Sunday, December 28, 2008

Now Playing On My Jukebox

Me and Mrs Jones

I had earlier posted a song by Michael Buble - the Spiderman theme song. I loved that one and this one is great too. It was originally sung by Billy Paul, that too in the year 1972. Just goes to show that good music never dies. Michael Buble has included this in his album 'Call Me Irresponsible'. Take it away folks....

Me and Mrs Jones, we got a thing going on
We both know that it's wrong
But it's much too strong to let it go now

We meet ev'ry day at the same cafe
Six-thirty I know she'll be there
Holding hands, making all kinds of plans
While the jukebox plays our favorite song

Me and Mrs, Mrs Jones, Mrs Jones, Mrs Jones
We got a thing going on
We both know that it's wrong
But it's much too strong to let it go now

We gotta be extra careful
That we don't build our hopes too high
Cause she's got her own obligations and so do I
Me, me and Mrs, Mrs Jones, Mrs Jones, Mrs Jones

Well, it's time for us to be leaving
And it hurts so much, it hurts so much inside
And now she'll go her way, I'll go mine
But tomorrow we'll meet at the same place, the same time
Me and Mrs Jones, Mrs Jones, Mrs Jones

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Living it up in the Garib Rath

Getting tickets to Kerala during the Xmas season is a pain. Whenever I try to book tickets, I am reminded of the lemmings’ story. Normally I take the Island Express (Bangalorey to Kanyakumari). Course we didn’t get tickets but while searching I discovered a train called Kochuveli Garib Rath. Garib Rath sounded a bit scary and I was more worried because my eldest sister, Lisa was traveling with us and she is an NRI. Since there was no choice, I took the tickets.

Now this train starts from Yeshwantpur station which is a bit off the beaten track. We got out a bit late but reached the station with some palpitations. The station was really crowded and the first thought that struck me was that “All the garibs of the world have come to travel in this train". I then realised that none of the electronic display boards (that display the coach placement) were working and everyone was standing at the entrance waiting for some direction. After a few minutes, there was an announcement (garbled as usual) that the train was to depart at 10.30 pm instead of the scheduled time of 9.00 pm. Most of the passengers let out exasperated sighs and then went about looking for tea, food etc as our platform was spectacularly devoid of any amenities.

At this juncture let me explain what the Garib Rath train is. It is a fast fully air-conditioned train subsidized for poor people. All the State capitals are or will be linked with Garib Rath trains.

The train pulled in at about 10.00 pm. I was surprised to see that the train was extremely clean and well lit. The coaches were new and seemed more spacious. Even the toilets were spick and span. Anyway, the train pulled out at 10.30 pm as promised. We were sitting around chatting and the other passengers slowly started getting ready to sleep. The funny thing was that nobody was asking for the customary blankets that are handed out. Uncomplainingly, they took out their own sheets and quietly went to sleep. After the next stop - Banaswadi, we saw an attendant handing two sets of blankets and getting Rs 50 in return. I then asked him to get some sets for us as well and had to pay Rs 25 for each set. The TT was obviously turning a blind eye to this and the passengers must have thought that it is a Garib Rath so what the heck. The good thing was the air conditioning was not set too high so it was pleasant without turning us into icicles.

I got up at around 7.30 am and was hoping against hope that we would have crossed Thrissur. To my horror, I saw we were still at Coimbatore which meant We. Were. Three. Hours. Late. I couldn't sleep no more and got up. There was another Malayalee passenger who started a discussion on the Garib Rath and came out with the following meaningful statements
- Yes the train was more than three hours late
- This was a special train but would be made a regular feature (Hurrah)
- We had a diesel engine and that is why we were going slow and aslo why the train was shaking so much

Although the conversation was inspiring, I couldn't match up and kept quiet. At Palakkad, we got some good coffee and oily vadas. I was surprised at the quality of the coffee as I have usually found that both the coffee and tea served in Kerala stations are pathetic. The train plodded on stopping at most stations and it was quite frustrating. We finally reached Kottayam four hours behind schedule and were glad to get off.

In conclusion, take the Garib Rath if you have to get somewhere. As of now, it should be your last option because they must be ironing out the kinks. It was pretty cheap - only Rs 500 to get to Kottayam as against Rs 750 for the normal 3rd AC train fare or an AC non-sleeper bus. Also, Rs 500 is still not cheap for the under-privileged so don't worry about being surrounded by them. I am guessing they would rather travel in the unreserved compartment. Carry your own blankets and food though. Happy Journeying!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Now Playing On My Jukebox

This one is called After Laughter (Comes Tears) by Wendy Rene. I can hear you say - Wendy Who? Well, I heard this song from the movie Lucky Number Slevin. Great movie huh? If you havent seen it, watch it NOW. Coming back to the song, if you liked it, try this one on as well - Crying All By Myself

Check the lyrics out and enjoy

After laughter comes tears
After your laughter there will be tears
When you're in love, you're happy
When your in a arm, you gaze
This doesn't last always

After your laughter there will be tears

My friends all say, don't try to hold it in
But I can't let that guy know how I feel
I'll try to hold back my, my, my tears
But they keep say

After your laughter oh, oh, oh

I'll try to hide, hide my sorrows
I wonder can I hold them till tomorrow
Maybe I'll hold them for a year
But they keep say
After your laughter
Now you will see those wet little tears
After your laughter
A little biddy tear will look climb into your eye

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Mathew Rate-O-Meter

This is where you get ratings, reviews, quotes and tips from a leading expert and critic - Me. Check out the links for further details.

