Friday, June 19, 2009

The winner stands alone

So after travelling for a couple of weeks I was back home and I was getting bored. So I did something which, under ideal circumstances, I would never do. I borrowed a Paulo Cohelo novel from my dad to pass the time by.

The winner stands alone by Paulo Cohelo - to be honest this one wasn't half as bad as his other novels which I have read. Now don't take this wrongly ( and fan boys please don't come breathing down on my neck ). But I never seem to get around to understanding his stories. A friend once told me that this is because his stories have spiritual and moral values which I would never understand. That may be true and I do prefer stories which have storytelling values rather than any other kind of values!!

This story is about a love-burnt man (aren't we all ;) ) and his quest to get his ex-wife back from the grasp of her current husband by showing her just how much he loves her and the lengths he's ready to go for her. ( he fails ) Wrapped around a world of fame, glitz,glamour, fashion and of course the movie stars and the superclass and set amidst the Cannes film festival.

The time duration of the story is small, less than 24 hours. As a result the story doesn't really progress much, but the author has done a great job at narrating what goes on in the character's minds rather than in the real world. With lots of back history about each character ( even those which are going to be killed off minutes later ) and very insightful views about the back-stage happenings about their line of work ( which is where the author's research really shows ), the reader connects with each and every character. But the flow of the story leaves something to be desired. The ending ,especially, seems to be haphazardly put together. Some people may blame the duration of the story for that, but I believe it to be the culprit as there have been novels which have been quite as insightful, with equally livid characters and quite as short durations but much better storylines than this. Take for example "Airport" or "Evening News", both by Arthur Hailey.

But it would be wrong on my part not to acknowledge the positive parts of the book. The book is very insightful. It tells us a lot about the world of glamour as to what exactly goes on in the lives of those who are a cog in that industry as opposed to what the world sees. The characters are very lividly portrayed, as a result a reader can connect with even the most minor of the characters. And the emotional/spiritual thoughts going on in every character's minds have been very nicely conveyed by the author.
But sadly, I'm not the kind of reader who is easily bought over by such things. I strongly believe that the engine of every novel should be the story itself, which is exactly where this novel fails.

So for those who are into such kind of stories would be overwhelmed by the piece of literature which is "the winner stands alone". But my personal advice would be to stay away from it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Holiday in Goa

Goa is truly a paradise on Earth. I've visited Goa a number of times now, but somehow, every visit is unique and exciting. I always get to see some new fa├žade of this marvellous tourist haunt. But during this time of the year, the trademark beaches of Goa are not the places to go. The rains are coming down heavily and the waters are way too dangerous to wade onto.

So we looked at the other side of Goa. The truly beautiful Goa. We visited the hill stations in and around Goa, waterfalls, forts and much more. These places are far much more beautiful than the beaches for which Goa is well known throughout India and even abroad. And much much more so during the rains. The greenery, the fog, the chill, water trickling down waterfalls. This is the true beauty of Goa. To top it all, my movement in Goa was totally unrestricted as I took my dZire with me. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. I drove for a total of almost 1700 kms from Bombay to Goa and back, and also within Goa.

Three more Kings

Me, Adnan and Alok at Three Kings' Point

Off Roaded

Safari : Off-Roaded

Hell, me and my friends even had an Off -Roading session wherein we put Priyesh's Safari through the worst nature could offer. It was totally soo much fun. I think I might be falling in love with SUV's - whom I usually despise.

For more pictures visit :


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ultimate oneliners

I just got back from a trip to Goa and I'm too exhausted to write a decent post. So I'm going just pull out an old collection of jokes and onliners stashed somewhere on my hard drive and post them here.
I don't really remember where I got them from but I did see them on some website which had listed a few hundred of them and I kept my most favourite ones ..

  • Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.
  • I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian
  • A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station..
  • Did you know that dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish?
  • Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see him without an erection, make him a sandwich.
  • Sex is not the answer. Sex is the question. "Yes" is the answer.
  • The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.
  • I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.
  • Women may not hit harder, but they hit lower.
  • Just remember...if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.
  • Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Weekend in Baroda

I've just come back from a visit to Chirag in Baroda... or for those who prefer the politically correct name - Vadodara .  I really had a rockin' time there.
(From left to right ) Chirag Shah, Me, Ronak Patel and Shiven Singla

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Baroda is a real cool place ! Where else on the face of this third rock from the sun can you find monkeys and peacocks roaming around freely side-by-side alongside modern urban lifestyle. Not to mention, amazing food!!!!
The people are very relaxed and friendly. The climate is nice and cool ( compared to B'Bay ). I really liked the city.

And after touring the city, We headed off to Ronak Patel's ( good friend of mine ) farmhouse. We had a nice pool side party. I agree that the "pool" is much more of a "pond", but it still kicks @ss !! The party was extreme and went right into the wee hours of the morning.

Sadly, Chirag had to go off to work and I had to head off somewhere else, so I had to leave quickly, but I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in Vadodara Baroda and I'm looking forward to go there soon again.

For more pics check out :

in total 'Party' mood