August 14, 2004

What's brewing at Barista?

Just read this on Rediff, 'Tatas to sell off stake in Barista'. Being a Barista loyalist and connoisseur of coffee, that makes a hell of a difference to me. From what I learn here, one of these things are likely to happen:

a) Tatas offload stake on to Sivasankaran
b) A foreign company (speculations are on for Starbucks) buys the stake

Now personally speaking, and after discussing with Kshitij, I think I'd rather prefer Sivasankaran buying it out fully. Per Kshitij, "they'll (Starbucks) obviously kill Barista...if they buy it... like what HLL did to Dollops by Cadbury's...when they wanted to get Walls here". I agree.

Besides, Starbucks coming in independantly with it's own signature line of coffees would be much more umm... refreshing!

August 11, 2004

The Fun Republicans - Take 2

JOURNEY Today was the second day of the Zee's unnamed Reality TV Game Show. The 2 teams were supposed to report to 'Fun Republic' - a hangout at Andheri at 9:30 am.

10 o'clock passed and still no call from the car which was supposed to pick me up. Finally they called at 10:30 (the car had a puncture on the way). It was my teammates Aru & Jenny and Karthik from the opp. team. We were all in a fresh mood as today wouldn't be as boring as yesterday. Compare Fun Republic to Chor Bazaar! It continued to rain mildly.

Somewhere near JW Marriott, Karthik had a brilliant idea - "Why don't we stop over at Alfredo's for a cuppa cappuccino?!" - "Rrrright, we nodded", fully aware that we're gonna be more grounded than the coffee after we reach so late.

DETOUR Alfredo's served great food, so we decided to order some. Karthik and me had a beer, some salad, pasta and some garlic bread. The crew calls. Aru thrusted his phone quickly to Karthik who coolly told them we'll be there in a jiffy. We moved on after the full breakfast. The time? Past 12:30 :) Finally we reached our destination.

We were quickly briefed. The crew was mad, but not quite as we expected. We were blissfully sure they took enough time to setup their cameras too.

The rest of the day was full of fun, doing crazy things we would never do in a theatre (can't disclose all the details till the show is officially announced). But scenes included the 6 of us going up and down the escalators - what fun, and getting paid for it :) besides some promo shots and doing some quick sound bytes.
[will fill in game details here later]

Some interesting moments:
  • I stopped one of the elevators. Wonder how you start them back :)
  • Aru goes to the loo atleast a dozen times - to do his hair
  • Jenny carried a heavy bag - containing food (theplas) for us (learning from yesterday's ughy sandwiches)

Needless to say, our team - JAK won! We took home 800 bucks. Quite modest, but not bad for having fun most of the time. And making fun new friends like Aru, Jenni and Karthik!

Roll camera... action!

I've never experienced the feeling of being under the guillotine, but I think it's not too different from doing a day's shoot. In front of the cameras. Reached the shoot at the given time of 11:00 am sharp - turned out it was chaos.
I was the only person on time. People started turning up only after 12.
Including our co-ordinator-cum-hostess, Kalpana.
We were supposed to be 2 teams of 3 each.
Avadhi (ironically meaning 'time' or 'limit') was there since 11. But had to leave.
Shruti was there. But had to leave.
Kapil didn't have to leave. Coz he never made it. His bank went bankrupt.
Jay made us all wait. Coz he didn't reach on time.

Finally to form the 2 teams, Kalpana had to approach these young lovebirds in Barista. They enthusiastically agreed and then the gal started asking me all the questions she didn't ask Kalpana. Meet Aru(nachal) and Jen(nica).

So it was them + me, versus 3 other guys - Karthik, Jay and dunnohisname.

Our task - Purchase books worth a 1000 bucks, a basketball, a Mercedes emblem, vinyl records and an antique fan today - and sell it tomorrow in a mall - for a profit! The team which makes the higher profit wins. Zimple.

The shoot was over only by 8 - phew! Was it tiring or what. More on the details later. I'm not supposed to talk about it much.

While travelling back home by train, a strange thing happened. The train halted a little before the Charni Road station. They applied emergency brakes. People were peering outside to sneak a peek. What transpired was that a kid was just saved after he fell off the platform. For a moment there... everyone around just touched their heart and head - thanking God for averting a disaster.