Rock On
Hindi Movie - 3.25 out of 5 stars
I have never been a fan of Hindi movies (Bollywood movies, should I say). During my college days, I once jeered my friends so much.... Read more

Shivasamudra Falls
Tourist Spot near Bangalore - 2.5 out of 5 stars
My friend, Kunjai has been staying with me for a little over two months. On Friday evening (15th Aug), we suddenly realised that we hadn't taken a trip..... Read more

Spiderman by Michael Buble
Movie OST - 3.5 out of 5 stars
I was at a restaurant called Opus, celebrating my sisters birthday when I heard this song. I knew that I had to GET THIS SONG. It brought back..... Read More

The Leatherheads
English Movie - 3.0 out of 5 stars
I was kinda looking forward to The Leatherheads as it has two of my favourite actors, George Clooney and Renee Zellweger.... Read More

Batman - The Dark Knight
English Movie - 4.0 out of 5 stars
I saw The Dark Knight over the weekend. All the reviews that say it is a 'must watch' are absolutely true.... Read More

English Movie - 2.75 out of 5 stars
I asked for a good action movie and I got Jumper. The main characters, other than Samuel L Jackson are not your typical action heroes.... Read More

English Movie - 3.25 out of 5 stars
Untraceable was the other movie I picked up and surprise surprise, it too has Diane Lane in it. What are the odds on that?? Here she is one.... Read More

A Prisoner of Birth
Book - Fiction(English) - 3.5 out of 5 stars
I am a big fan of Jeffrey Archer. Of all his books, Kane and Abel was mind blowing. I still remember being inspired by the intelligence.... Read More

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cool Dude phrases

I find some phrases very catchy. It kinda sticks to me and I use it time and again. I know its very corny but it always make me smile. Sometimes it gets so bad that my close friends and family get irritated and tell me to pipe down. Other times, it brings out a smile and I am told to stop being corny. But hey, they all luve me cause I am a great guy and... Anyway, I thought it would make an interesting read and hence put a few of them down.

Talk to the Hand - The phrase is an English language slang phrase associated with the 1990s. It originated in African American Vernacular English as a contemptuous and urbanized way of saying that no one is listening and is often elongated to a phrase such as "Talk to the hand, because the ear's not listening" or "Talk to the hand, cause the face don't understand" or "Talk to the hand, cause the face don't give a damn." It is usually accompanied by the gesture of extending one arm toward the other person, with the palm of that hand facing the person being insulted, in the manner of the gesture to stop. Also popularized in 2003 in Terminator 3. Arnold Schwarzenegger appears on a dance stage naked with a male stripper, and asks the stripper for his clothes. The stripper replies to the Terminator, "Talk to the hand." The Terminator proceeds to talk to the stripper's hand, grabbing and breaking it, and bringing it close to his mouth and replying, "Now."

Surfs Up Big Kahuna - I first heard this phrase in the movie Batman Forever, where Jim Carrey (The Riddler) pushes another guy into the waters while shouting out Surfs up Big Kahuna. Kahuna is a Hawaiian word, defined as "Priest, sorcerer, magician, wizard, minister, expert in any profession." The use of the term in reference to surfing can be traced back to the 1959 film Gidget, in which "The Big Kahuna", played by Cliff Robertson, was the leader of a group of surfers. The term then became commonplace in Beach Party films of the 1960s such as Beach Blanket Bingo, where the "Big Kahuna" was the best surfer on the beach. Eventually, it was adopted into general surfing culture.

Hasta la Vista - I know, I know. A lot of people use this. That's why I put it here cause I can't miss it. These are Spanish words which mean see you later. Thanks to Arnie (again), these words gained huge popularity. The dialogue goes like this
John Connor: No, no, no, no. You gotta listen to the way people talk. You don't say "affirmative," or some shit like that. You say "no problemo." And if someone comes on to you with an attitude you say "eat me." And if you want to shine them on it's "hasta la vista, baby."
The Terminator: Hasta la vista, baby.

You've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk? - Okay, that is a movie dialogue. The interesting thing is that I have never seen the movie Dirty Harry where Clint Eastwood delivers this dialogue. I heard it in The Mask, where Jim Carrey does a spoofy imitation of this. Iknew it then that it must have been a powerful dialogue in some movie. It goes like this
Harry Callahan "Dirty Harry": I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?

Thats all folks! I'll put up some more and I'll try and avoid Arnie and Jim Carrey next time. Until then, see ya later alligator (your response should be 'in a while, crocodile'). Btw, this is from a song composed by Bill Haley & The Comets in 1956 ;-)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Movie Review - Rock On

I have never been a fan of Hindi movies (Bollywood movies, should I say). During my college days, I once jeered my friends so much for going to watch one that they picked me up and carried me to the bus. That movie was called 'Mann', starring Aamir Khan and Manisha Koirala. It was so bad that we walked out even before the intermission. Such a traumatic incident was enough to reinforce my belief that Hindi movies and I should stay away from each other. After this, I have seen very few Bollywood flicks, mostly to keep my friends company.

However, it is my firm belief that the quality of Hindi movies has improved. It may not be a drastic improvement but they are more watchable. With this belief, I went to check out Rock On. The movie is about four friends who have a rock band ergo they are rock lovers. The characters are Aditya (Farhan Akhtar), Joe (Arjun Rampal), KD (Purab Kohli), Rob (Luke Kenny) and Sakshi (Prachi Desai). They get along very well and so do their girlfriends till a bit of fame come along. Bam, the problems come tumbling like an avalanche and they split up. About ten years later, each of them are living separate lives, successful in their professions except for Joe. Despite this, they aren’t very happy and something seems to be missing in their lives. A chance encounter between KD and Sakshi gets the two talking and then they try to get the others together. Will the group get together (hurrah) or will the old problems compounded by egos keep them apart (gasp gasp gasp - last two were echoes, Bollywood ishtyle)? That is what the rest of the movie is about.

Now this is a typical rock band story, in real and reel life. However, full marks to Abhishek Kapoor for using the theme in a Bollywood flick where this is not an old overused theme. Although the movie is produced by Farhan Akhtar and not written by him, it seems to have his influence. I mean this is the guy who gave us Dil Chahta Hai and Lakshya (I enjoyed both thoroughly). He sings pretty well too, most of the songs in the movie are sung by him. What I also liked about Rock On is the way the movie switches between their past and present lives. Purab Kohli has done a great hob, very entertaining. What I didn't like about movie is that the rock band didn't have the chemistry you would expect. The camaraderie and the jamming sessions didn't feel right. Arjun Rampal just doesn't have the cool attitude that lead guitarists inherently seem to possess. Also, the plot slows down and kinda loses its way just before the end but it rights itself at the end. Overall rating on the Mathew Rate-O-Meter 3.25 out of 5 stars.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Shivasamudra Falls - A Nice Drive from Bangalore

My friend, Kunjai has been staying with me for a little over two months. On Friday evening (15th Aug), we suddenly realised that we hadn't taken a trip to any of the spots around Bangalore. Our man was especially amazed because he is the kind who likes to take off with minimum planning, clothes and other essentials. So, we decided to go for a day trip on Sunday where the drive would not be more than 200 kms, we would spend around two hours there and head back. We short-listed

Bannerghatta National Park - ruled out cause it was too close

Bheemeshwari Fishing Camp - ruled out cause I had already seen Dodamakkali and was expecting Bheemeshwari to be quite similar

Shivasamudra Waterfalls - Okie dokie but we decided that we needed more info.

