December 17, 2005

Supriya-Sachin won Nach Baliye!

Yippie! I have not lost my money. Sachin and Surpiya won the `Nach Baliye' competition. But I was really dissapointed after seeing the final episode of `Nach Baliye'. It was pathetic to say the least. We all know that reality shows such as this are fixed and it is not done spontaneously the way the channel would like us to believe. But yesterday, there were too many flaws in the show and the fact that everything that is spoken on the show is rehearsed a zillion times became very obvious.

For one, the comperers were given too many lines to speak and suspense was maintained on occasions when there was actually no need for it. And the final dance competition between the two couples reminded me of competitions between two kids. It was very amateur. The two couples were on the dance floor simultaneously dancing for around 12 minutes. Ideally, I would have liked to see the couples perform 4 dances, a solo each by the performers and a couple dance each by the couples.

Worse, the dance sequence was replayed twice on the show. Maybe the logic was people who missed the first half of the show would get to see their fav couples dance. But for people who were following it from the start, it was very boring. The only good thing about the show was all the couples who were eliminated earlier performed again. Interestingly, most of the couples except for a few who cant dance for the life of them, performed really ell. So, were the couples deliberately asked to perform badly during the actual shows?

It was quite obvious that Sachin and Supriya would win the title of best celebrity dancing couple. This couple was natural when it came to thanking people while accepting the title. But I guess the losing couple, Manish and Poonam forgot the lines that were given to them. For instance, when the mike was handed to Poonam, she said I am happy that we came this far and then.....she said please be kind to animals. By god, what has loving animals got to do with losing a title?

In the end, the 3 hour show was a waste of my time. :(

December 12, 2005

Goodbye Nach Baliye

`Nach Baliye', the very popular celebrity dance show on the channel Star One is coming to an end this thursday on December 15th. I am heartbroken and truly saddened. Watching `Nach Baliye', on every Thursday had become a habit. It was something I looked forward to every week.

Credit goes to `Nach Baliye' for making me a TV addict on Thursday's. The show is a wonderful concept. It is somewhere between a dance competition for small screen celebrity couples and a reality show. It is not purely a dance competition because the participants bitch, crib and complain just the way people do in reality shows like `Indian Idol'.

Although I hate reality shows, `Nach Baliye' captured my heart. It was so much fun to watch couples like Supriya and Sachin (of the `Tu Tu Main Main' serial fame) and Rajeshwari and Varun Badola (who became famous after his role in the serial `Des Mein Nikla Hoga Chand') give mindblowing performances. The chemistry between some of the couples like Poonam and Manish for instance sizzles and it is so heartening to see the couples console each other after a bad performance.

The couples have their own choreographers who come from ace choreographer Saroj Khan's stable. The choreographers are too good and the show turned out to be a great platform for these guys to show their talent. I liked Rajiv Surti in particular. His choreography on Rajeshwari and Varun Badola was just amazing. Best thing about the show is that the winning jodi's choreographers get to take home a cash prize of Rs 20 lakhs.

The judges-Malaika Arora, Farhan Akhtar and Saroj Khan rock. It helps that all the three are super cool dancers themselves. Fact is I didn't know that Farhan was a dancer till I saw him on the show. Oh god... I can just go on raving about `Nach Baliye'. This thursday is the grand finale of the show. Sachin-Supriya and Poonam-Manish will be competing for the coveted cash prize of Rs 50 lakhs. I am putting my money on Sachin and Supriya since this couple is extremely versatile and both of them are equally good dancers. Can't wait to see who wins. But with the final, the show will come to an end. I will miss you `Nach Baliye'!

November 27, 2005

Flower power



PHOTO COURTESY: IMRAN SAYID

I stole this photo from my wud be's blog becos I just loved it. Can anyone come up with names for this lovely flower ?

November 25, 2005

Am shocked at IOC's attitude!

"Shocked over the brutal murder of its area sales officer S Manjunath in Lakhimpur Kheri last week, the Indian Oil Corporation has decided to provide security to its field staff facing life threats."

"The IOC has agreed to provide security to the field staff as also their residences following the brutal murder of its area sales officer which has exposed the amount of risk faced by the IOC staff with the involvment of mafia in the trade," Vice President, Indian Oil Officers Association, Subodh Dakwale said".

This report in the wire news today caught my eye. What is the IOC trying to say? Did Manjunath receive death threats from the mafia? Was IOC aware of this and did not report about the threats to the police. Could his death have been prevented? Does this also mean that besides Manjunath, many more honest IOC officers are at the mercy of the petrol pump mafia ?

"The murder has also forced the corporation to consider changing its inspection system and modifying it to plug the loopholes which expose the staff to unnecessary risks".

