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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Band

August 1st just went by and the whole world celebrated it with loads of fanfare as "Friendship Day". All I remember about it was that my Text messages were being charged and that is one thing I hate the most. I had friends wishing me from the previous day itself and it felt good to know certain good friends still remain in my life.

That very evening I went shopping with my folks to a mall and saw something that pricked me to an extent. I saw many youngsters,school kids,college kids at the mall and all with their mobiles in their hands and I managed to overhear a conversation between two girls. Here is a jist:

Girl 1: OMG you he sent me a message...i think he has written it himself..
Girl 2: what message?
G1: A friendship day message duh! He wants to be my best friend
G2: yea? that is awesome! But you know that xyz girl tied him a friendship band in class..
G1: whaaat?? that is so lame! so cheap! I mean who ties friendship bands now? You can as well gift your friend stuff or write it on facebook.

This small bit made me think all night....when we were school, the number of friends we had were measured by the number of friendship bands we had on our hands. Some girls had both their hands filled and I always had 1 or none. But tying these bands on the wrist's of the 'friends' we had always brought in a sense of excitement. We would start coaxing mom to give us money to buy those fancy friendship bands but then settle for ribbons or 'mom-made' ones. I remember clearly a scene from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai where SRK has these friendhship bands in his pocket and tying them on every girl's hand. And to see today,from what I overheard... the question that kept popping up was... "Are the Bands no more the 'In' thing?" I know friendship is never measured by all this but then what just happened that all of a sudden they were not used anymore?

In the mall amongst a crowd of 50,000, I could count the number of kids with a friendship band. It is a question I will always ask myself. Will you?

Art Of Chilling weekend

Finally I am out of my Chilled mode after I got tickets to watch 'Salt' in the F-row at Inox sponsored by Fosters.It took me a week to get back to normal after that chilling saturday evening with Fosters and Angelina Jolie *sigh*.

Cut to 8pm Sat eve....Tickets in hand all geared up and excited to watch Salt with two boxes of popcorn n cola I was prepared to enjoy the flick! But then there was another distraction before I could walk into the hall. The awesome foot massaging machine! I just couldnt resist it and jumped into it(quite literally) and enjoyed 10 mins of the best foot massage I have ever ever got till date! (That is precisely why I was still chilling :P) 8.15....It was showtime!

The movie as a package was a drab! Wasnt packaged well. Jolie looked frail n bad...story went haywire and we were put off. There was zero glam in it and all action. This wasnt expected from a movie that starred Angelina Jolie. But I would give full points for the action sequences. After Tomb Raider,I saw Jolie performing such stunts with great effort and they were the only good part.

The other good part was the cushions and the GOODIES we got from fosters! Loved the total experience of the F-row! Totally defined the 'Art of Chilling' :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Phone Review- Samsung Wave

