Sunday, 21 December 2008

Destination Chettinad

Anjappar may hit the nail on the basics, but its dishes don’t translate the same flavour, discovers Sneha May Francis

This weekend I decided to take a gourmet journey to the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Chettinad cuisine is the more established fiery flavour of Tamil Nadu. And Anjappar is just an extension of the renowned cuisine, it’s celebrated for its pungent fiery dishes. And at some point in our lives we've all gorged on Anjappar delicacies at its various outlets across India. But for Dubai, this was our first pit-stop.

Anjappar is modestly decorated, minus any luxurious trimmings. This place is only about food and nothing else. So don't walk in expecting a five-star experience. Each of the two floors is packed with tables and there’s a tiny pin-up board, next to the cashier, which features print-outs of the day's specialties.

Though we walked in late on a Friday afternoon, we almost immediately found ourselves a table. But we had to wait a few minutes before the waiters cleared the previous customers’ leftovers! Once seated the waiter was quick to help us with the orders, always prompting us to choose one dish over another. We decided to let him do the honours.

Within minutes, our table was fast filling up with different shaped silver plates, each with an aromatic preparation.

We treated our hungry tummys to crispy Anjappar Fried Chicken, reddish succulent chunks of Chicken 65 and spiced Chettinad Prawn. Each starter brought forward a distinctly different gourmet story, each as enjoyable and delicious as the other. Each dish was presented with a lump of shredded onions, carrots and a lemon chunk. Give a lavish squeeze of lemon on the dishes to give it a twang.

For the main course, the Non-Veg Thali was the most striking to the eye! Round-shaped tiny steel dishes were placed on a thin sheet of banana leaf along a large circular plate. Each dish was filled with an assortment of flavours – Sambhar, Chicken Chettinad, Mutton gravy, Fish gravy, Kootu, Porial, Rasam, Curd and payasaam. A ghee-laden Chapathi and a crispy Appalam was placed in the centre. The Thali etiquettes require you to finish the chappathi before asking the waiter to serve you rice. Being a South Indian and an ardent fan of all kinds of Sambhar, I found the Anjappar version a tad too insipid. That's what I think went wrong. The Sambhar is the unseen flavour that binds all the other dishes, and once this fails, all else falls short. The only saving grace in this kaleidoscope of flavours was the spiced Chicken Chettinad.

The biryanis, both egg and mutton, are nothing spectacular. Their zest doesn't stir anything in their f(l)avour. The biryanis in Anjappar's Indian outlets are far, far superior to its Dubai version. Even the parotas failed to impress and the reddish King Fish Fry was nothing to write home about.

However, the Karaikudi Mutton, the day's special dish, ignited our tastebuds. Named after the capital city of the Chettinad region, this dish did essay the true essence of the cuisine. The riot of spices enveloped the mutton chunks, adding a fiery zing to the dish. Even the spicy Nattukoli Kulambu, named in true Chettinad lingo, was impressive.

The sweet dish (payasaam) served with the Thali was nothing exciting, so we decided to satisfy our sweettooth with scoops of plain chocolate and vanilla ice-cream.

Even though the restaurant follows closely on the Chettinad tradition, with the menu sporting a number of authentic dishes named in the original lingo and serving only a mix of meat and seafood eaten by the Chettiars (the trading community of the region), the food falls short of the original twang. So if you are looking for authentic Chettinad fare, I suggest you give this one a miss!

Bill for 4:
Mutton Biryani Dh18
Egg Biryani Dh13
Kerala Parota (2) Dh5
Non-veg Thali Dh17
Nattukoli Kulambu Dh20
Chettinad Prawn Dh25
Karaikudi Mutton (Special) Dh23
Chicken 65 Dh15
Anjappar Fried Chicken Dh19
King Fish Fry Dh17
Lime soda (4) Dh20
Vanilla ice-cream Dh6
Chocolate ice-cream Dh6
Total: Dh204

Anjappar 043356116

Published in e+, Gulf News (issue dec25-31,2008)

Monday, 15 December 2008

A Cheese-y Heaven

Carino's transports you to a world trimmed with the finest Italian cuisine, discovers Sneha May Francis

What better way to kick off your weekend than with a delectable bowl of creamy pasta. It’s definitely not a healthy option. So we decided to give our diets a pause and indulged ourselves in a cheesy heaven.