I called up a friend of mine who had been there with his mom. He said it was a good drive and the falls were very picturesque but there was nothing else to do there. Kunjai was of the opinion that without our respective moms to slow us down, we could go exploring hither and thither. I didn't exactly jump with joy at this proposition but decided to go with the falls sorry flow!!

On Sunday, we got up pretty late. After a hurried bath and breakfast, we packed a few frugal sandwiches, water and a box of chocolates and set out at around 12.00 pm. Shivasamudra falls on the same route as Doddamakali. It is about 125 kms from Bangalore. There are two routes which can be taken; via Kanakapura Road or Mysore Highway and turn off after Maddur. I decided to take the Mysore Highway as I was more familiar with it. The drive out of Bangalore was peaceful with virtually no bottlenecks. After heading out, I handed over the wheel to Kunjai. Well, I thought I had road rage but I can't hold a candle to this dude. After half an hour of listening to his abuses/rants/curses, we set some ground rules. If we were to have a peaceful trip, no more abusing the million other drivers on the road. Just after we crossed Maddur, we had to take a turn-off to Shivanasamudra. After about two kilometers, the road quickly turned bad and we had to negotiate through lots of potholes for about 15kms. Thanks to the slow pace, we made an amazing discovery - there is a New York in Karnataka. It's not a hoax - please look at the photo. I don't know what the significance of this is, so if anyone out there does do let me know.

We reached Shivasamudra at around 3.00 pm. On reaching there, we realised that there are two falls - Gaganachukki and Barachukki (which is about 13 kms ahead). We turned off to Gaganachukki. The approach is through the residential section of the dam officers. It was quite neat and had a channel passing through. About a kilometre ahead, there is a huge ground for parking and the attendants diverted us there. The weather was pretty hot and humid. Kunjai was extremely disappointed to see the hordes of families who had the same bright idea as us. We tried to stray off the beaten path but were stopped short by some vendors. They informed us that it was not allowed and that we would be fined. After a short walk with the rest of the herd, we reached the vantage point from where we could see the falls about two hundred metres away. As described by my friend, it was very picturesque. The falls are quite big and majestic. On the other side near the point of origination, we could see a huge ground where people had parked their cars and were walking up to the falls. On asking a vendor he informed me that was not Barachukki and that we would have to go further ahead to reach there. We clicked a few pictures and decided to head to BaraChukki. There was a restaurant near the vantage point but we did not partake of the food On the way, we found a turn-off that looked interesting. We found that it was beside the canal mentioned earlier. We stopped a bit ahead and beat a path through the bush. It was a pretty spot with lots of greenery on both side and hawks circling overhead. After Kunjai dipped his hand in the water and made like he had dipped in the Ganges, we unpacked the sandwiches and sat around for about half hour. At around 4.15 we decided to avoid Barachukki and head back to Bangalore. Overall it was a good break from the city and perfect for a short drive. We should have got there a bit earlier as we could have done some walking around and also seen Barachukki. It is also advisable to carry a picnic hamper so you can find a nice spot and sit around. Overall rating on the Mathew Rate-O-Meter - 2.5 out of 5 stars.

On the way, we first stopped to take pictures of the 'New York' marker. Then we stopped at Mysore Mylai Hotel and had some decent South Indian food at a very decent fare. We reached Bangalore at around 8.00 pm, really surprised that there wasn't too much traffic. I wonder where the rest of the city went.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Now Playing - Spiderman Theme Song by Michael Buble

I was at a restaurant called Opus, celebrating my sisters birthday when I heard this song. I knew that I had to GET THIS SONG. It brought back so many memories and it had a jazz twist to it, WOW. The song is by Michael Buble and I think it is used in Spiderman 3 but I am not totally sure. I have added the lyrics below cause it may sound a bit corny but who among has radioactive blood eh? I have highlighted my favourite parts too.

Spider-Man, Spider-Man,
Does whatever a spider can
Spins a web, any size,
Catches thieves just like flies
Look Out!
Here comes the Spider-Man.

Is he strong?
Listen bud,
He's got radioactive blood.
Can he swing from a thread?
Take a look overhead

Hey, there
There goes the Spider-Man.

In the chill of night
At the scene of a crime
Like a streak of light
He arrives just in time.

Spider-Man, Spider-Man
Friendly neighborhood Spider-Man
Wealth and fame
He's ignored
Action is his reward

Look Out!
Here comes the Spider-Man.


In the chill of night
At the scene of a crime
Like a streak of light
He arrives just in time.

Spider-Man, Spider-Man
Friendly neighborhood Spider-Man
Wealth and fame
He's ignored
Action is his reward

To him, life is a great big bang up
Whenever there's a hang up
You'll find the Spider man.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Leatherheads - Movie Review

I was kinda looking forward to The Leatherheads as it has two of my favourite actors, George Clooney and Renee Zellweger. I saw it over the weekend and quite liked it. It was pleasant surprise to know that George Clooney has directed it as well.

The movie is set in 1925. It seems that at the time, American Football was not very big on the pro level. It was played till college level but athletes did not see much potential after that. The movie starts with the sad state of affairs that Duluth Bulldogs (the team Jimmy "Dodge" Connolly - George Clooney belongs to) and other pro football teams are in. They don't have funds for anything, be it their contracts, venues, even sports gear. George Clooney hits upon the idea of hiring a star college football player called Carter Rutherford played by John Krasinski. Carter is a decorated war hero with tons of charisma and plays well too. Through him, Dodge hopes to revive pro football and attract enough fans to bring in the moolah. Renée Zellweger plays Lexie Littleton, an ambitious journalist who is given the task of uncovering Carter's past and exposing him as a fraud. The movie is all about how each of them pursue their own agenda while trying to push the other person down.