My Review of the new Samsung Wave


Samsung Wave – GT5800
OS: Bada
Samsung has launched the Wave GT5800 recently with an aim to dislodge its competitors in the same segment from their reigning position. In a certain way, it succeeds. But in many ways, more than one, it miserably fails too. All in all, it is a good handset that may appeal to many people out there but it may also be a resounding turn on off for many others too. Read on to know more in detail.
First its features that are hands down win.
1.       Graphic User Interface: Samsung has scored a six on the very first ball with its amazing GUI design. The menus and the TouchWiz™ 3.0 interface are a total win and similar phones in the same segment seem lacking for development. Simple intuitive features like swipe from left to right on a contact’s name to make a call or a swipe from right to left to send a message are innovative features that may in the future become a common thing of use.
2.       HD Video Recording: HD Recording is another feature that has been missing in this segment of handsets. There are very few handsets out in the market that support full HD recording and even the ones that are present are expensive. Samsung has scored another one here by providing HD Recording at an affordable price.
3.       Samsung App Store: Although an App store is not a novelty and many handset makers have implemented it as a successful working model, Samsung wins in this because it majorly pushes apps that are free and not a burden on the user’s pocket. Samsung is well aware that in this day and age of piracy where cracked or hacked software is not very difficult to procure; it is in the consumers’ best interests to have an app store which can provide to the consumers’ needs for free. This does not mean that the developers who have developed the apps are left in a no man’s land where they cannot charge for the efforts that they have put in. If one face of the coin reads heads, the other has to read tails. Samsung also has provided for those developers who want to charge for their effort and seek a price for their piece of software.
4.       Social Hub: Samsung has made all efforts to make this phone social networking centric; and they have been successful too. To a large extent by integrating and merging existing contacts and their social lives in one, Samsung has been able to successfully let a user know whether it actually is a good time to speak to anyone. It seamlessly pulls data not only from Facebook and Twitter but also now slowly getting obsolete Orkut.
5.       Super AMOLED Screen: Samsung has implemented Super AMOLED screen which is supposed to have improved touch support as well as improved clarity and better display of colors. While I am not too sure of the improved touch support, I definitely feel that the phone is able to display its colors better as well has a very good clarity.
While we see that the phone definitely has good features, like every handset in the market, the phone has its own Achilles’ heel too. Now for the drawbacks visible on the phone.
1.       Phone Length: The phone is very long and definitely catches a peek from the shirt’s pocket. The phone has all chances of slipping out and falling to the ground when you bend down to pick stuff up. The phone’s length also plays havoc when one wants to use it with just one hand. It becomes really difficult to reach the farthest end of the screen when one attempts to perform any one handed operation. Although it is not too much trouble when typing messages etc. it does become difficult when one wants to check the notifications or turn on services from the topmost battery menu.
2.       Camera quality: Although the phone supports HD recording as well as wide screen photo capture, it does not mean that the quality of images churned out are too good. At best, they may work well with just posting on a forum or for regular share but if one is under an impression that these may also be taken out for a print or two then it’s a very long thought! Adjusting the settings does not give too much of an improvement and till date since a week’s usage, I have not been able to find the time when the photo captures are at its ultimate best.
3.       Phone Profile Management: It is a well-known fact in today’s day and age that every person lives multiple lives. While one has a life at home, there is a different life out there in the office or with friends or while riding or while even listening to Music! At best, though Samsung has given multiple profiles for the user to use, it has failed to capitalize on it by giving it an appropriate way to use. The fastest way to use profiles would be from within the Settings Menu. This definitely is not very comfortable considering the fact that it often happens you forget to change the profile just as you leave work for home. Stopping by to quickly shift profiles at a signal while waiting for it to change is a remote thought.
4.       Screen Space Usage: Samsung although has implemented a very large screen, it has failed miserably in the number of lines it can display while in the landscape mode with the QWERTY keyboard mode on. And if you are planning to review the SMS and edit it before sending it out, then please take note that this is one herculean task!
5.       Physical Keys: Samsung has provided with three physical keys just below the touch sensitive screen which are supposed to be used off and again, the same are absolutely impossible to locate if you are unfamiliar with the layout of the phone. Welcome to a phone with absolutely no back lighting to highlight the physical keys. Of the three keys, one is used to pick up a call and another to reject/end a call; the third is the most important and is used to bring up the menu. The keys can be felt in the dark, but that’s just not what is expected.
Battery Life: During my usage of the phone, I found the battery life to vary very heavily. The phone lasted me a good two days and yet had not turned off after playing very little of Asphalt-5, GPRS usage and a few phone calls and messages. However, when the phone had a continuous play of Asphalt-5, it lasted me just one day.
Verdict: The phone is a good package and of the drawbacks can be ignored; it makes for a good buying decision and investment.
Package Contents:
1.       Handset
2.       Battery
3.       In-Ear Headphones
4.       Data Cable
5.       Travel Charger
6.       2GB Memory Card and Adapter
7.       2 x Samsung KIES CD
8.       Phone Manual
9.       Phone Leather Pouch

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Review: Raajneeti- Old wine in a fresh attractive bottle.

A movie that ran into a lot of controversies much before its release,comparisons with the life of Sonia Gandhi, Raajneeti managed to release on time and then there has been no looking back for this brilliant entertainer from Jha. It earned 10.5 crores on Friday itself and will continue to earn a lot in the coming days.