Why is the IOC turning Manjunath's murder into a security issue? Is the IOC suggesting that the only way the mafia can be stopped from attacking its employees is by giving them security ? What if the mafia bribe the security men which does happen often. Too many questions I guess with even fewer answers.

Security can only be a temporary solution to the immediate problem of death threats to its field staff. Why doesnt IOC try to bring in more transparency in the issue of licenses ? Wouldnt that stop the mafia and the thugs with political links from running petrol pump that supply adulterated petrol ?

That way, even if the field staff revoke the license of a petrol pump, the officer can do so without any fear of death threats. Of course all this is easier said than done. Corruption in the allotment of license of petrol pump has already been highlighted many times by the media. Government for its part has made a few noises about an enquiry into the issue. But I doubt if the people in the government who benefit from the current system of allotment of license will try to bring in transparency.

One solution that has often been bogged down is privatisation of the Oil PSU's or a private-public partnership. Privatisation will bring in some if not complete transparency in the system. Why not have an other round of debate on privatisation?

November 23, 2005

Like Italian food? Read this post.

Last week, I had a date with my best chum at the `Little italian' restaurant in Nungambakkam. We were just going to enter the place when my friend informed me that this was a purely vegetarian restaurant. I was in a mood for non-veg food, so we moved to `Bella Ciao', another Italian restaurant down the road.

And since that day, I often dream of Italian food. `Bella Ciao' is food at its best. We ordered pasta with tomato sauce and barbecued chicken pizza. What can I say. The food was so divine I am absolutely in love with it. For the first time, I tasted authentic Italian pizzas. The crust of the pizza was so crisp it reminded me of our very own papad. The way to eat it my friend explained was to dip the crust in a mixture of olive oil, tomato sauce and tobasco sauce. The pizza was sooo delicious. Next came the pasta which unfortunately I could'nt do justice too after the yummy pizzas. The pasta at `Bella Ciao' made me realise that most restaurants dish out the ready to eat pastas as Italian food.

One more thing in favor of the resto is the pricing. The pizza which was a meal for 2 people costs us just around Rs 200. Pretty cheap I would say compared to the very expensive pizzas you get at Pizza joints and the taste was definitely far better. The ambience of the place was sexy too. It was low lit and the seating was pretty comfy.

I am feeling grey

I am in a grey mood. The overcast skies outside are grey and so is my mood. I feel lazy and am sick of hearing people around me complain of fever. Wish the sun would take a sneak peak from beneath the grey clouds and shower us with its warm light.

November 22, 2005

Is Chennai a world class city?

As a reporter covering the Information Technology beat, almost everyday, I hear industry and government representatives boasting about how Chennai has all the infrastructure in place to house the mighty MNC's of the world.

After listening to numerous speeches on the subject, I was almost convinced that Chennai does have the infrastructure to lure global corporations. Today after watching corporation workers manually drain rain water from the roads, I am no longer convinced.

Chennai compared to cities like Bangalore does boast of better infrastructure but we are still can't stake claim to being a world class city. In the last one month, rains have severely damaged the prominent roads in the city creating numerous potholes. Riding a two wheeler in Chennai is a complete nightmare.

Of course, every city is susceptible to nature's fury and very little can be done about the roads except repair them later. But what irks me is the fact that most metros in India including the biz capital Mumbai and Chennai do not have a proper storm water drainage system in place. We still contiue to have the storm water drains constructed years ago by the British Raj. Why can't the governments come up with an effective plan to reconstruct the old storm water drains ?

Even in places that have new storm water drains, water logging still exists because of people's tendency to dump garbage in the drains. No wonder, Chennai has so much water logging on the roads! Most of us dont have any civic sense but we are very quick in criticising the government for being inactive. The problem of flooding and water logging is not something that can be solved by speedy government action. It is a combinations of so many factors, most of which relate to basic infrastructure issues.

If the government wants to project Chennai as a world class city, certain basic infrastructure issues have to be dealt with. Brushing them under the carpet is not going to help.

November 17, 2005

Open graves in Anna Nagar

Large pits can be found everywhere in Anna Nagar these days. The pits have been dug up to clean the clogged storm water drains which took a beating during the recent rains.

A few of the pits are large enough for an elephant to sleep in it. All the main roads in Anna Nagar including the Chintamani stretch and Shanti Colony road have been dug up. Driving in Anna Nagar has suddenly become very risky. The problem is compunded by the sand that is heaped on the open ditches, making it really hazardous for commuters especially two wheeler riders. Two wheeler riders beware !

Funnily, whenever I look at the pits, I am reminded of open graves.