Last night was a washout. Herbert and I met up looking for a watering hole. We were thinking Toto's but then decided on Adda near the Andheri Sports Complex. Only on reaching there did we realise that it was a dry day owing to Gandhiji's death anniversary.
We shrugged off our disappointment and went off to Juhu Beach. Over chanachur garam and a very very long walk, the two friends discussed life as it is now, the work scene and obviously, what life was like in Calcutta (Herbert told me of this funny anecdote about a friend of ours who once dodged Herbert's mom's mindful eye to play Holi even though he had fever and had just gulped down a Crocin). The long walk over, we settled for kala-khatta and then headed off to Shiv Sagar for paav-bhaji and masala dosa.
Today morning, caught up with Motee and the Apsara on the phone before heading off to Infiniti to catch up with the Panda and a couple of other folks for a showing of Ishqiya. It is a brilliant movie. Vishal Bhardwaj's films seem to have perfected the art-form where they excite the hardcore movie-buff as well as entertain the mango people. Ishqiya is as good as any Western you'll see. Full marks to debutant director Abhishek Chaubey. Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi and Vidya Balan are a treat to watch as they capture the look and feel of Uttar Pradesh not only in their costumes but also in their language. The three-way showdown at the climax of the film is as good as the one in Kaminey. I have already mentioned Ibn-E-Batuta and Dil To Bachcha Hai Jee earlier on the blog, but there's also this Rekha Bhardwaj number called Badi Dheere Jali which you must watch out for. Also, the use of old Hindi songs as pointers throughout the film are a treat.
The film was followed by lunch at Masala Mantar. Had a Caipiroska for the first time. Looks a lot like Mojito, but is different and ah! very refreshing. Good food, good conversation and also caught up on the first two sets of the finals of the Australian Open between Federer and Andy Murray. Federer was making Murray run to all parts of the court and the Panda couldn't help commenting that the match would be over in 3 sets (he turned out to be correct, after all).
Oh and yes, we went off to Landmark after the movie. I caught up on my monthly budget of a Batman graphic novel (Hush) and a Wodehouse (Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit). Also, stumbled upon a Rough Guide to the Lord of the Rings. Over at lunch, Kunal (the Panda's friend) told me to search YouTube for 'The Hunt for Gollum'.
True to Kunal's word, this is a brilliant film. All Lord Of The Rings fans would love this. It is so well made, you'll find it hard to believe that these are just amateurs who've made this movie without help from a big budget studio or any huge funding.