Now, I really like sports movie cause it is a winning formula. The team which is in focus will at least come up to the finals and win or lose, hey our team put up a brave fight. What I particularly liked about the movie was the witty dialogues between Dodge and Lexie. The chemistry between the two is also particularly good. The story has a few twists and moves along pretty fast. It's not nail biting stuff but a nice relaxing watch. Overall rating on the Mathew Rate-O-Meter 3 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Recipe for Coconut Chutney - South Indian Style

Today, I made coconut chutney aka thenga chamandhi (as we call it in Kerala) for the 5th time. It was greatly appreciated by self and the others also said it was pretty good. So, I decided it is time to enlighten the world as to how to make good chutney. What I like about this recipe is it is so simple and yet gives one so much satisfaction.

As you must have figured out, coconut is the main ingredient. So, the ingredients are
Coconut - 1
Onion - 1 - finely chopped
Green Chillies - 3 - finely chopped
Mustard Seeds
Curry Leaves

The difficulty I face is in grating the coconut as I do not have a grater. However, I cut the meat out from the husk and mince it in the mixer. Be careful about the amount of onion you add, cause if too much onion is added, the chutney becomes pungent. Now remember that you need to add more chillies than you think necessary. So if you like it spicy, add more than three.

Put all three in the mixer, add some water and grind it to a fine paste. Unless you add some water, it will not become finely ground.

Put a deep bottomed pan on the flame and heat some oil. Fry mustard seeds till they burst. Reduce the flame to simmer and put the coconut mix in. Mildly crush the curry leaves and add this. Add some chilly powder if you want to make it more spicy. Add some water if you like it watery.

After all this, I do hope you know how to make idlies or dosas as this is the perfect accompaniment. Simple, ain't it!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Its kinda weird in Bangalore

I have been in Bangalore for just over a year and the last weekend was pretty weird. I had gone out with the office guys for lunch on Friday afternoon and that's when we heard that three bombs had gone off in the city. By the time we finished, the count was up till nine blasts. However, there was no sign of panic on the streets. You could sense a bit of uncertainty and the phone lines got jammed but things were still pretty cool.
Most of the office folks decided to go home by around 4 o'clock but I hung on till 7, waiting for things to subside a bit. The streets were pretty empty on the way home. I went over to a friend's place and was expecting cops to be checking everyone but there was no activity at all. I got up pretty late on Saturday and headed to office around lunch. While crossing the main shopping area (Brigade/MG Road/Commercial Street), I found it pretty full. I guess people were taking advantage of all the sales happening around. I was out there because of compulsion but what about these guys???
On Sunday, I went out for a bit and man were the roads empty. It started pouring too and I was happy. It meant that power cuts may be staved off a bit and that I had an excuse to sit at home. Anyway, we decided to go out for a movie to Inox at Garuda Mall. I guess I applied the same logic as others that - Nah the blasts can't happen again in such a short time. We must have reached Garuda at around 8.30 p.m. and the place was pretty empty. The theatre too was half empty and I guess only people who had done advance booking showed up. I felt a little foolish but hey I am happy to say that you can watch Made of Honor safely. It was quite entertaining and feel good types. Very predictable though. Overall rating on the Mathew Rate-O-Meter is 2.5 out of 5 stars.
As of today, life seems to be back at normal. What I can't get is that it rained and I avoided it. There were sales which I didn't check out. The bombs went off and luckily me and the people I know were not affected. The weekend went off in a blink, just like any other. Did I miss something? Was there something between the lines? Weird huh....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Batman - The Dark Knight

I saw The Dark Knight over the weekend. All the reviews that say it is a 'must watch' are absolutely true.

The story is pretty fast-paced and gripping. Heath Ledger as Joker is truly amazing. Unlike Jack Nicholson's Joker who was like a caricature, this guy truly sends chills down your spine. There is also a lot of balance between all the main characters, each having a significant part to play. Joker has a lot of tricks up his sleeve which keeps you guessing. It also means that Batman has to come with a lot of stunts to counter them. Good stuff too. I guess the only thing missing is a bit of romance.
I don't want to say much more except that the Overall rating on the Mathew Rate-O-Meter 4 out of 5 stars. So just go for it asap and have a great time.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Get Ready to Run (the) Kaveri Trail and Bangalore Ultra Marathon

This post is primarily to give you a heads-up on the marathons that are coming up in Bangalore over the next couple of months.

Btw, I surfed this really cool site called It is powered by Google Maps. It gives you details of all the marathons being held in a particular place during a particular period. Course, if you have OCD, you can find all the marathons being held across the world.

Kaveri Trail Marathon – Like the name suggests, it is a run on the banks of the River Kaveri. This year, it is being held on Oct 19th. The location should be near Mysore. Ok Sarge, I confess… there seems to be no more info on the run on the net. However, there is a foundation called Asha that primarily works to support the education of underprivileged children in India. Asha provides training in collaboration with Runners for Life so that they can do fundraising. Asha Bangalore is organizing its second marathon-training program for the coming races, Kaveri Trail and the Ultra. The session is being held on Saturday, July 28 at 4 PM at 19th Floor, 'Target', Public Utility Bldg, MG Road, Bangalore.

Bangalore Ultra Marathon – Imagine running 78 kms. I can’t imagine it, unless it is spread over couple of weeks. Anyway, there are three categories in this race – 78 kms, 52 kms and 26 kms. The Kaveri Trail Marathon can be used as a training race for the Ultra. Bangalore Ultra will be held on 16 November, 2008; registrations open on August 15th.

Personally, I plan to start training for the Kaveri Marathon in the latter half of August. That should give me two months time. In the meantime, I guess it’s the usual cardio and leg muscles strengthening at the gym. Will keep posting as I receive any updates.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Movie Review – Jumper and Untraceable

Last weekend, I took the DVDs of Jumper and Untraceable. Both were recommended by the owner of the DVD store and I trust him to a certain point. I am happy to tell you that yes both can be watched and enjoyed.

I asked for a good action movie and I got Jumper. The main characters, other than Samuel L Jackson are not your typical action heroes - Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson. Diane Lane is in it too but has a very small role. The story is basically about Jumpers and Paladins. Jumpers (read good guys) can teleport around the world in a flash and Paladins aka bad dudes are out to kill ‘em. This is not a new thing, but has been happening from time immemorial. The plot starts moving fast from the beginning and keeps the pace throughout. The highlights are decent twists in the plot, good action scenes and some shots of world-famous monuments like Big Ben, The Sphinx etc. The ending is apt but kinda abrupt, setting the stage for a sequel. I don’t think I will be going for that though. The movie will keep you hooked but if someone pauses it to use the loo, you won’t be yelling for them to haul ass back ASAP.
Overall rating on the Mathew Rate-O-Meter 2.75 out of 5 stars.