I missed a bit in the starting and also realized that if you miss the first ten minutes you will not understand the second half to an extent. Raajneeti is a modern day adaptation of the epic Mahabharat. It isn't an exact adaptation but the crux remains the same. There is betrayal,violence,unfair games for power and much more. The movie boasts of a starcast like Ranbir,Katrina,Arjun Rampal,Nana Patekar,Manoj Bajpai and Ajay Devgn and Shruthi Seth is not to be forgotten along with many other actors who have played a role some where or the other. The movie is set in Madhya Pradesh where the ruling party is ruled by two brothers. Illness hits the older brother(Manoj Bajpai's father) and he hands over the party in the hands of his younger brother. Manoj Bajpai who cannot take this makes every attempt to make his mark and get his way out. Arjun rampal(son of the younger brother) has always imagined himself in the seat of power the "Gaddi" as they call it. Ranbir Kapoor is the youngest amongst the brothers and has no connection with politics and wants to become a teacher after his PhD is forced to enter into the field after his father is killed. Thus begins a game of dirty politics,hunger for power,betrayal,games. Ranbir does everything he can to get his brother into power. Katrina Kaif is Ranbir Kapoor's love interest but is forced to marry Arjun Rampal because her father will get her married only to the person who will be the next CM. Ajay Devgn is the Dalit leader and joins hands with Manoj Bajpai to help him win the elections. Allegations are made against each other, charges are filled,people are killed for the sake of power. Nana Patekar is the one you have to watch out for. He is the silent killer here and makes the right moves at the right moment. Naseeruddin shah has a minor role in the start and so does Shruti Seth yet they manage to leave their mark. I will not reveal more because it for you to go and discover the plot.

The Acting department gets full marks. Every actor has given their best in the movie and it does not seem fake or bad. It is just right. Manoj Bajpai is a treat to watch after a long long time. He looks amazing and with the punches in his lines you are sure to love his character. Arjun Rampal is another actor who has great acting skills and it is here that you actually see them coming out. Ranbir kapoor is fine and he does justice to his role. Katrina Kaif struggles with her hindi but then she is ok with her acting. Nana Patekar is an actor whom you cannot comment about. He is good no matter what role he plays. The dialogues are straight and give that punch in every line. Also Prakash Jha gives equal screen space to every character even though the trailers concentrated more on the love track of Ranbir and Kat. The direction,locations,cinematography too are worth applauding.

What doesn't work is the last half hour of the movie which tends to go downhill after the gripping first half n a bit of the second half too. It could have been better for the audience to get that adrenaline rush and keep them at the edge of their seats literally. Else the movie works and will give the film industry a hit after a long time. Go watch it is what I will say. After all wasting 3 hours on this movie is total paisa vasool. And try not to download it because you will lose out on the theatre ambience.

Rating- ****( excellent!must watch)

Thanks
Prateek Thakker :)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Music Review: I Hate Luv Storys

The Music of Imran Khan, Sonam Kapoor starrer I hate Luv storyswas released on the 25th of May and I got my hands to it pretty soon. The music has been given by Vishal and Shekhar who have been out of the scene for quite a while. The album contains 8 tracks with 5 originals and 3 remixes.

 The album starts of with "Jab Mila Tu'" sung by Vishal himself  is a track that will stay in your mind for a while but you cannot help relate to "Jaane Kyun" track from Dostana. The music is pretty much similar and does not sound fresh.

The next track is one of the best tracks in the album that is "Bin tere" by Shafqat Amanat Ali and Sunidhi Chauhan. It does sound typical Shankar Ehsaan Loy type but then it does have the V-S touch to it. It is a song for the ones in love and are missing their loved one. Shaqfat Ali's voice is refreshing and does make sure you hum the tune all day.

Coming in next is the title track "I hate luv storys" by Vishal again. Personally I loved this track and prefer it anyday over the others. The lyrics though a bit tough to understand,the song manages to stick on. I cannot help but compare it to the Krazzy 4 title track which was again sung by Vishal.

"Bahara" starts of as a very Indian folkish track by Sona Mohapatra which sounds good to the ear and moves on to be a bollywood love song. Shreya Ghoshal sings most of the song and makes the song feel good. This would personally be my favorite track #2.

"Sadka Hua" has got a very fresh feel to the song. Suraj Jagan of "give me some sunshine" fame of 3 idiots lends the male voice and Mahalaxmi Iyer the female. It is a promising song which will hit the top of the chartbusters slowly as people will love this track once they listen to it for a couple of times.

The "Bin tere(reprise)" is a pretty much similar to the original but this has more of guitar to it and is a bit slow too.

"Bahara(chill version)" starts of with the "Yeh zindagi"(Luck by Chance) kind of start. This one has the voice of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and is on par with the original. Both the tracks are equally good.

"Bin Tere(Remix)" has the "I am a barbie girl" by Aqua feel but yet manages to keep you hooked on and you will enjoy the beats. This is one song that will become a party song and will be thoroughly enjoyed.

Overall this album is Average and does not sound like Vishal and Shekhar. We do have a lot of expectations from them but this doesn't touch any. There are 3 tracks that will be loved by everyone and the rest are just Ok. I would suggest you to go for it and enjoy the tracks :)

Prateek Thakker

One phase ends and the other has started!

