Man follows his passion for cooking

Check out this interesting story of a chef in NY. Originally from India, he went on the become a chef after a Bachelor’s in Biochemistry.

I’m out of the restaurant on weekends, and people at Tabla know not to call me unless they really need to. I spend that time at home with my family, cooking three meals a day. It drives my wife insane. She doesn’t understand why I can’t just relax and eat cold cereal. I tell her I don’t think of cooking as work. I really love what I do.

Movie Review: Subramaniapuram

Title: Subramaniapuram

Language: Tamil

Starring: Mostly newcomers

Director: Sasi Kumar

After quite a long time I watched a Tamil film on a flight. I knew nothing about this film. In fact, I had never heard of it. It turned out to be a pleasant surprise.  I don’t recall seeing any of the actors before either.

The film begins dramatically with a prisoner being released and stabbed as he walks out. The rest of the film is mostly in flashback, set in the early 80s in Madurai in Tamil Nadu. The plot revolves around four friends growing up in a small town. Their friendship and camaraderie is captured effectively throughout the film and this helps add to the twists in the plot. They remain unemployed and serve as sidekicks to a local aspiring politician. They soon get caught up in web of political rivalry, loyalty, betrayal and murder. The film depicts how unscrupulous politicians take advantage of unemployed youth in the countryside to accomplish their personal ambitions. Some romance is thrown in but in small measure and that makes it quite believable. There is a good bit of suspense that ties into the first scene.

The film is fast paced and engaging. The camera work is impressive and captures the small town feel sufficiently. The acting is adequate and the casting seems appropriate given that the actors are mostly new comers. The music director, James Vasanthan (also a new comer) deserves special mention for the song “kangal irrandal” — an extremely catchy tune.

Overall, an excellent debut film by Director Sasi Kumar.

Deepak Chopra on Rush Limbaugh

Interesting piece by Deepak Chopra. I am sure Rush will return the favor if he hasn’t already.

I know people who listen to Limbaugh every morning. They don’t believe a word he says. They deplore his rhetorical sins. They detect the whiff of hypocrisy. Basically, they tune in out of sheer incredulity.

Rush Limbaugh is dead weight when it comes to finding a solution to anything. Like Sarah Palin, his spiritual bride, he lurks in the shadow of the human psyche, expressing the dark anger, resentment, jealousy, and vindictiveness that society can never escape. And yet, the next time you tune into Limbaugh’s censorious circus of insensitive scurrility, give him a kind thought. As far back as Mark Twain, the American character has been ornery. We secretly love rascals, bank robbers, tricksters, swindlers, hell raisers, and outlaws.

I am sure Rush will return the favor if he hasn’t already. Dr. Chopra’s heated exchange with the WSJ after the Mumbai riots  was a response to criticism against him, but this time around, he seems to have made the first move. In these difficult times I guess spiritual gurus can’t help but reach out!

Pakistan: The Mess Is Complete

The recent attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team was final confirmation that Pakistan is in a complete mess. The civilian government that has no clue about how and where to take the country.  (It does appear that Pakistan under Musharraf was more stable or at least seemed so from the outside?) Pakistan’s border area with Afghanistan has been virtually run over by terrorists. The opposition is desperate to destroy the Zaradari government given the recent court ruling against the Sharief brothers. The Pakistani government’s investigation against the mindless attack in Mumbai has neither appeased the Indians nor helped assuage the growing universal belief that Pakistan is the world’s leading breeding ground for terrorism.

After Australia, West Indies and more recently India withdrew plans to tour Pakistan, Sri Lanka gave Pakistan a chance to redeem itself and prove to the cricketing world that the country was safe at least for sports. To say that Pakistan blew this opportunity is an understatement. With this recent security lapse, cricket in Pakistan with visiting foreign teams is virtually dead for the foreseeable future. It is laughable to imagine Pakistan co-hosting the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Under these circumstances the Pakistan Board’s earlier decision to deny its players a chance to participate in the IPL league seems that much more silly and short sighted. The Government of India seems to have made the perfectly right choice by calling off the Pakistan tour. Its downright scary to imagine the the public reaction in India had its cricket team been attacked on Pakistan soil. What I find surprising though is the little that is being asked of the Sri Lankan government by its media. What was the Sri Lankan goverment thinking when it agreed to tour Pakistan?

India has been crying itself hoarse about Pakistan’s involvement in cross border terrorism and about terrorist camps across Pakistan. Lahore was considered one of the better and safer cities in Pakistan. A blatant attack on a touring team happening in one of the better cities of Pakistan is a sure sign of a worsening law and order situation across the country. Where does Pakistan go from here?  Well, a good start would be to stop being in denial and accept that the situation in Pakistan is dire, getting worse by the day and worthy of immediate attention of the world.  Next, Pakistan must kiss goodbye to the Kashmir issue at least until it can get its house in order. It must go the extra step of making peace with India by handing over the terrorists responsible for the Mumbai attacks to India and preventing further acts of cross-border terrorism. Most importantly, it must not hesitate to seek international assistance in dismantling terrorist camps across the country no matter how unpopular the step might be. The Obama administration has indicated its plan to pull out of Iraq. Meanwhile, it is critical for the US to simultaneously develop a sensible Pakistan strategy (perhaps in cooperation with India) before it is too late.

Cel Cab: Taxi Service in India

I used the Cel Cab Taxi service in India recently and I must admit I was impressed. Here is how it works. You call up a number and tell them when you want a cab and where you need to go. They get your address and phone number. It is as simple as that.

A few minutes (say about 20 minutes) before the arrival of the taxi you receive an SMS giving you the Taxi’s ETA (estimated time of arrival). The Taxi turns up and drives you to your destination. An hour or two later your receive an SMS seeking your feedback on the service!

Jon Stewart on CNBC/Rick Santelli

Check out Jon Stewart making fun (and this is to put it mildly) of Rick Santelli and the rest of Financial News networks.

It takes a late night comic show to point out that the US financial sector is in such severe turmoil despite the supposed scrutiny of 24×7 financial news networks. If these networks were all full of knowledge, analysis and insights like they claim, how come the crisis on Wall Street came about despite their supposed careful scrutiny?