Reminded me of the intro lines of the fantastic movie Love Actually...

General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed - but I don't see that - seems to me that love is everywhere.

Goodnight! Tomorrow's another hectic shoot!

August 10, 2004

Keep walking...

Watched a fun movie yesterday - Eurotrip. A la American Pie - so expected stuff, but good entertainment. And oh, I love the way the 'map' is shown, plus the wacky music. Good fun with friends. Rentable.

After watching the movie, I think (1) I agree with Cooper about Europe. (2) The Bratislavan tourism industry is gonna flourish. Besides Amsterdam's.

Later afternoon, had some awesome Parsi food at this quaint place called 'Snack Shack', supposedly the only Parsi cuisine in Bandra. Grilled chicken sandwich and chicken biryani - 100 bucks. Not bad eh? Oh and a Thums Up. And curd. Good deal. Highly recommended. Next time, kulfi :)

Now I'm gonna share a little secret to 'destress' oneself. No i'm not contending to be the next Deepak Chopra. Sit straight n listen up, punk! - It's something I did today. In the middle of the maddening city crowds and traffic... just keep walking around quietly at your own pace or sprint. With the world around you whizzing by and you in your own trance, with a smile on your face and not a care in the world... it's awesome!

Meeting Shruti, Kaps and Kalpana for an interesting event. Details classified for now. The most I can say - reality TV show. Watch this space! ;)

August 06, 2004

Finally I'm on vacation! :) Will make plans in the day and this time I'm surely going outstation. Don't try to reach me!! Posted by Hello

August 04, 2004

Birthday Buoy!

No typo up there. Why buoy? Aah well, just like every year it rained like there's no tomorrow on 4th August. It's my birthday signature! And when rains lash Mumbai, God save - well, himself.

Woke up to a small celebration at home with family. Another cake! Bring it on!

Reached office and as expected, the compound was full of ankle-deep water. Ughy water. The bindaas acrobat executive that I am, I jumped across the parapets and walls around and reached mostly dry, with the exception of a part-wet sock. More ughness.

Had a superlazy day and soaked in all the... hey where's the sun? OK, wishes will do for now.

Everyone was waiting for cakesplashing time. When it came, no part of my face was spared. Thankfully, the brand new shirt was spared. I looked picture perfect. Faceload of cake with a cherry to top! Will post pics tomorrow.

Wish count: About 15 SMSs, 20 calls, 12 e-mails, 25 messages on my Ryze. (And still filling as of 11:53 pm) Damn, I'm feelin good. Hey, I'm a natural Leo. Being full of myself is a trait. I didn't choose it ;)

24 till I die!

  • Last nite at 11, buddies Manish n Kapil picked me up from work.
  • Went to Kalpana at Worli Naka. (Huh?) - Oh well, what's in a name? Food's great. Try it.
  • Downed a bit of my new fave, Old Monk. Starters were OK dokey.
  • Main course was some veggies. Don't ask me names. But the Dal Tadka ROCKED!
  • 3rd August, 11:50 pm - I'm tellin the fellas about Fahrenheit 9/11
  • First call, bro. Plays the smarts. Calls at 11:58 so he can get through the lines.
Holycanoley I'm 24!
  • A barrage of SMSes. Manish, Vanali, Prashant, Kamal, Lincoln.
  • Sameer calls. Checkes where I am and till when I'm hanging around. Wishes, hangs up.
  • Avinash does ditto. Dinner done, we decide to move on.
  • No sooner am I out of the premises, than I see myself blindfolded.
  • Someone pounces on me.
"Happy Birthday To You.... Happ....
"Stop it Manish, Kaps. Don't act like kids".
As soon as I open my eyes I realise - I'm surrounded by the WHOLE gang. All of them! Sam, Avi, Rakesh, Raxit, Prashant!! So well it figures - Sam and Avi calling me up to check where I was. The planned surprise! :D

With 2 cars, we then headed to Worli Seaface. The folks had got a cake along. Had an awesome time there with the cake and all the friends. Thanks a ton fellas - this was the bestest gift ever!

By 1, we headed home. She calls. :)