Either. Or.

Reading and writing Indic/Bengali is very important in my daily flow of work. And, devices which cannot render/display/print/input Indic are an extreme annoyance.

So, I figured out that I’ll base the hardware purchase/refresh decision (coming up around the mid of next year) around this specific thing. If Android devices don’t support Indic seamlessly out of the box, I’d rather figure out the obvious alternative for phones and tablets/slates rather than trying to read through piles of issues on the same topic around which there is no clear roadmap.

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Small notes about Streamzoo.

I have been using streamzoo for a small period of time now. I usually try out any Android photo sharing app that allows filters and all such effects to be applied to photos and thus at any point use a couple. Streamzoo seems to be the nicer of the lot. It has:

  • a nice clean dashboard
  • an ability to follow #streams (think of hash-tags) – the app does great work in this ‘social’ side of things. Streams can be followed and thus make for great sense.
  • a set of small and sensible photo editing options including some good filters
  • a small but sensible set of effects
  • allows posting to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr
  • interesting photos crop up when you check out what is popular

So, is it “Instagram for Android” ? Unlikely. But it is better enough than all the others to be a contender and even a must-have Android app on its own.

What I miss

  • an ability to upload only over WiFi as an option. I don’t like to do uploads over 3G
  • an ability to work offline. For example, use the app to click the photo, edit it, put it to the upload queue all without needing to get connected

Oye Pape. Amanora Town Center. Avoidable.

A couple of days back we assumed that the Costa Coffee outlet at Amanora Town Center was open for business. It wasn’t. However, since we were there and hungry we ended up going to Oye Pape. The restaurant is done up in some semi-kitschy way that is neither here and nor there and, the off-the-wall lights weren’t too helpful in highlighting anything. The menu, as is somewhat expected, promised all sorts of things – Punjabi, Chinese, Mexican and what not.

The order was placed for some buttermilk and lassi. Surprisingly enough, they ended up misunderstanding that and bringing out double the order for all the drinks. The lassi was thick, creamy and generally good. The main dishes were Paneer Lababdar with roti, Amritsar Choley Kulcha, Mutton Kolhapuri and a Cheese Tex Mex Sizzler. It takes a rare eating joint which ensures that the order of arrival of the dishes are completely messed up. An even strange aspect was the food – it was completely without taste. I’ve had badly cooked food, undercooked, overboiled and everything in-between. I’ve never had food that didn’t have a taste. The Kulcha was a twin of aloo paratha with the same texture and stuffing and the Choley was more of gravy than choley. The Kolhapuri was without taste and by all reports so was the sizzler. This puzzles me. The food didn’t cause any upset tummy – a plus there, but it didn’t have taste. How does that happen ?

The staff are not comfortable in English but will not fall back to Hindi to make things easy. So, do take care when placing the order. Actually, I’d recommend giving this a miss.

That’s football guys, that’s all it is. Now, what are you gonna do?

I don’t know what to say, really. Three minutes to the biggest battle of our professional lives. All comes down to today, and either, we heal as a team, or we’re gonna crumble. Inch by inch, play by play. Until we’re finished. We’re in hell right now, gentlemen. Believe me. And, we can stay here, get the shit kicked out of us, or we can fight our way back into the light. We can climb outta hell… one inch at a time. Now I can’t do it for ya, I’m too old. I look around, I see these young faces and I think, I mean, I’ve made every wrong choice a middle-aged man can make. I, uh, I’ve pissed away all my money, believe it or not. I chased off anyone who’s ever loved me. And lately, I can’t even stand the face I see in the mirror. You know, when you get old, in life, things get taken from you. I mean, that’s… that’s… that’s a part of life. But, you only learn that when you start losin’ stuff. You find out life’s this game of inches, so is football. Because in either game – life or football – the margin for error is so small. I mean, one half a step too late or too early and you don’t quite make it. One half second too slow, too fast and you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They’re in every break of the game, every minute, every second. On this team we fight for that inch. On this team we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch. Because we know when add up all those inches, that’s gonna make the fucking difference between winning and losing! Between living and dying! I’ll tell you this, in any fight it’s the guy whose willing to die whose gonna win that inch. And I know, if I’m gonna have any life anymore it’s because I’m still willing to fight and die for that inch, because that’s what living is, the six inches in front of your face. Now I can’t make you do it. You’ve got to look at the guy next to you, look into his eyes. Now I think ya going to see a guy who will go that inch with you. Your gonna see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team, because he knows when it comes down to it your gonna do the same for him. That’s a team, gentlemen, and either, we heal, now, as a team, or we will die as individuals. That’s football guys, that’s all it is. Now, what are you gonna do? 

From Any Given Sunday.

That Girl in Yellow Boots.

First things first. According to this, the movie doesn’t have an intermission. I guess that the popcorn retailers lobby is stronger than the filmmaker’s wishes.

There are movies which make the viewer think as opposed to just letting the director/scriptwriter/storyteller think and execute according to a plan. That Girl in Yellow Boots is one of those movies. On the surface it has a very simple story – Ruth (played by Kalki) is over-staying her stay as a tourist in India and is without proper papers. She is trying to find and reach out to Arjun/Benjamin Patel who is the father who walked out on her mother and sister. She works at a massage parlor – the kind which has small inserts across various newspapers offering ‘services’. She is savvy, street-smart, knows how to bribe her way through various departments, can cuss in Hindi and, has a lot of characters flitting in and out of her daily life. The movie is a collage of these characters – some cameos and some a bit more than cameos. But at any point there isn’t a need to learn the backstory of who they are, what they do or even, why they are the way they are. The movie is about that girl in yellow boots and, Ruth is the girl in those yellow boots. The first 40 minutes or so take some time to set up the narrative for that inevitable and brutal ending. Once that loose threads are weaved into a state of readiness for the last 10 minutes, the movie just picks up and hurls thought points at the viewer.

Kalki has a strange accent and her accent does slip through the movie at various places. However, she does a very good job of doing whatever Ruth was supposed to do. The camera work is a bit patchy throughout the movie. Wandering and searching through the first half and thereafter becoming very tight and close, it tries to bring the viewer into the scene but doesn’t really do a good job. The problem with the movie is at a different level. It reminded me of the crowd that used to throng the film festival(s) at Calcutta all eager to check out the current ‘hot’ film. At 2330, the group of 15 who were at theatre were a throwback. Chuckling and guffawing needlessly at innuendo, whistling at totally oddball scenes, these are the kind of audience the movie, if it so wanted, should have released direct to DVD for. Some reviews have panned it as a bad film and others call it edge. I’d go with disturbing. Hindi/Indian movies could do with movies and themes like these and dig deeper. It is useful to do so. Especially for an urban audience that is lazy enough to stop exploring the darker sides of their psyche.