Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fun - some unplanned, some planned

After the movie, am now finishing Kurosawa's autobio. Gem of an account. You are in love with him from the moment he tells you about how Renoir's account and his reasoning changed Akira's own take on his book.

Went and bought 2 new books on credit card points, unplanned of course (seems to be getting regular now!)

And they all sang by Studs Terkel Rs 199
A big life in advertising by Mary Wells Lawrence Rs 75

Book 1 above is by someone who is a legend in radio broadcasting. It is about the greats of 20th century music. I didn't know of book 2 above until I saw that it was on advertising (an old flame of mine). When I read that the woman worked with Bill Bernbach, one of the pantheon in my universe, just picked it up. And both were bargain picks from Landmark

The Wrestler

Saw The Wrestler today. Beautiful flick, sort of like fine whisky - bitter but makes you warm inside and is delicious and intoxicating. In love with Marisa Tomei for the 2nd time and its her eyes.

Spoiler alert... (although the plot is known)

The movie tells the story of a once-popular professional wrestler, 20 yrs from his peak. Mickey Rourke essays the role with panache. You can almost feel the frost forming in his heart when his daughter turns him out on a cold winter day. A little later Marisa who plays a stripper has turned his charms down. And just when you are trying to recover from the lacerating sadness, Springsteen burns you down with a sad song ...One trick pony... when the credits roll.

You will almost certainly need a drink when you are done.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mumbai Half Marathon 2009

Finished in 2:02 or so.
Almost happy.
Quite an uneventful race and thankfully so.

Update: The above 3 lines were penned from a personal standpoint. There were some nice things I will remember this race for. Someone I advised and coached (via a combination of google talk and mobile phone calls) completed his 1st marathon under the 6 hr limit. Considering he was a half marathoner until 2 months ago, that is astounding. The fact that I could coach something to someone gives me great confidence. Now I have advised or coached people to a 5k, 10k, half and full marathons. Also, after 7 years of having begun running, I ran a race feeling tentative. My heart stopped for a moment somewhere around the 15-16 km mark when I felt a slight twitch in my abdomen. I thought I had blown it. Thankfully, it proved to be just a twitch and never bothered me again. Phew!

Like most other races, I ran this race mostly alone and with my head down most of the race, just to stay focussed and sang to myself occasionally. And running down Peddar Road at a 4:45 min/km pace was quite unbelievable. I have a new term for myself. I am a Peddaro (go figure!). I don't remember doing this even when I was fitter. Friends of mine set super PBs during this race. I have enough inspiration in the tank to finally go and kick myself to a PB at Mumbai next yr. Felt very queasy post-race when I had bun-maska and fruit salad (chilled!) at Hotel New Excelsior (parsi kind of joint serving serious non-veg food incl. Lebanese...) An hr later, that stupid feeling disappeared after a fine filter coffee made by the dear wife (H) of a friend. God bless her soul. It took about 2 mins for me to feel better. I need to remember to not forget my coffee before a race. This is one of those rare ones when I forgot coffee. Also, drove around Bombay like mad, for the 1st time in multiple visits. Thanks to the lovely HM (my pal from L) for making my trip memorable

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Barbarian Invasions

Saw this delightful movie about a man, his friends and family.
Saying anything else without giving away the plot is a little tough.
However I can recommend it wholeheartedly and promise you won't regret it.

The movie won at the Oscars for best foreign film but lost at Cannes.

Yet another reason to watch World Cinema.

Waiting for G.

...od knows what :)

Ran 12 km in 71 min (incl. 2-3 stoppages to talk to some ppl, but that is normal for most long runs) this morn. Had no water. But didn't feel the need

Plans for Mumbai include finishing b/w 2.5 hrs and 3 hrs - the upper limit being really safe and the lower limit above my all time slowest half in my 1st attempt at Mumbai

Am now hoping that by Mar or so, I should be aiming at 8 min miles again

Friday, January 09, 2009

Wait for me...

I am finally going to Mumbai. After a horrendous month and in general, a lousy year, there is some good news. I will be running the half marathon in Mumbai. It is not as good as a marathon for me, but will do for now. Considering I was not running less than 48 hrs ago, this is indeed a new year gift.

Here is a funny extract from the T&C section of an event I am planning to attend

"Applicants are reminded that running a half marathon (13.1 miles), whilst an enjoyable route to fitness and well-being, is a significant physical challenge and if you have not exercised before, or for some time, it is advisable to consult a doctor prior to undertaking an exercise programme. "

Jokes apart, I will be running Mumbai with some faith despite no running for a month, but with enough confidence that I have run half marathons for enough weekends before. There is also the lack of any expectation since I didn't plan on running the event anyways.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Back!

Did my first run after exactly a month. Ran 4 miles and took about 38 min. Feels like heaven .
More soon...

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Putting the books before the shelf...

I have already mentioned my search for a bookshelf. Am yet to find something affordable or irresistible. However that has not prevented me from continuing to buy.

Although I was off for almost 2 weeks, I bought some today for not so cheap prices from Bookworm, the Bryson one being a new print from Penguin. The rest were used books.

The Man Who Loved Only Numbers by Paul Hoffman (biography of Paul Erdos, the mathematician)
Staring at the Sun by Julian Barnes
Cross Channel by Julian Barnes
Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Movies, Books, etc in the holidays

I have been reading a bit and seeing quite a few movies during these holidays.

Oye Lucky Lucky Oye (Yet another decent movie with Abhay Deol. Loads of desi invectives. Dibakar manages to convey his Delhi background yet again. Entertainment guaranteed. However while Abhay Deol manages to impress, this is not as good as his previous "Manorama..." Neither does Dibakar excel as he did in "Khosla ka ..." However both show that they are not one-hit wonders.)

Welcome to Sajjanpur (can't understand why Shyam Benegal did this movie)- Good watch (though). Extremely local plot, thankfully. Fairly timely songs (one of Ray's grouses). Good performances by the main cast and supporting cast as well. And mostly gentle music. Recommended for incurable romantics. The perennial crush on Amrita Rao continues.

Also been seeing a lot of classic movies resulting in yet another crush on a fictional character - Jean Arthur as Saunders in Mr Smith goes to Washington ...Also another crush on Martha Vickers as Carmen Sternwood - though she's mostly drunk/out of her mind in the movie. The last time I admitted to this was here. Find the trembling of Lauren Bacall's nostrils more than a little weird. Am I the only one who notices these things?!

Read "Our Films Their Films" by Satyajit Ray. There is an article in the book written in 1948 which talks about what ails Indian movies!!! Every word in the piece rings true even today.