I am now officially done with my Bachelors. I finished my exam yesterday with the last paper being Journalism(Advertising and PR). Well how these three years have passed by is a mystery. They were eventful three years. It was the usual roller coaster ride that probably everyone goes through...heart breaks,fights,grudges,patch ups.... well i had loads of them!! Some stayed and some vanished only to resurface again.

How life can change when you have wonderful people entering your life and unwanted leaving for the good is the best part of your college life I feel. I was always a silent guy since school and was bullied many times. I never liked revolting back and this has stayed on with me. People did try and do that to me here too but I kept quiet. Not because I am scared of the consequences but because it is a waste of time and your energy to shout back at unwanted people. It is like a dog behind a gate. The dog will try to scare you by barking at you and if you get scared it will do that again. But if you remain quiet it will ultimately fall silent. There will be people who wouldn't agree to this. Well free will that is your opinion :).

College otherwise was fun. We had our moments of bunking and gossips etc. Sitting in the canteen for hours and cursing the college for having the worst canteen staff ever. Yet we used to be there the minute the bell for Lunch break rang. I used to miss my Pre-unviersity college a lot in the starting. I still do. But this was different. From being the runner up in the Mr/Ms fresher event in the first year to hosting and organizing the same in my Final year, I enjoyed it. I danced for the first time on stage in my life. It was two steps yet it made me dance!

I will miss it for all this and many other things which I cant recall or don't want to recall. What I gained from this college or the three years that I studied here? I gained some really good friends,lots of knowledge from our teachers,fame(for the right and the wrong things ;) ), and a new meaning to life which will take me through the rough patches I am yet to face in the new phase of life that I am going to start. This phase that has unfortunately ended will always remain as a lesson learnt in life. And I pray that I do not repeat the mistakes again.

I have changed. Yes I have!! I have people around me who are there to guide me all through and they have been a force in helping me change for the good. I cannot get enough of thanking them for it and will always be grateful to you guys for it. :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Twestival India

On the 25th of March,Thursday, tweeple around the world will be partying! Yes and partying for a cause. This is what we call a Twestival! A festival where people over the blogosphere will meet,party,entertain yet contribute to a cause of educating children and other various causes too.

Twestival will also be held in Bangalore at the Opus. It will be a special night with music, dance and drinks. Rock show by the Galeej Gurus and Repsychled will be followed by Nakul Shenoy's Beyond Magic and RJ Anjaan at the dance floor. If you are on Twitter and in Bangalore, Twestival Bangalore is a must attend to meet your twitter friends as well as to contribute to a social cause. More details on http://bangalore.twestival.com.

The tickets are limited and are really reasonable too! Go buy them on http://www.indianstage.in/EventDetails.do?eventId=771.

P.S.- Kingfisher is supplying unlimited Kingfisher Blue beer! Another reason to be there! :P

Into RCB Mighty 14!! yayy

Day 22nd of March
Time: approx 16.57
Location:On the Bike traveling

Lady on the line: hello can I speak to Mr.Prateek?
Me: Ughh yes....who's this?
Lady: I am calling from Royal challeng.....
Me:(yes yes yes.............whooooooooooooooo)....ughh sorry yes tell me
Lady: You have been selected................................
Me:whooooooooooooooo sorry I am just too excited....
Lady:so you will be going to watch the match on 25th sir and you will be getting jerseys so i wanted to know your size
Me: that would be Large...
lady: ok thank you sir...you will get a mail from us in a while please revert back to us asap
Me: sure I will thanks a ton (huge grin on my face)

Well...you must have guessed how happy I was when I got that call. After all I had literally begged everyone to vote for me,sent them DM's spammed their mailboxes etc. After the first team of Mighty 14 was announced I was terribly disappointed. But then thanks to Hrish I started my campaign afresh, and edited my page.

What is RCB's Mighty 14? well this is a contest where 14 mighty fans will get to watch RCB's matches in their city and cheer for them. They will get jersey's and loads of other goodies! I will be getting to watch the match on 25th March, thursday when RCB plays Delhi daredevils.

I am desperately hoping Sehwag,Robin,Manish and of course Jacques Kallis are in full form and send the ball to the stands as many times they can. I will be tweeting live and uploading pics as and when I get a chance. But for now I am all happy for it and cannot wait to get there :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

One year passed by.....