As it’s nestled in a paradise for shopaholics, finding Carino's Italian Grill may need some walking around. Once inside, it instantly takes you to a land of herbs and spices. The interiors are an eclectic rush of colours. The walls are shaded with framed black and white photographs, and coloured ceramic pots deck the half walls.

The cool winter weather prompted us to chose the sunny outdoors with the simple décor to the cozy colourful interiors. Our friendly waiter guided us through the menu, emphasising the favourites. And while our order was being prepared, we bit into the soft Italian herbed bread after giving it a lavish dip in olive oil.

For starters, we decided on the Sicilian Fire Sticks. These are, by far, the most unusual looking starters I've ever had. The pinkish cylindrical cones were artistically placed in an inverted cone-shaped dish. Each bite into the crispy crunchy tortilla wraps burst into a cheesy blend of beef sausage, grilled chicken, bacon, tomatoes and jalapenos. I suggest you give up on your table manners and give the fork and knife a skip. Give it a lavish dip in the spicy marinara or cool ranch sauce before taking a huge bite.

For the main course, we picked the tried and tested Homemade Baked Lasagna. It melted in our mouths, teasing our tastebuds with the right blend of cheese and minced beef in a scrumptious meaty sauce. And for those with spicy cravings, a dash of tabasco sauce would do wonders. The Spicy Shrimp and Chicken was a creamy mix of flavours. The cayenne pepper and romano cream sauce with chunks of sun-dried tomatoes perfectly complemented the succulent tiger prawns and slices of grilled chicken. Another favourite was the Chicken Milano. The tender chicken breast was sautéed to perfection, baked with layers of cheese, ham and sprinkled with fresh basil. The creamy fettuccine alfredo was the perfect accompaniment.

The only disappointment was the Grilled New York Strip, which is "new" on the menu. Even though the waiter recommended the Tuscan Ribeye, we decided to go with our choice of steak. The meat was insipid, the bunch of sautéed green beans and crunchy red bell peppers didn't do much for the dish. Among the drinks, the Sicilian Sea Breeze (a tangy cranberry mocktail) was refreshing, while the Catalina Sunrise (a melon, orange and mango juice concotion) was syrupy sweet.

At the end of our meal, a dish of tiramisu was tempting, but our meal left us wanting for more tummy space! The helpings were lavish and was a struggle for poor eaters like me. So if you have a tiny appetite, I suggest you share a dish with your pal.

All in all, it was a perfect beginning to our lazy weekend. So the next time you head to the festival city, make sure you keep some free tummy space for Carino's!

Bill for 4:
Sicilian Fire Sticks Dh45
Homemade Baked Lasagna Dh48
Grilled New York Strip Dh66
Spicy Shrimp & Chicken Dh49
Chicken Milano Dh48
Sicillian Sea Breeze Dh18
Catalina Sunrise Dh18
Coca Cola (2) Dh16
Total: Dh308
Carino's, Dubai Festival City042325744

Published in e+, Gulf News (December18-25,2008)

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Bangalore to Dubai

Sneha May Francis takes a nostalgic journey to find out if the restaurant retains its Bangalore flavour

No trip to the Indian city of Bangalore is complete without a night stop at the bustling Empire restaurant. Its legendary butter chicken and ghee rice have fed many a party-goer and left its mark on the Lonely Planet pages. And hoping to recreate the same magic, the hotel group has opened its first branch in Al Qusais. Being a true Bangalorean, I decided to do the litmus test along with three other true-blue Bangaloreans.

As we walked into the Bangalore Empire restaurant, we were greeted with the familiar hustle-bustle. Not a single table was vacant, each filled with people of different nationalities. So we waited a few minutes before being taken to our table. The waiter handed out the menu and we immediately scanned it for our favourites and weren’t disappointed.We decided to kick-start our nostalgic journey with the famous chicken kebabs and Tandoori chicken. The crunchy reddish chicken kebabs and tandoori chicken were as delicious as we remembered them. A bite into the succulent, spicy pieces of chicken left us craving for more. The meat was presented on a modest white plate with a pile of threaded onions, topped with a large lemon slice and a dollop of ginger pickle.

