Thursday, February 12, 2009
Why do we crave past excitement more than attempting to create new future ones ?
I too have this malady of trying to find the old movies and TV shows of my younger days.
Like I said in "Impulse and Exhilaration" post on "Live Life King Size", I got hold of 11 out of many of the Carry On movie series.
I rarely watch Hindi language movies and have a very few of them in my collection. Most of them are black and white movies starring my favourite Superstar "Dev Anand". His colour films are very disappointing though and I haven't watched any of those except "Guide".
Anyways, getting back to our "Reliving and Relishing" topic:
I suddenly had the craving yesterday and when I saw that movie which I was thinking of in front of me - DVD for Rs 39 (One US Dollar = Rs 46) - I had to grab that discounted piece of plastic.
SHALIMAR (1978 - before I was born) is a grand movie - big budgeted at the time and starring: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078241/
1. Rex Harrison - as King of Thieves Sir John Locksley
2. Sylvia Miles - as Countess (Midnight Cowboy, etc)
3. John Saxon - as Col. Columbus (yes of the Bruce Lee movie 'Enter the Dragon')
4. Dharmendra - Indian Macho Action Hero
5. Zeenat Aman - most beautiful actress ever in Hindi movies
6. Shammi Kapoor - Indian veteran actor of the Kapoor clan of movie makers and actors
This was an international movie, but unfortunately they chose poor US release title such as "Deadly Thief" (video), "Raiders of Shalimar" (USA) and DVD US title "Raiders of the Sacred Stone"
The simple word "Shalimar" as used in Hindi release would have sufficed and intrigued enough people.
The King of thieves wants a heir to take ownership of the biggest lump of Ruby lost to civilisation for centuries. The ruby can be traced back from the Portuguese colonialists who stole it from the Moghuls who stole it from the Indian Emperor of Chandragupta dynasty who rescued it from the plunderer Alexander the Great who got it from .......
..... and can be traced back to the Vedas, over 5000 years ago.
Epic adventure with the 70's poor special effects although cutting edge effects for that time in India - and too much explosions and tribal dancing which sometimes makes the movie look poorer than it is.
The Director does a fine job of storytelling though, written by him and the cast of actors are beautiful and talented of course.
Yes, Childhood, Alas, I will never know you again !
IMAGES FROM THE MOVIE:
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
LIVE LIFE KING SIZE !
What makes you spend a small fortune when a relatively cheaper product provides the same mechanical functions ?
I had a fully functional Yamaha but no I sell that off to buy the most dated technology, gas-guzzling bike at the most premium price - A Royal Enfield Bullet. Why ? It is not just a motorcycle. It has its own personality, an attitude, a character that infects the owner, a passion, a History.
I was thinking of the things I buy when I should be more careful with my money. But hell you only live once and when am I going to be in my 20's again ?
I bought my first Zippo lighter in Jan 2008. Yes now they have finally arrived in India. It was at a premium price but the same Lifetime Warranty. I didn't blink, didn't think. Making the selection was tough though, what with Beatles, Elvis, Harley and many other endorsements to choose from. Another one was supposedly BULLET PROOF! Anyways, bought the one with JIM BEAM bourbon whiskey engraving.
Am I fucking nuts ??? Here I am underpaid and overworked and I do this.
The worse is that I don't regret it. Any of such things I spend on. Retail therapy really works I guess.
Impulse buying is a serious problem I deal with daily (and so do many others).
The only way to solve it for me is by having a good friend accompany me around malls so that I don't spend my entire salary frivolously. This works because, I would be too embarrassed spending on such stupid things when even one of them is present.
In recent months:
* I have bought Graphic Novels that cost over Rs 1000 each (a small fortune even if in US Dollars isn't much)
* Whole lot of movies which I have already seen on TV or cinema halls, including box set of Bourne series and then other movies which were going at 50 percent discount hence couldn't resist
* Bought signed first editions that I can't read as they would then be not worth the "investment"
The signed first editions I bought online. This is the most difficult temptation to resist. How can I control myself online. I decided I would spend online only if I could earn online and not you use my regular income. So then the publishers pay me in PayPal and if a website doesn't accept PayPal, I don't buy anything over USD 30. So used PayPal, the 6 hardcovers cost me USD 260 including USD 70 for shipping.
The Carry On movies is another impulse buying I managed to stop on last Sunday's outing to the mall http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carry_On_films
I have seen most of them on TV, want to see them again, they are on 50 percent discount, but how many times would I see it after buying ?
Online, Most recently I decided against purchasing the complete archives of The New Yorker:
The New Yorker Store has a cheap DVD of the entire Archive of the magazine since its first issue till 2008.
At USD 19.99 that is cheap I would say and quite a bargain.
But I don't think I would be inclined to read too much of the snobby stuff. There are many good articles and Fiction in there but still too many things I don't want to read. But it is still a bargain isn't it ?
For those interested in the New Yorker, I would say don't buy now.
Wait till April or May 2009 when the last year's collection would be added to this box set so you will have everything from the first issue till April 2009.
I don't think the price would change too much.
More importantly they update annually and getting the single DVD of just ONE Year would cost another USD 19.99
Great Marketing Strategy isn't it - Pure Evil !