Well today is the 23rd day of Feb and its been a year since I worte a blog post! I have 7 unfinished review posts and I am lazy! yes I am lazy to complete them up! Reason?? Oh come on I DO NOT ask me to do that :P I have so many that I can write a thesis on 1001 reasons on not writing a Blog post in a year :D

Ok some of you might ask "Dude you havent written any thing since a year! why the F*** are you writing one now? We've lost interest!" and I have an answer ready too.....(plz refer my above line about 1001 reasons....it applies here too). What?? you want the cat out of the bag? Na....I hope u aint serious! Oh come on don't force me! ahhhhh well ok the reason is that I am such a random person that the word random becomes a random understatement!!! :D phew....Happy?

All that I did in one year? the list is long and I don want YOU my "precious"(yeah right) readers to get bored(as though I am writing it for you! gah!). So in one year I have done nothing great that I can get padmashree or the booker prize (well if chatwal can I too can). After 20th feb the last time I wrote something(Yes I am proud of it!!!), loads of stuff happened in life! I better write it in points so that it is easier for you to read :)

Here are the great events that took place in the last one year in order of the month!

But hey before YOU read you should read this Disclaimer( to avoid controversies you know! I do not want to be misquoted later considering my popularity :P )

DISCLAIMER: All events in the following list are true(as far as I can remember and havent doctored them in my mind). They have been censored to an extent considering a family audience and also all characters here are living and are in no mood to kick the bucket. For any queries please contact me here itself because I do not have a lawyer :P



Event 1(FEB): Had a major F*** up with my real good friends Shreyas and Avinash.....but then everything got settled.

Event 2(MARCH): Bro got engaged and saw him really happy(after all he had found his "perfect lady" and bhabhi found her "perfect man"......awww what a love story!)

Event 3(APRIL): none!

Event 4(MAY): I went to Bombay....damn sorry MNS Mumbai after like 14 years! Yeah I felt like Lord Ram....(not exactly....I felt like Lakshman....Bro went there after 14 years too so he is Ram) went there for a week....had fun,saw Jalsa and Prateeksha felt awesome n came back with a crush......(only for it to be Vetoed down :'( *sob sob* ) \

Event 5(June): Exams......dreaded exams....but then Avinash suggested that we go for a vacation to his place Kalimpong in the North eastern part of India and I was lucky I got permission at home and on June 24 we left for Kalmipong all excited! It was an all guy trip.

Event 6(July): All high on the best trip we had we returned to college on the 16th of July. shared all our experiences with everybody all through the month.

Event 7(August): Nothing great happened....I just had the chance to visit the East again and now to Kolkata to shop for Bro's wedding! Again after a decade. Had fun. Did nothing. :D

Event 8(September): It was booooooring.

I hope you guys arent getting bored here. Please bear with me there are things about October,November,December and January 2010 to written :P

Event 9(Oct): October 1-7 got to get close to my first love Theatre when I was given a chance to attend a national level theatre workshop at Ninasam(heggodu). Ujwala and Me were chosen to attend it and I cannot forget all that I learnt. Rest of October went in getting screwed by my teachers for bunking a lot in that semester.\

Event 10(Nov): Bro was to tie the knot on Nov 19th and I made a literal....literally LITERAL flying visit! I had my practical exams before the wedding and so flew to Bombay after them and flew back to Bangalore on 20th to write an exam that afternoon. Apart from that did live tweeting from the wedding too.

Event 11(Dec): With my exams coming to an end....I got an other jolt that changed my life for ever. We i.e. Shreyas,Ujwala,Savitha,Madhuri and Me got chosen among 50 gangs that were chosen for MTV GANG NEXT which is happening all on FB. We got free Corbys, and loadsa other goodies. (for more info check out www.mtvindia.com/gangnext and join our fan page on FB by searching for "King Lights")

Event 12(Jan): January yayyy! The month I was born in. January started off on a rather high note. All things were going my way but I celebrated my birthday by sleeping! Can you beleive that? It was a sunday! And for those who do not know when I celebrate my birthday it is on the 24th of January -_-

And well now almost through Feb and I am doing a Play! finally after a break of 4 years! Will let you know more on it later :)

Also if you have read all through this post I bet you are going to throw rotten Tomatoes,Eggs and stuff on your screen. Do it! mera kya jaata hai! Your screen will go for a toss. :P

So I now take leave and promise to write regularly so that you don't have to go through this torture. Till next time...Ciao readers :)

Love ya all