Untraceable was the other movie I picked up and surprise surprise, it too has Diane Lane in it. What are the odds on that?? Here she is one of the main characters though. The other actors are Billy Burke and Colin Hanks (don’t scratch your head, click on the hyperlink to figure out who these gentlemen are, please). The plot is set around a serial killer who captures victims, sets up elaborate devices to kill them and broadcasts the whole show on the net via video and chat. The devices are set in such a way that more people log on to the site to watch the faster the person dies. At first, the victims seem to be picked up without motivation but later it gets more personal. The plot moves from one killing to another without time for anybody to even get a clue on why this is happening. Very gripping and not too gory with a final twist in the plot, it is a good watch that will keep you guessing.
Overall rating on the Mathew Rate-O-Meter 3.25 out of 5 stars.

Friday, July 4, 2008

5 Ways To Keep You Going Back To Your Gym

If you are expecting miracle cures for your laziness, stop right here. As you can see from the title, this is not about what you need to do in the gym but how to get yourself there. I discovered a few things that worked for me and I have been going to the gym from Oct 2006. I know so many people who have enrolled in a gym since that period and fallen by the wayside. Try these tips and I'm pretty sure it will help.

Join a well-known gym - The most important thing about the gym is the professionalism and attitude of the trainers. If they are sloppy and tend to hang around in a group, ignoring the customers, leave immediately. The first three months are the most painful so you need to be sure that once you are there you are getting enough care and attention. When I joined Talwalkars in Bombay, I noticed the difference from my earlier gym on the first day. They took me through the fitness tests, showed me how each machine worked and were rarely distracted. When I moved to Chennai and was on the lookout for a gym, I walked into FitnessOne and noticed the same attitude among the trainers. I signed up immediately and never regretted it.

Make friends - Be friendly to as many of your fellow sufferers as possible. This creates a kind of clubby atmosphere and you will always be warmly welcomed when you enter the gym. Also, chances are that your wife/parents/friends will get really tired of your gym stories. I mean who wants to know that you bench-pressed 10 kgs more today or did 25 sit-ups more. That's when your gym buddies will come in handy, with admiring expressions and inspirational stories (where they would be the central character). Do not ask your friends to join you as they will stop going and will drag you down too.

Be a big-time narcissist - Who knows every inch of your body best? You, that's who (unless you are really really lucky). Now any bit of workout will improve your body. Strangely the people around you will never admit that there is an improvement (trust me they are wrong). This is kind of ego-bruising so take your clothes off and spend a lot of time in front of the mirror admiring your parts which are looking more toned or less flabby. DO NOT TRY THIS IN PUBLIC.

Celebrity Spotting - This kinda links to the first point. If you are in a good gym, rest assured you will spot some celebrity or page 3 persona. This makes you happy and keeps you going (no logic to it). You can also casually mention it during a conversation and then sit back and watch the fun.

Go regularly - This is like the old joke about Moses. He comes down from Mt Sinai and says "Folks the good news is there are only 10 commandments. The bad news is Adultery is still in the list." This point is the one that makes the others work. Go as regularly as you can. Take an Ipod with your fav music, accessorise yourself with cool stuff, hang out at the juice bar - whatever it takes to make a pleasant experience but JUST GO. The results will make you wanna go more and believe me it's worth it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Review of A Prisoner of Birth By Jeffrey Archer

I am a big fan of Jeffrey Archer. Of all his books, Kane and Abel was mind blowing. I still remember being inspired by the intelligence and street-smarts of the two characters. I wanted to be that when I grew up - a corporate hot-shot. Even his short story collection has been pretty amazing.

His new book - A Prisoner of Birth was especially enticing to read as my friend told me that it has elements of another favourite book of mine - The Count of Monte Cristo. Imagine the remix - Jeff taking off on the Count.

The book starts off very well with a crime and a subsequent trial scene that is fast paced and keeps you guessing. The characters are many but well established and their true nature comes up clearly against this background. You sympathise with the hero (Danny Cartwright) and his wife and clearly begin to dislike the villains.

It is after this that the turn of events become a bit unreal. The plot slows down and doesn't pick up too much. There are some events which conveniently happen and are not quite believable. It is here that The Count of Monte Cristo scores over A Prisoner of Birth by keeping the events simple but fast-paced. Also, The Count (Edmond Dantes) is a swash-buckling yet suave figure, completely transformed from what he was earlier. Danny Cartwright seems to have retained elements of his old self that keep him from becoming an avenging angel. Of course, the former has stuff like hidden treasures and duels with swords. That is the stuff that really sells right!!

On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being highest), I would rate it at 3.5. Overall, an entertaining read and worth the money. It is fun to delve into the characters and trying to figure how each of the villains is going to get his due. So grab your copy and settle down to a cozy read. Have fun.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A Drive To Remember

5.39 a.m.
He rang the bell just before 5.40 a.m. As usual, she was not ready. He thought "Why are women always late? Even if they are almost on time, they manage to do something that would make them at least one minute late."

He said "Can we go? I'll take your bag."
She said " Sure. You step out and I'll lock up."

They took the lift down is silence. It was too early for even light chitchat. She was leaving for Chennai and he was to drop her at Bangalore Cantonment station. The arrival time of the train was 6.08 am and he was sure they would make it with barely three minutes to spare. She was pretty cool though and only looking forward to her trip outta town.

5.45 a.m.
He put on a CD of Tamil songs and she asked him to turn the volume down. They belted up and he took off, pretty fast, as the minor tremors in his stomach weren't letting him relax.

She said "Oh babes, I forgot to take my headphones (for the mobile). How will I listen to music? Shit, it's going to be boring.
He said "Take my iPod".
She said "No point. I won't be able to charge it."
He said "Then take my headphones. I'll go later to your place and pick up yours to use."
She said "Yeah, anyway you have to water the plants"

5.52 a.m.
She smiled as she saw him make a face. Suddenly, her smile froze as she realised she couldn't find her phone in the bag.

