they weighed about 2.5 kgs on an average. we shared these with our neighbours and friends and we all so to say had a papaya feast!

a favourite breakfast food in india is a boat of fresh papaya served with a sliced fresh lemon. you are supposed to squeeze the lemon over the papaya and sprinkle the juice all over. papaya is generally eaten as a fruit but one can cook papaya like any other vegetable too. when cooked, green papayas become soft and and sweet.

papaya has a low calorific value but rich in vitamins b and c and it is rich in carotene. it contains lot of water. it is an amazingly rich source of enzymes. enzymes are chemicals that enable the digestion of proteins. papain is the most important of these enzymes. papaya has the property of rejuvenation and helps in controlling premature ageing. unfortunately, papaya loses some of its enzymes when it ripens, so eating them green is ideal. papaya contains arginine which is good for the male fertitlity and carpain which is an enzyme good for the heart. as a juice it is a popular thirst quencher. you can make a good and tasty papaya soup too. even the skin of the papaya is used for external treatment of skin wounds.
when buying papayas select those that have smooth and taut skins.if you cut them, keep them in a fridge.don't buy papayas having wrinkled skins.

eat papayas and be happy! i must recall an incident some twenty years ago when i was returning from bangalore carrying a few papayas from our garden tree. at mumbai airport, my boss had just arrived from new delhi and he called out to me across the baggage conveyer.i went to wish him and on my return found that my papayas were stolen.i lodged a complaint with the indian airlines authorities .they couldn't find it.after a fortnight i received a cheque. they paid me a handsome compensation. you can be sometimes happy when you have lost your papayas !