But this man looks cute even without one!
With the football season on, there are so many delicious men to feast on. Let's dig in! ;)
PS: Don't freckles just look so cute?
Fifteen minutes into the movie I knew that I needed to see the movie as a work of art, an artist's free-flowing creativity rather than look for any kind of a story or script. That need to look for a story is what I think led to bad reviews of the movie, and had I done the same I too wouldn't have liked it. Because you see, Mani Ratnam had a pretty interesting concept in hand - Ramayana from Raavan's point of view - but he made some gross errors in its execution.
For one, he could not convey the ten sides to Beera's (Raavan's) personality effectively. The scenes where Beera's multiple personalities are having a conversation with each other make him look more like a psychopath rather than someone who has multiple sides to his personality! It also makes Abhishek Bachchan's acting look over-the-top.
Ratnam's second error was to make Beera fall so openly in love with Ragini (i.e. Sita). If I remember correctly, there were no indications in the Ramayana of Raavan falling so openly in love with Sita. Even if he was besotted with her, it was never explicit. That retained the element of demonry in his character. In contrast, Beera's character seems almost caricaturish because of his open declaration of love for Ragini. I'm sure that wasn't the effect Ratnam was aiming for.
Moreover, he made Ragini get attracted to Beera as well! She never admits to it verbally but it's more than evident in the last 15 minutes of the movie, where she gets off the train in the middle of the forest to go confront Beera about the lies she thinks he's told her husband (besides, who the hell does that??!!!) and is willing to take the bullet for him. Was Ratnam trying to show that she's suffering from the Stockholm Syndrome? Or was that really a filmy twist to the ending?
I also found Govinda's character extremely irritating. Hanuman was one of the central characters of the Ramayana but Govinda's character is reduced to being a sidekick to Ram. On top of that, he was made to jump from one tree to another, recite pathetic poems and crack completely deadpan jokes.
There were quite a few other flaws in the movie...where is this place Lal Maati? Who are these tribals? Why did they need to smear their faces with ash, coal, muck etc. whenever they wanted to celebrate something or sing & dance in the rain? I also didn't like the idea of hiring as talented a designer as Sabyasachi and completely wasting him.
If you leave these things aside, what I did like about the movie were the breathtaking locations (all in southern India apparently), the cinematography, the presence of water throughout the movie (almost 90% of the movie has been shot in/under water), and the message that there's a little bit of good inside every bad person and vice versa. Surprisingly, I also liked Aishwarya Rai!!! So something has got to be said for Mani Ratnam as a director. He's only the second director after Rituparno Ghosh who made me like Aishwarya Rai in a movie (Raincoat)!
Unfortunately, I can't say the same for Abhishek Bachchan. He just does not have the personality to carry off an evil role convincingly. He comes across as too much of a sweet, fun, chilled out guy even in scenes where he's threatning to kill her. And no, the eye liner didn't help.
Coming to Vikram...hmmm...I liked his personality - he has screen presence - but I didn't like his acting. Or lack thereof. He did little more than scowl throughout the movie, as far as expressions are concerned, and his eyes were hidden behind dark aviators for the most part, so we never got a chance to know what his eyes were trying to convey.
Every kid who's grown up in India has been doused with the story of the Ramayana - willingly or unwillingly. Mani Ratnam had the opportunity to make a blockbuster out of it. He didn't quite get there. Still, I would say 'Raavan' is worth a one-time watch for the simple reason that it's very different from other movies, and the visuals are pretty awesome too!
A.k.a. the Spanish, the Brazilians & the French.
But Spain first. They won! Against Honduras. It was not an easy game. The Hondurans were playing a very physical game, quite like the Ivorians against Brazil a few days ago, which I think is just so sad. Football is a beautiful game. It's a game that requires skill and presence of mind, not brute force. I agree that each country has its own style of football. For instance, Germany's style of playing is very different from that of Brazil, who are very different from say, the Italians. But teams that resort to roughing up their opponents, intentional fouls, unfair tackles, cheating and play-acting to win a corner, free kick or penalty just go on to prove that they are the inferior team and lack the skill required for the game.