For the main course, we ordered the customary ghee rice and butter chicken. The mildly flavoured spiced rice, cooked with just the right amount of ghee, complemented the tender chunks of meat cooked in a rich buttery tomato gravy. The restaurant promised more than the usual. The Chicken Tikka Masala, succulent pieces of chicken cubes cooked to perfection with a host of spices in a tomato base, tingled our tastebuds. The Mutton Varaval was another discovery, each bite of the juicy mutton pieces left a burst of coconut-infused flavours that lingered in our mouths. However, the Prawns Dry didn’t quite live up to our expectations. The sweet meat was overcooked and the flavours didn’t blend. For the vegetarians, Paneer Butter Masala (chunks of cottage cheese cooked in a thick, organish sweet gravy) is a winner.

We ordered biryani rice (lightly flavoured basmati rice), Tandoori Roti (soft bread cooked in the tandoor oven) as accompaniments. The Kerala Parota (round, flaky south Indian bread) was a tad disappointing. The Chinese dishes also needed some improvement. The Chicken Fried Rice was oily with haphazardly chopped vegetables tossed with insipid chicken chunks.

The Idiyappam Chicken set meal was a stunner. The soft laced appams (a South Indian delicacy) were cooked to perfection and complemented the coconuty Chicken Stew and spicy Chicken curry.

We ended our meal with a chocolate fantasy ice-cream. The strawberry syrup smeared chocolate-vanilla ice-cream combo was plain and no competition for other sundaes, reminding us that this is just a fast-food eatery, not an ice-cream parlour.

And if you are one of those who’d like to try out different dishes without having to order the entire menu, try out the set meals, which are on offer during lunch. The restaurant has a wide range of value meals with a host of dishes that are easy on your wallet.

Talking about the pocket, this is a value-for-money restaurant. Unless you order the entire menu, you can’t possibly go over Dh50 per person.

And this is no luxury restaurant, so don’t expect royal service. This is a humble place where good food takes prominence over all else, be it décor or food presentation. And for us Bangaloreans, the journey was worth it. It was just like we remembered, taking us back in time, feeding our hungry stomachs the way only Empire did and leaving us licking off our fingers.

Published in e+, Gulf News (Dec 11-17, 2008)

Dreams on wheels

Sneha May Francis puts a few readers in the driving seat and lets them zoom on in their fantasy cars

It’s hard to resist these mean machines – the sheer sound of their power can make you go weak in the knees. I’ve always wondered what makes men go ga-ga about a car, even when there is a beautiful woman standing next to it. Guess these machines have a way to a man’s heart, incomprehensible to many. I, for one, am not clued in about engines, but having come to a city that’s choc-a-bloc with the world’s super cars, it’s hard to turn a blind eye. So I take a back seat to see what’s really driving our dreams.

Dubai may be the only city that lets you own your dream car. Mubarak, a UAE national, owns the super Nissan GT-R but has his eyes on the next model, a GTR Spec-V. “It’s the improved version. It’s better, faster, lighter. It’s much more superior to other super cars coming out this year.” Mubarak says his Nissan GT-R has everything he needs. “It’s fast. And when I say fast, I don’t mean only speed. I mean it drives fast around turns, yet it makes you feel safe. And when you are not speeding, you can cruise along as well. It’s got the sophisticated four-wheel system and gives excellent mileage.”

For Noel Ebdon, who hails from Britain, his dream machines are the Suzuki GSXR 1000 for two-wheelers and the Ferrari F430 among the four-wheelers. “The Suzuki GSXR 1000 is the best all-round bike, it’s got the perfect looks and amazing performance. And I believe the Ferrari F40 is the best super car ever to be built”. Noel drives a Range Rover. “I have a weakness for Land Rovers. It’s spacious and powerful.”

