Mar 25, 2008

American Anjappar

Only after I started blogging did I hear about the famous restaurant chain 'Anjappar', which is special for 'Chettinad' food. So, when I saw an ad for the first Anjappar in US opening at NJ, I decided to visit, which I managed to do last week. I donno what is it with South Indian restaurants here, they are too small and incredibly crowded during the weekends. There was space for only 50 people. This causes quite a considerable waiting time here, which was 1 hour on Sunday afternoon.

* Ordered a 'Gobi 65' and 'Chettinad veg thaali', to get an idea of the taste of several dishes at once. Gobi 65 was not like the sauced 'Gobi manchurian' for which I was a huge fan in India; it was more like Gobi pakoda but it was ok.
* The thaali had one chappathi, rice, potato curry, one gravy curry, sambar, rice, appalam and payasam. My expectation level on the taste was quite low - it has to be better than what I manage to cook, and it was, so no complaints. But it hardly contrasted with what is served at Saravana Bhavan, so I assume that the difference is in the tasty non-veg dishes of Anjappar.
* When I focussed on the non-veg eaters, I overheard that all the biriyanis (for which Anjappar is famous far) were exhausted an hour earlier; and that the quality of chicken was not at all good.
* The steward said that even though they cook twice the amount of the 'famous dishes' during the weekends, they run out of them by 2 PM. That made me wonder why they cant make thrice the amount. Anyway, their timings are 11-4 for lunch and 5-10 for dinner, so any excess dish from the afternoon can certainly be served during the dinner.

I have seen that several new restaurants keep appearing in the area and they all manage to pull the crowds, reminding me of Bangalore's restaurants. If only they keep the price moderate and provide sufficient space...

Mar 19, 2008

Rest in Peace, Raghuvaran!

The last few months have been pretty bad for Tamil cine industry.. After Jeeva, Pandian and recently writer Sujatha, one of the most versatile actors of our time, Raghuvaran, has passed away. More than 20 years ago, I have heard high about him during my school days when one of my friends raved his performance in 'Oru mNidhanin kadhai', a teleserial in DD. My first sighting of him was in 'Samsaaram adhu minsaram', in which he effortlessly played the grayish role of a money-minded son. After that, he mostly acted as villain in Rajini's movies like 'Oor kaavalan', 'Manithan' and 'Shiva'. He was deadly as Bhavani in super-hit 'Udhayam'. A turning point in his career was KS Ravikumar's debut 'Puriyadha pudhir' in which his famous 'I know' dialogue firmly established him as a psychotic deadly villain.
But, IMHO, his best performance so far was as a calm, loving father and a tender, caring husband in 'Anjali'. Though the kids stole all the fame, his role was a stellar one, and, as usual, Maniratnam was very good in extracting the best from his protagonist. Later, he did some unforgettable roles like the ones in Kadhalan, Baasha, Aahaa and Mudhalvan. In the last few years, he started doing character-roles in movies like Roja Koottam, Thirumalai, Run, and recently, Sivaji.
One thing that was known about him for the past 2 decades is his addiction to alcohol and some disturbances that it caused to his professional commiotment. He married actress Rohini and that seemed to change him for good. Apparently, the hope was short-lived; he returned back to his addiction, and that caused their divorce. Recently, his movie appearances have dwindled due to his problems. It is sadly ironic that, his life turned out to be similar to the role he played as an alcoholic in 'Oru manidhanin kadhai'. He will surely be missed. May his soul rest in peace.

Mar 9, 2008

A Printing Laptop, anyone?

In the times when we see fusion of different technologies into one instrument, we still have computing and printing done with different machines. How about a laptop which also manages to print a few pages, when there is absolute necessity and you don’t have to run around finding a printer? may not be the ideal time to advocate a new technology which is likely to make laptops thicker and heavier, when Macbook Air is creating sensations; but the take-home lesson from Macbook Air is, it is possible to make the heart of the laptops extremely thin. Imagine blending with it printing facility, one is likely to have a laptop which is not thicker and heavier than what most of us use anyway. Lemme explain you how..
When one can take fotos and print immediately using Polaroid camera technology, which is around for a long time, why is it not possible to merge printing into laptops? It need not be cumbersome like common printers – 6 to 10 pages of A4 papers are enough to be stored at any time in a laptop, just for some emergency. Without the necessity of any tray, a motion detector will sense a paper being fed and store them inside. Rest is easy. How about it? For starters, it is OK to start with a black-ink printing facility; after further improvement in technology, a full-color printing is possible. If and when such a facility is marketed in the future, remember where you read it first.. :)