Coming back to Spain, they're the second team I'm supporting apart from Brazil (who else?). I'll be equally happy if either go on to win the Cup. But I'm concerned for both teams. Spain shouldn't have lost their opening game against Switzerland and should have won against Honduras by a bigger margin. They could easily have scored 5-6 goals...Torres & Ramos had enough shots at the goal, and there was no reason for David Villa to miss an easy penalty kick after the mindblowing goals he scored. Spain are such a talented side...they have such a fluid game (have you seen them pass the ball between players?)...but they seem to be having trouble finishing. I hope they sort it out sooner rather than later because they're likely to face Portugal in the pre-quarters and Argentina or Germany in the semis if they manage to go past Denmark/Italy in the quarter finals. I'd hate to see them lose.
Brazil seem to have recovered from their indifferent performance in their opening game against North Korea. One of their 3 goals against Cote d'Ivoire was a handball, so they scored only 2 goals legitimately. While that was enough to win them the game against Cote d'Ivoire, it may not be enough to see them all the way to the finals. The bookies are placing their money on Brazil winning this Cup and I hope they are right! A Brazil vs Spain final would be out of this world!
And what's the deal with Les Blues?? I can't believe the way the French have been behaving the past few days. First the French Football Federation expels one of their star strikers for his public tirade against coach Raymond Domenech, who looks like he's perpetually chewing on sour grapes. Then the players revolt against the Federation and the coach by refusing to train, and some of the key players even refuse to play! That's not only immature, it's also stupid. Imbecility, as the French would call it. Not to mention that it's terribly insulting to the French people who, like most other Europeans are passionate about football and would like to see their country win the World Cup.
Don't get me wrong - I think the French players have every right to protest against their coach if they have issues with his management tactics. I also think Anelka needn't have been suspended for his outburst against the coach - France is not a dictatorship after all. But by refusing to train and play the matches, the French players not only let their country down, they also proved that they don't value the opportunity to represent their country on such an international platform and bring it glory. Quite predictably, they're out of the tournament in the first round itself. Sad to see Zidane's team go out like this.
England get a last shot at redeeming themselves tonite. I hope they do - they are a group of very talented players. But if they haven't scored a single goal within the first 15 minutes, I request ESPN to focus their cameras entirely on David Beckham in the sidelines rather than on the field, for it might be our last chance to see this gorgeous man for the rest of this tournament.
Here's your eye candy for the day.
Ummmm....can I have a double serving of THAT please?
PS: In case you are wondering why there are so many pictures of semi-naked men on my blog, here's your answer....Football season = Gorgeous men = Will pose shirtless. So who are we to refuse??!!!
Pizza slices and lamb stew at Pali Village Cafe...
Baked Philly cheesecake, chocolate "sin" cake and white chocolate latte at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf...
Bacon, ham, salami pizza and cheesy pasta with chicken & mushrooms at Pizzaria...
Baked Philly cheesecake and mango cheesecake from Moshe's...
Soba noodles with bacon & orange zest in a creamy sauce, pan seared chicken with porcini, caramelized onion sauce & roasted potatoes and Baked Philly cheesecake at Salt Water Cafe...
A box of yummilicious chocolate eclairs and brownie cheesecakes from Sante brought by a wonderful friend...
Two foodies, dessert lovers, shopaholics and BFF enjoying a weekend off together...
The Knife trying his best to make a disgusted face...
And my chubby face and chubby arms having made it to a celebrity food blogger's blog (isn't that just delightful!)
I had the most fun mini-vacation! More on it coming up soon...
What you did over the weekend?
Ssupermarkets aren’t the place to bring your half a dozen kids for a picnic or a family outing. Take them to a park. And for Christ’s sake, have you heard of family planning?
