Showing posts from May, 2007

Come alive with freshness

Many years ago, Liril came to us through the print ad’s featuring a gorgeous girl wearing a lime green bikini, joyously splashing around in a waterfall. Then we saw it in movie theatres & TV for the next few decades. Karen Lunel, the lady who cavorted under the Kodai waterfall modeled for Alyque Padamsee from Lintas, the great ad maker working to launch HLL’s new soap and was photographed by Surendranath. Remember the simple jingle tune (composed by Vanraj Bhatia) la, laaa laaa la laaa??? …..Oh! How I wish I could see that old ad all over again!!

The year was 1975. Karen did this after her accidental discovery in a boutique by the ad makers. The soap went on to become a top seller and many a rumor killed off Karen at the waterfall by drowning, or was it a mobike or plane accident somewhere? Anyway, she never died, but continued her work as an airhostess with Air India and now lives with her husband in Bombay. I read also that the Lunel family was originally from Whitefield B…

Thus spake Castaneda

A pilot accompanied our two men, with orders to take us to a place called Pandarani, below the place (Capna) where we anchored at first. The captain-major was then deposited at the house of a man of rank, whilst we others were provided with food, consisting of rice, with much butter, and excellent boiled fish. The captain-major did not wish to eat, and as we had done so, we embarked on a river close by, which flows between the sea end the mainland, close to the coast. The two boats in which we embarked were lashed together, so that we were not separated. There were numerous other boats, all crowded with people. As to those who were on the banks I say nothing; their number was infinite, and they had all come to see us. We went up that river for about a league, and saw many large ships drawn up high and dry on its banks, for there is no port here.

Can anybody guess what these words signify? Think back to this day 509 years ago…

Rice with much butter – Calicut Ghee rice or Biryani
Place – …

Sawdust in the hearth

How many of you have any clue to what a sawdust stove or eearchapodi aduppu is all about? I still remember the ones we used to have in our house at Calicut many a decade ago. I would be the first to help get that going in the morning, running to the kitchen, I would be chirping to the maid, let me do it, let me do it..

Balama used to work at the standard furniture company in Kallayi (remember the new song from PMK and another old song with those words? Pathinaram ravudichadu manatho, kallayi kadavatho) a place where they had huge numbers of logs floating down from Nilambur and other places to be taken places. Once upon a time all the teak that went to Europe for ship and house building went via Kallai ( 2nd largest in the world)and there were many a sawmill beside the river shores. Standard furniture however was the only company that made plywood (posh in those days!) furniture. They used to give sacks of the sawdust to favored employees. The sawdust sacks found their way to our place …

Human Directionals

For many of you this title is going to sound strange, very strange.

What could it be? Well, I certainly did not know about it till I landed in California. As you neared major street corners, you would see young kids & older people at street corners holding signs, they are the living signs or sign twirlers. Not just holding signs, their job is to attract your attention, and do they do just that. The methods they use are pretty interesting, sometimes it is bright & skimpy attire, but mostly it is what they do with the arrow shaped signs they hold. They are spun, twirled, tossed, and what not. Mostly about new housing, it could also be about a new pizzeria in town, it could be whatever you want advertised, in the most alluring fashion. The pay is good, from $10 and hour to $60 an hour depending on how good you are with the sign.

Some counties, stating that these are traffic hazards, have insisted that twirling of signs is not permitted. So the signs are on stands and the holder, no…

French fries & cars

Oh! Oh! This being USA, I should probably have stated more correctly, freedom fry cars..

When my son first told me about this, I was taken aback; first I thought he was joking as he does so often – pulling the old man’s leg. Then I started picking up French fry smell in the middle of the highway with just mountains around and Arun said, see dad, what did I tell you?? What an idea!! You do a small modification to your ‘diesel’ engine car, go to the nearest McDonald’s or KFC or whoever and buy a few drums of their waste oils (French fry waste) for a pittance, they may even pay you to take it away!! You can’t yet fill it into you car (you have to refine that stuff – take away the fatty acids etc) and drive on, but almost. Of course you irritate the guy behind you since there is a strong French fry smell in the exhaust emissions…but well, who cares about that!! With gas at US$ 3.30 a gallon and higher in California, this is a bright idea…costs $1 or less per gallon.

Normally done with diese…

Some good movies....

It is Naseeruddin Shah all the way, and to a certain extent Sarika & the American Nemec, who is actually telling the story…How nice it was to see Sarika after ages. A perfectly happy family, even though Shah is just a theatre camera operator…. Life chugs along, two active kids and a truly enjoyable family, when disaster strikes with the Hindu Muslim riots. Together Naseer & Sarika struggle through the aftermath of the Godhra riots in search of their lost son. Many of the scenes are heart wrenching, but the film cavorts through those days, displaying vivid images of the tragedies of mankind … The raw taste of the horror your own brethren can wreak, will remain with you for days..

Based on a true story, the boy Azhar is still missing…

Kathavasheshan – For the shame of being alive
I was quite hesitant about watching this movie, had it for a while. Finally we played the vcd’s last Saturday and the movie left me amazed, not for the fate of the hero, but the technical quality o…