So let us see if I still crave it in May 2009.
(Don't even talk about the original artwork on sale there - SHUT UP! ! !)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Damn I lasted only 2 days. After Sunday's determined walk out, yesterday I went back and bought 11 of the movies available there in the Carry On series.
At 50 percent discount, how can one resist such temptation.
The bastards !!!
"Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in"
Actually the New Yorker DVD of entire Archive is also quite a bargain. But will wait to see an update from them in May 2009.
Monday, February 02, 2009
Mumbai: Bookstores and bookstore review
By Ujjwal Dey
By Ujjwal Dey
Well, being in a city known as the “financial capital of India” has its perks. For instance more than one bookstore that caters to the luxury of reading books for fun instead of plethora of stores selling school/college textbooks. Such academic boredom aside, today thanks to the boom in mall-nutrition, there are many bookstores catering to the shoppers at various malls with a wide range of fiction and non-fiction. Some of them have loyal following to ensure success, some have a café to make it more luxurious, some also sell CD/DVD to stay profitable, and some others simply offer so much benefits that you buy something irrespective of being literate. Salespersons are not evaluated here because this is India, its Mumbai. There is sometimes such a crowd at malls that you want to go back home even before you step inside. So salespersons are helpful if you go at odd times like at noon when a handful of people inhabit the store. Otherwise you fend for yourself.
1. Crossword Bookstores: Crossword started as a chain of bookstores with presence in few select cities with prospering economies. With the acquisition of the chain by Shoppers Stop, the book retail chain has seen growth and more success.
This is my favourite bookstore for the convenience it offers. Some of my favourite features here are:
i) Most of the popular novels are available
ii) The books unavailable can be ordered by simply filling a form (requires Crossword membership)
iii) Dial-a-book offer means you can simply call from your home and order a book to be delivered at any address in that city (requires Crossword membership)
iv) Regular discounts and also membership benefits
v) Offers a good choice of Music CDs and Movie DVDs/VCDs
vi) Has a café within the store
vii) Has nice cushioned seats for sitting to browse a few books
They have seasonal sale as well as other event sales. Of course the upto 80% discount means exactly that; it can be upto 80% but most of the good ones are all at 10 to 20% discount only. Membership is easy; if you buy certain amount worth of goods, then the membership is free with it. The points are redeemable on next purchase. Well maybe I am also biased because it is the closest to my home at Nirmal Lifestyle, Mulund (west), Mumbai. There are other Crossword stores in Mumbai as well. A market capturing total of 16 bookstores in Mumbai.
Shopping online is not a feature as yet added to their website: http://crosswordbookstores.com/
But that doesn’t matter as it has a good presence in the cities it is in and you could order a book by phone or store visit.
2. Strand Bookstall: Well if you don’t recognise this name, then you are neither a Mumbaikar nor a book lover of Mumbai origin. The man behind it, Mr. T.N. Shanbhag started it long back in 1948. He is a Padmashri award winner for service to the reader.
Well, when there was little choice in reading and no choice in good bookstores, Strand Bookstall was the only haven for us all. The discounts are unmatched, even by corporates such as “Barnes and Noble”. Their annual discount sale was the first of its kind with upto 80% off on wide choice of books.
I had started out buying my books here. They even have a number where you can call to buy books unavailable anywhere in India. If it is still in print, they will import it at the best price for you. I remember that nowhere in Mumbai could I find the critically acclaimed author Haruki Murakami’s novels. I phoned Strand Bookstall’s office and placed my long order of 5 popular novels of Murakami. They offered me a quotation, I accepted and had to pay them only on receipt of the books.
Since they don’t deal much in genre novels, you may find the choice restrictive. But for classic literature lovers, the best writers of present and past are shelved here in the old Fort store of Strand Bookstall. Ordering online is also possible: http://www.strandbookstall.com/
3. Landmark bookstores: If there is a bookstore that could make you drool literally with its capacity and quality on offer, it is Landmark. Apparently operating since 1987, only recently has it arrived in Mumbai with a huge store in Infiniti Mall, Andheri (west), Mumbai. Tata Group clearly can make this a successful operation with their financial and technical inputs.
I think if it was any easier travelling to Andheri (west) compared to going to Fort or Mulund, I would call this my favourite bookstore ever. Landmark is easily the best bookstore currently operating in Mumbai. The huge and I mean incredibly huge choice of books, CDs, DVDs is delicious. The range of books offered with the many shelves with genres you can never find elsewhere in Mumbai makes you want to jump around and hug the salesperson. I think it is the only bookstore that had a section for Graphic Novels and stocked it seriously instead of the pathetic surplus import-dump at other bookstores. Even the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres are represented with painstaking groundwork at getting the best of those genres.
Clearly there is a great reader behind the stocking of such a good collection of books.
Also the salespeople are as friendly as in Crosswords.
A major plus point for Landmark is that apart from quality choice at competitive prices, they have an even more extensive offering online at their website. So you could do the shopping at the comfort of your home.
So http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/ is the homepage for book shopping for you. I look forward for Landmark to grow and set trends in bookstores and book-shopping.
Happy Hunting !!!