If you insist on bringing your half a dozen kids to the supermarket and let them loose to run riot, expect them to get hit by a cart or shopping baskets laden with groceries. And you dare not glare at the poor shopper pushing the overflowing cart/basket that hit your kid. You should be thankful he/she didn’t trample your kid.
Let me check with the supermarket staff if it's legal to slap screaming, tanrtumy kids on their premises.
Are supermarkets really your idea of entertainment? Really?
The aisles are meant for free passage of shoppers pushing trolleys, not for you to have a bitch session with your long lost BFF about another woman in your friend circle, with both your trolleys blocking the passage.
When I say “Excuse me” it means “Move your ass. Now” Don’t pretend you didn’t hear it. Get your ass off the floor where you’re comparing prices of Vim Bar & Pril on the bottom shelf, get your mewling kids out of the way, pull your cart as close to you as you can, and stop giving me dirty looks because if someone deserves dirty looks, it’s you.
That silk sari with zardozi that you’re wearing & the 10 kg of gold on you belong at a wedding, not at a place you come to buy dal, chawal, atta, toothpaste, ketchup, detergent & toilet cleaning liquid. Unless you plan to pay for them with gold instead of cash.
Don’t look at my basket containing my monthly groceries with jealousy. I didn’t ask you to produce half a dozen kids.
Fat hippopotamus aunty, for the last time - will you stop pushing me into the shelves whenever you pass by or knocking my knees with your basket? If you can’t fit into the goddamn aisle, send your scrawny husband to shop. Because if you push me one more time, I’m going to elbow you right in your stomach.
Store attendants – Don’t hover when I don’t need you. How come you’re never around when I do? And for God’s sake, know which products & brands your store stocks! Because if I ask you whether you have a particular product/brand and you say no, and I find it on the very next shelf, I’m going to open a pack of that product and smash your face right into it. My aggression levels are very high when I’m grocery shopping, courtesy fat aunties & uncles who block the way and refuse to move, and their bratty kids who think throwing roll-on-the-floor tantrums are cute.
No, you are not more important than me. Neither am I in less of a rush than you are. Wait your turn at the cashier’s. Don’t jump the queue, unless you want your foot to be stomped on. Remember that thing I said about my aggression levels while grocery shopping?
The little plastic bags provided in the produce section is for you to wrap your fruits & vegetables in. Don’t simply load fruits & veggies into your cart by the handful and expect the cashier to get someone to run all the way to the produce section to wrap them up for you. The people waiting behind you in line will not give you friendly, endearing smiles. You deserve the dirty looks they give you and they’re most likely also cussing you out in their heads for holding the line.
If you are finicky about the way your items are packaged, let the cashier know in advance. Don’t let him/her pack the contents while you’re busy make eyes at your husband/boyfriend or bitching some more about your neighbor to another neighbor, and make the cashier unpack all your bags & repack them as per your whims.
There are enough shopping baskets & carts to go around. You will not have to lug your monthly groceries in one arm while balancing your howling infant in another. So stop pushing & shoving me to grab a basket/cart.
Shop with a list. It’s not funny or amusing when the person in front of me in the check out queue sends her co-shopper to grab a dozen things he/she forgot, while he/she is being billed. Holding the line because of your own stupidity is not going to earn you any admirers.
If you change your mind about an item you’ve already put in your cart, put it back in its right place or hand it over to store attendant so they can. Don’t just randomly discard it anywhere in the store. Someone else might be looking for that item & there might be just that one piece left in the supermarket.
If you haven’t bothered to pay your credit card bill and your card has been blocked, have another card or enough cash handy to pay for your groceries. Don’t make the poor, hassled cashier swipe your card again & again, and act as if you didn’t know your card was blocked. It’s not his job to pay your credit card bills on time.
DO NOT STEP ON MY TOE. Particularly if you weigh 120 kgs. I will compensate for the difference in our weights with the spikes on my heel.