She said "Oh hell, I left my phone behind".
He hit the brakes immediately and said "Do you need it? I'll pick it up and keep taking messages."
She said "That won't work. How will I co-ordinate with the cabbie? And Priya and Prachi will find it difficult to hook up."
He was prepared to argue but then realised she was right. He turned the car around and said "You are an idiot. How can you leave your phone behind?"
He thought she would say something but she was quiet and he regretted his words, knowing she was feeling tense and bad and irritated at the same time. He cursed himself thinking when would he ever learn?

5.55 a.m.
He parked the car outside her building and yelled as he jumped out "Turn the car around".
He literally ran inside, ignoring the security guards who must have been thinking he was crazy.
He took the lift up and rushed into her flat. He found her mobile on her bed and paused for a second wondering if he had the time to use the loo.
He thought "Ah chuck it, it will take 30 seconds, might as well get it over with."

As he was locking the door on his way out, he realised the lift was called to another floor.
"Oh hell, five flights down, what a pain!!!" He rushed down and jumped in the car, handing over the mobile.
She said "Didn't you get the charger?"
He said "Nope, forgot" not wanting to tell her he was busy taking a piss

6.00 a.m.
No talking, only intensive driving and occasional cursing of the condition of the road, the government for not repairing it and other drivers driving peacefully

6.04 a.m.
She sighed "Well it doesn't look like we are about to make it".
He said with a tight smile "After all my 'Gone in 60 seconds driving'? I shouldn't have stopped to use the loo yaar".
She said "Aha, that's why you took so long"
He said "Pleeeaase. I was really fast. Going up and down I mean, not the loo".

6.08 a.m.
He was pretty sure that when they took the turn to the station, they would see the train pulling out. He sighed thinking it would be a pain to make alternate arrangements.

As they turned, she cried out excitedly "Look, I think it's just pulling in."
He quickly turned in to the parking lot and squinted his eyes at the train reading out "Baan...galore Chen..nai. Wow. Lets go,baby".

They jumped out and grabbed the bags and ran. He debated whether he should stop for a platform ticket but then decided the fine of Rs 100 was worth it if she made the train. As they stepped in, they realised her coach was just off the entrance. She climbed in and walked off inside with the luggage.
He stood outside catching his breath thinking it was a bloody pain to rush like this so early in the morning. Just then he looked up and she was back standing at the door, mouthing the words 'my hero' teasingly. She then smiled, breathtakingly and he thought "Well, it was definitely worth the ride".

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Your chance to contribute and make a difference

If you read my earlier blog about running the Sunfeast Marathon, you will see that it was something which I always wanted to do. Luckily, I got a chance to do it and had an awesome time doing it. When I completed, I was on a high. Social work, NGOish stuff is something that all of us would have wanted to do at sometime. Now my sister Sudha is giving me and all of us a chance to do something that will make a difference.

She is doing a project as part of her advanced course at Landmark Education. My friends and colleagues have heard me talk about the work Landmark does and that I recommend it highly. However, this is not about Landmark but about the project she is doing which is with Akshara Foundation.

By it's own definition, Akshara Foundation "is a Bangalore-based Public Charitable Trust with the mission to ensure that every child is in school and learning well". It was established in 2000. It has illustrious members on the Board who have provided valuable insight and direction and already made a mark with the work they are doing. What I like about the programmes they run is that it is very practical or to quote "designed to be low cost, scalable, replicable and sustainable" Also, somewhere some kid will get a chance at a better life because he or she could get a better education.

The project Sudha is doing comes under "Library Programme". Akshara Foundation has a network of libraries in schools and communities. What they plan to achieve with the libraries is inculcate a reading habit among children. This means that the learning and language skills learnt by them do not fade away but is enhanced every time they visit the library. An important point here is that an Akshara-appointed librarian is always available on site for children. All the librarians have recently been trained to conduct language-based exercises and puzzles to expand children’s vocabulary.

Coming to our part in this, Sudha intends to do a book collection drive with the aim of collecting 200 children's books by June 20th. You are welcome to donate children's books in English, Hindi, Kannada, Urdu, Telugu or Tamil. These will be given to Akshara who will place them in various school libraries under their scheme. The action plan is
- once you collect the books for donation, mail her at or me at and we will make arrangements to pick it up
- forward this link to all the people you can think of who want to and will help
- follow up with them and urge them to contribute to a good cause

Libraries are not only about books. They are hubs of learning. The Library Programme is going to be expanded in a major way in the academic year, 2007-2008. Akshara Foundation will partner with the Government of Karnataka to establish 400 libraries in government primary schools in Bangalore where every child from the 2nd to the 7th standard will participate. These libraries will serve the learning needs of all the 1410 government primary schools in Bangalore Urban District. Akshara plans to make each of its 400 libraries a complete world of learning with books, computers, CDs, games and innovative activities.

It needn't stop here for you. Akshara has donor programmes where you can monetarily sponsor a pre-school or a library. They also have a volunteer program which will give you a hands-on experience with the work they do. For more details do check out their website at It is a real eye-opener.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Run Maadi in the Sunfeast Marathon

Ever since I took part in the Mumbai Marathon in 2006 and failed to complete it, I have been waiting to take part in another marathon and complete the experience. The Sunfeast Marathon which is going to be held in Bangalore this May 18th will give me just the chance and I am so looking forward to it (my body is up in arms and would write something different, given a chance)

To me, the word marathon means something which is going to involve a lot of effort, oohs and aahs and a pain in the butt. The dictionary however defines it as
1. a foot race over a course measuring 26 miles, 385 yd = 42 km, 195 m
2. any long-distance race
3. any contest, event, or the like, of great, or greater than normal, length or duration or requiring exceptional endurance

The Sunfeast World 10K Marathon is being held on May 18th 2008 at Bangalore. It is not a marathon in the true sense as the longest distance is 10 kms. The good part is that only international and national elite athletes can take part in this category so I can always pretend that - 'I wanted to do the 10k run yaar but they wouldn't let me'. For atheletes (ahem) like me, there is a another category called Majja Run which is a distance of 5.7 kms. Couple of things struck me as comical - do the organisers really think we are going to have a lot of majja (fun) while running this distance? Also, the qualifying criteria is 12 years. Man, it is going to be pissing off if a bunch of kids run past me waving and shouting 'Uncle, Uncle'. There is also a Sr. Citizens’ Run and Wheelchair Event. Overall, I am getting good vibes about it as they have a pretty decent website - They have online registration and once I registered they have sent me a couple of mails updating me on the event.

