Monday, October 08, 2007

Two good books, the odd bad movie, and the amazing eat out place

The lack of things to write about alarms me. It is though an indication of the kind of unwritable daily routine that the work life imposes. The little time that is left to pursue an interest is made little use of owing to the even littler enthusiasm left. No time to read books, save the odd cab/bus/rail journey or the wait outside a dentist. No time, drive to watch movies, except those imposed by the odd social gathering. A far, far cry from the excitedly hatched grand plans of reading and watching movies and doing little else just a few months back.

All things taken into consideration, I did manage to finish two books in the interim. That these were the first books in much of recent past that I had bought with my own money, (CBT and NBT publications don't count for much do they?) fill me with all the more joy that I had my money worth.

One of those was the delightful Bill Bryson's "Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid". If you have read Bryson, there is no point reviewing it. If you haven't, it is time you should. This particular book is an account of Bryson's growing up years in his hometown Des Moines, which co-incided with the growing up years of US as an economy and superpower. Needless to say it is funny as ever, still managing to be thought provoking at times.

The second book was a part of "I'll-read-the-book-and-watch-the-movie" series that I plan to follow in the near future. The book of choice this time was Capote's masterpiece "In Cold Blood". You would think that a real life crime, where you know the killers right from the start, would present a very shaky premise for a crime thriller. This is where Capote takes it one notch higher, with his literary journalism, building the story, the characters, the suspense, the setting and make it a better read that most of the crime fiction you would ever come across. The psyche of the killers, and the background behind such homicidal behaviour is brought out in a way that it generates empathy for two people who slaughtered four innocents in cold blood. Towards the end you have to remind of the grotesque nature of the killings to not feel bad of the final fate of the killers. Can't wait to watch the movie now.

The third book in line happens to be Eco's "Foucault's Pendulum", and given the sheer incomprehensibility it presents, it might be some time before it can find a mention here. The struggle took me back to my efforts at reading "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man", which by the way, I have bought and reserved for reading at a later date. Finishing the current one just might help.

One of the two movies I saw was 'Chak De India', what else. Given my stance towards popular movies, I would have avoided it, but the other option was to wander alone aimlessly in a shopping mall. The sport and true incident angles played a part in softening my stand too. The time spent there was slightly better than the other option, that I must admit. And it also gave me a whole lot of corny dialogues to pester my friends with, so no complaints.

The other movie is something I won't talk about. Not even name it. Just one of those collective mistakes that people make when they have nothing else to pass time with in a shopping mall. What makes matter worse is that this movie has been released in only two cities, to gauge the public reaction before deciding on the next step. I feel so used. So probably would the 7 other people who happened to be trapped in the same hall as us. If you are not in those two cities, you will surely be exempted from the sin of seeing of poster of this movie. Let alone the unabsolvable damnation of having watched it. It is not even a mainstream movie, with at least some people you know who you can curse till your money's worth when you come out. Which leaves the only other option of cursing yourself and your equally stupid friends, of which I do a good job.

Treated a friend, who had made his journey from IIM-L for a seemingly stupid purpose, at a nice place last weekend. Quite famous in circles these things get famous, "The Big Chill" was where we ended up searching for place to eat. Not having any prior information about this place, I was pleasantly surprised by the entire noir theme when we went upstairs to have a table booked. Original (I presume), hand painted posters of classic movies hung like ornaments on the wall. The 'Big' in "The Big Chill" started making sense then. I half expected Sam Spade waiting round the corner, ready for a fist fight with some shadowy, hatted stranger.

While we waited downstairs, we treated ourselves to Kababs, apparently popular themselves too. The smoke from these shops seemed to concentrate near the neon sign of "The Big Chill". Only silhouettes were visible in the dark, lonesome alley with the odd spiral iron staircase. I was already having visions of the numerous Noirs I have enjoyed not so long ago, and a chill went down my spine in anticipation. The Big Chill?

We got a table after a moderate wait, and I was pleasantly surprised by the movie poster collection on display. As a retro movie buff, I spent more time looking around, trying to remember now that scene, now that line from the multitude of movies, while my friend had to do the task of wading through the fairytale of a menu to have something to eat. The front page of the menu had Audrey Hepburn staring at me, which meant that I hardly opened to look beyond the cover once I did manage to divert my attention. My trance was broken by the noise of a ring tone that went "Aaj ki Raat, hota hai jo.." which gave me a stern reminder of the place we were at, on a macro level. The music in the restaurant itself was a big, big letdown. Anything but pop would have done.

I'm not a foodie, quite the opposite, to let you know about the food, or the famous desserts. Then, who goes there for food anyway?

I don't want to end up writing about N-Deals, imminent elections, sport happenings or my deepest, darkest feelings, fears. Then it might get to that stage, the way things are going.


Gee said...

What are you talking about? NBT stuff is good!
So you discovered Big Chill..nice:) The movie posters are brilliant, aren't they? Which one did you go to? Khan Market? I am surprised to hear about bad music though - hardly ever happened to me, that!
Oh, by the way, Big Chill is one of the places you *do* go to for the food! Desserts, especially. Although for a similar budget, you'd find better Italian fare at Flavours in Defence Colony - which is owned by an Italian fellow. Brilliant food, that:)
And here I go again, sigh:)

Nikhil said...

Oh no, don't get me wrong..NBT, CBT is all I read as a kid..I meant not much pricewise, are they :)
Infact I had wish to write a children's sci-fi NBT, CBT I guess I have a collaborator :D

I did go to the Khan Market one, and I'll check out Flavours too, let some other friend visit me :)