The Mumbai Marathon had an awesome turnout. One of the main attractions was and continues to be the celebrities who come to support the event. Also, the sheer number of people makes you feel great, like you are one big city and all about to do something. There are people stretching, chatting, nervously wondering if they are gonna complete the race, giving each other fundas of what to do and what not to do. I was alone and hence spent my time people watching. The race kicked off and immediately my shoes began giving me problems. The laces kept getting unknotted and I had to constantly stop to tie them up. After about 2 kms, my legs started paining unbearably and I stopped running. After walking about two minutes, I cam upon a pocket of residents cheering on the sidelines. I felt so ashamed that these people were out there cheering each and everybody on and I WAS WALKING!! I started running again but my legs gave out. So after that, whenever I came to a pocket of supporters, I would start running. I saw the same spirit of Bombay folks when the big rains happened in Jul 06. The city people were out there providing food and help, sometimes standing waist high in water. What a city, man!!!

Coming back to the Sunfeast Marathon, the Majja run category starts at 9.45 a.m. The weather has been pretty hot over the past two weeks and that will make it tougher to run. The good thing is part of it will be through Cubbon Park. Most of the info is available on the site but there are a couple of cool things such as
Timing Chip - This is a high-tech internationally recognized timing device. It is a miniature transponder in a specially designed housing. It comes with a refundable deposit of Rs 500 on return. Alas, the Majja Rum guys cannot avail of this - these guys stand around and take your photo while running. Later, you can click on the event you raced in and enter your race number. Any photos identified with your race number will be displayed. Woo-hoo.
Best Costume Award - It is being given by Kingfisher. The best individual costume gets Rs 30000 and the best group gets Rs 75000.
For some interesting trivia, please check out Be warned, some of the trivia might put you off from ever taking part or at the least, agree that my definition is more apt.

So, I have started training. I have gone 5 times and have done the Majja run distance once. I feel I will complete it this time except for an Act of God. The downside is people have started telling me that I am looking thinner than ever. Jealousy rears its ugly head heh. Who da chicks gonna be looking at eh? Also, Gatorade has run out of stock in my part of town. I think someone is plotting against me. So if you can grab a case and you are in Bangalore, do come and be a part of this. It will be fun, for sure.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Doddamakali - On the banks of River Cauvery

I went to a place called Doddamakali over the weekend. Ever heard of it before this? Nyet, nada, zip, zero. I never knew it existed till I walked into the office of Jungle Lodges & Resorts and I was forced to do the booking in a matter of minutes. Till then, I had only heard of the Bheemeshwari Fishing Camp and was told that two more existed very close to it. Since I have mentioned quick reasoning and decisioning abilities on my resume, I went ahead and booked it and I turned out to be a very good decision (like I can ever go wrong, come on, I mean PLEASE). After I booked it and went on to the net to look up some reviews, I didn't find any well-written reviews. I was pretty apprehensive till I got there so all those fears have inspired me to write this article. So here I am, lighting the lamp for the rest of the world.

Doddamakali is about 130 kms from Bangalore. The car we took was a Maruti Alto and I was pretty worried as I was told that the last 8-10 kms was rough and that I would need to drive very slowly. Also a couple of articles on the net had mentioned that a 4WD was required and that cars could get scratched or damaged. We left at about 8.45 am on Saturday. The route we took was through Maddur on Mysore Road, which is about 80 kms from Bangalore. As usual, the perennial jams took their toll on our tempers and the State Transport buses made it even worse. On nearing Maddur, there was a board displaying 'Maddur Town'. On asking, some friendly locals told us to go 2 kms ahead and then take a left to Malavalli. From then on, there were yellow signboards placed by Karnataka Tourism, which indicated a couple of tourist spots including Doddamakali. The road was a bit bumpy in stretches and we had to slow down to between 20 – 40 kms per hour. I almost ran over a big rat snake and spent a few minutes working out if it could have actually executed a super jump onto the car, till good sense prevailed. It was also one of the three sightings of wildlife we had, the other two being a wild hen and a lone deer. After about 30 kms, there was a board indicating left to Doddamakali and a huge arc displaying ‘Welcome to Shimsa Hydro Electric Project’. From here on, it was a decently tarred road for about 10 kms after which we came to a dead end and a signboard indicating right to Doddamakali. The dirt road began here and continued till the camp, for about 8 – 10 kms. It was downhill all the way, gradually getting steeper and we didn’t need to slow down too much till we came really close to the camp. Here, it started getting pretty steep and very very stony and it was first gear all the way. There are about 10 hairpin bends that we had to negotiate and finally the camp was in sight. The Alto was perfectly capable of handling the road, so unless you are planning to go during the rainy season, please don’t get your Mahindra 4WD out from the estate. The time we reached was just after 12.00 o’clock, a journey time of 3 and half hours. The camp is right on the banks of the river and the first look told me that I had made a good decision, as the place was very picturesque. The river looked very green and peaceful with short sandy banks flanking it on either side. On the other side, there were towering green hills against a backdrop of clear blue skies. The river stretched on, dotted with rocks and ripples.

The staff took our booking slip and guided us to the tents. In all, there are 8 tents, each of which faces the river. It is placed on a wide concrete platform. There is asbestos roofing, which keeps it protected and a toilet cum bathroom at the back. The toilet is clean and functional. It has a shower as well but no hot water facility. The tent has a double bed and a cot. There is a fan and a small electric lamp, powered by the camp generator. Overall, it was very clean.

As we had reached in the afternoon, it was pretty hot in the tent and we headed out for lunch. The food was served buffet style and was decent. Nothing fancy but quite tasty especially the chicken curry. After eating, we headed back to the tent and sat outside on the chairs provided, chatting and reading. A word of caution, please ensure that the doors are kept closed at all times to ensure that spiders and other insects do not get in. We headed back to the dining area for tea and biscuits at around 4 o’clock. After tea, we were urged to get on to the coracle boats. The boats are small and round and look very flimsy. Once you get in, you realize that with all the bodies piled in, the edge of the boat is almost on level with river, which is not reassuring. However, the river was very calm and the boatman very . He took us a kilometer downstream and bought us back. Overall, it was not exciting but something you must do at-least once so you can tell all – ‘Yeah yeah I have done coracle riding’.

Once we got back, there was a group of Wiproites playing volleyball and I joined them. I was glad to know that the old skills were there and we had two good games. By then, it was sundown and I quickly took a shower with what remaining light was there. Again, we sat outside our tent and opened a bottle of wine (no alcohol is served there and you have to carry your own). It became pitch dark and the mosquitoes really started to get bothersome. I had to light up a coil to get rid of them so people, please carry a torch and mosquito repellant to brave the wilds. At around 8 o’clock, the bonfire was lit and we took our place there with a plate of barbequed chicken and onion pakoras. It was very tasty and we stuffed ourselves, which was a good thing as the dinner that followed was just a variation of lunch. After dinner, we went to sleep by about 10.30 pm as there were none of the usual distractions. Thankfully, the generator was on throughout and it was pretty cool. We didn’t sleep too well though, either due to the unusual surroundings or the bites and itches. We were woken up at 6 o’clock in the morning, as we had asked to be a part of the morning trek. After freshening up and a cup of coffee, we headed out just after 7 o’clock. We began a climb of the hills behind the camp, which was pretty steep and took our breath away. I have a suspicion that the camp guys have designed the trek with the toughest part first so that the weakling drop away and don’t hold up the rest. After all, in the jungle, it is survival of the fittest, baby. The trek was essentially over the hill that doubled back to the river and provided some lovely patches of trees as well as great views of the river. We didn’t spot any wildlife though. On reaching the river, we took a break for about 15 minutes and then headed back. On the way back, we crossed a spot where rapids were formed but couldn’t get a close look as we were a bit far and there was tree cover. It took us a total of 90 minutes to get back and boy, was I hungry.

Breakfast was pretty good with a spread of idli, vada, poha, toast and eggs. After we ate our fill, we headed back to the tent and rested a bit. Checkout was scheduled at 11 but we left a bit earlier to beat the traffic back.

We passed a few cars on our way back. As Jungle Lodges also offers day packages, I am not sure if these guys were staying over. I think it would be rather tiring for a day-trip as driving back and forth and negotiating traffic would be pretty straining. However, it is a perfect one-day trip and the place really soothes you. The staff is polite and non-interfering. Nobody was fishing so I can’t really comment on that. I guess Nov and Dec would be a great time to go there, as the weather will be very cool. Of course, August to Feb is season time for fishing.

So if you need a weekend break,
Doddamakali is the route to take,
Make a lot of merry
And swalpa enjoy maadi

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Rain Rain - Go Away or Come Again?

What does the rain mean to you? I am instantly reminded of the song 'Raindrops keep falling on my head'. The problem is I don't know the reminder of the lyrics so I have to go na na na na and everyone else gets irritated. Anyway, I like the rain. Not in a 'its good for the earth and the farmers' way but because of the memories associated with it.

One of the best memories I have is of my college campus in the rains. The campus was huge and had abundant greenery. All the roads had huge trees on either side of the road forming a leafy rooftop. When it would rain, the whole place would smell so earthy and rich and it was like the entire campus was cleaned up after the rain paused. Of course, we would be cribbing as we were stuck indoors. That's when Table Tennis matches really became fun as it was the only sport indulged in (gym was an absolute no-no). Also, everyone would linger over tea and snacks yarning away time. At least once during the season, somebody would suggest a campus walk. That meant we would don shorts, t-shirt and rubber slippers and head out to get drenched for two-three hours. It was really refreshing and if we were lucky, we would spot something exciting like a snake or an 'udumbu' (monitor lizard, I think).

All my experiences with rain haven't been very soothing. Worst one - Bombay on 26 July 2005. Man, it was crazy. I was out for nearly eight hours. I left office around 3 o clock with two colleagues. One of them was a girl who stayed close by and we decide to drop her first (who says chivalry is dead?) That took us a good two hours wading through nearly chest high water some of the time. If you know Bombay, you don't want to guess the stuff that must have got mixed up with the water. After reaching her place, she asked us to stay over but we decided to go home. So she fed us and sent us on our way. I have never seen so many people on the streets when it rained. Everyone was walking home with typical Bombay attitude. At times, the force of the water was so strong that we had to hold hands to avoid been swept off. Finally, we reached near my colleague's house and he asked me to stay over. I decided to head home but a little way down and I gave up due to sheer physical exhaustion and went back to his place. There was no water to bathe so I just towelled off, got into some clean clothes and crashed out. Phone lines were down and so I had no idea where my friends and colleagues were or how they were faring. My poor parents were worried sick. I could only give them a message the next night when utility services came back in our part of town. Though I am not in Bombay anymore, whenever it rains there I still shiver. The city bounced back in no time though, within a few days. Go figure.

I think every city has it's own quirks once the rains starts. Goa shuts down completely. The locals are literally hibernating or running on extreme power-down mode. Bombay is messy and bad-tempered. Traffic jams up and trains are a nightmare, where you have to contend with people wearing wet clothes or hauling dripping umbrellas. Everyone is especially intent on reaching home and you better not be in the way. Chennai gets flooded at the drop of a hat. It may rain for half a day but the puddle outside your house will be there for three weeks minimum. The humidity hits the roof and if you are thinking of putting the A/C on to control it, you better have backup because the lines have been knocked down. Bangalore rains are short-lived and fairly peaceful. Unless of course, you are stuck in traffic. You can leave your car, hop into the nearest restaurant, have a bisi beli bath and chai and come back cause you ain't going nowhere, sonny.

So next time its going to rain, try and get home asap. I am sure you noticed how food tastes better when it rains. A cup of coffee, some fried food, a good book and the rains. That is coziness, baby. Another plan is to get together with a few friends, bring out cards or scrabble or whatever and have a great time. There is another plan which I can think about but not mention here as. Whatever it is, enjoy it. Not because 'rain gives life to everything on this planet' but 'since you can't control it might as well enjoy it'.

Now that it's raining more than ever,

Know that we still have each other,

You can stand under my Umbrella,

You can stand under my Umbrella,

(Ella ella eh eh eh)
- Rihanna (Umbrella)