Chaitanya Joshi, an Indian project manager who moved to Dubai three years ago, is dazzled by the stunning Bugatti Veyron and hopes to drive it some day. He’s smitten by the car’s ‘batmobile-look’! “This is the fastest commercial vehicle and is completely custom-made,” he says. Joshi, who prefers German engineering to American, claims there are only three people in Dubai who own a Bugatti Veyron, and dreams of being the fourth. But till then he prefers to drive a Honda Civic. “It’s total value for money and has a neat sporty look,” he says. When it comes to everyday driving, Joshi feels the Japanese cars have lots on offer without pinching your pockets.

Usman Khan moved from Pakistan to Dubai over five years ago. He finds it almost impossible to pick a favourite. He names a long list. “From Porsche Cayenne Turbo to Range Rover Sports Recharge to Dodge Charger to Ford Mustang, I like them all,” he says. Khan feels that each car has something different, but the one factor that combines them all is the power. And till he acquires his power, he’s content to drive a Honda Accord. “I think it’s an economical car and easy to handle.”

Walid Mahmoud Abou Khodeir comes from Egypt and has lived here for over seven years. This 37 year old is a fan of Ferrari. “It’s got amazing power, not only on the road but also enough to get you all the attraction! It’s simply the best sports car ever,” he says. For now, Khodeir has to drive the Infiniti FX35. “It’s easy to drive and it has comfortable interiors as well.”

It’s the Aston Martin DB9 that does the magic for Graham Hughes, who moved to Dubai from Britain over a year back. “It’s cool, sleek and full of style. It’s a good combination of power, smoothness and design,” he says. And when he’s not dreaming, Hughes drives a Mitsubishi Pajero. “It’s understated and a comfortable safe drive.”

Gautam C Sreedharan moved from India two years ago. Apart from the good lifestyle it was the love for cars that led him to this city. He eyes the Porsche Cayenne for its looks and powerful engine. “The 4.8 litre gives amazing stability,” he says. His machine now is the Honda CRV, which is “value for money and offers a comfortable driving experience”.

The sazzy Lamborghini Spyder is what leaves Jalal Al Saadi on edge. “It’s about style and power on the roads. Not only does it look super cool, it’s also got a powerful engine to match.” In the real world, the man drives a Mazda 6. “It's a fancy car that can be modified internally and externally,” he says.

Published in e+, Gulf News, Dubai (Dec 11-17, 2008)

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Getting Fergalicious

The Black Eyed Peas girl gave Dubai an hour of spirited funky fun, reports Sneha May Francis

It felt like a high school reunion party. What with happy 16-year-olds crowding the arena for the much-awaited Fergie concert, I wondered if there was actually an age limit for the concert. Fortunately there was none and we walked in only to be reminded again that we’ve grown way past our high school days and should have come only if we were in our teens or had teens of our own. The Dubai Media City arena was bustling with teenagers, giggling and gossiping, making us feel like intruders at their school party!

We arrived way ahead of time, so we could catch up with a handful of our peers in a caged corner for the over 21s. Though the grounds were embarrassingly empty, they slowly started filling up with more teenagers. And the waiting crowd was entertained by RadioOne RJs, who reminded us time and again that the ‘Dutchess’ was just a few minutes away from ‘setting the stage on fire’. So we heeded their words and waited patiently. They made the wait a tad easier by playing an interview with the singer, giving us a little insight into her. I doubt the idea went well with the teenage crowd, who were more interested in partying with their school buddies.

The wait was bearable only because of the pleasant weather, sufficient space on the greens to spread ourselves and ample time to chat with old friends.

So at 9.10pm (we clocked ourselves, a cool hour late from what the tickets announced), we were witness to the vivacious curly blonde in a hippy orangy dress, taking us through her journey from Black Eyed Peas to her Dutchess. All over, kids, teenagers, their mums and dads, and a few oldies started matching their steps with her charismatic voice. Fergie kept it going with her eclectic mix of songs.

Her hour-long concert saw three costume changes during which her troupe kept us entertained with their fascinating dance routines and music.

She opened her show with London Bridge, and though a tad nervous in the beginning she warmed up to the crowd in no time and set the pace with Clumsy. Her soulful rendition of Motown gave us a taste of her powerful voice. Fergie’s Voodoo Dolls essayed the rough patches in her life. She hit the rock chord, dressed in leather pants and a blue top, and belted covers of Rolling Stones’ Start Me Up.

Fergie paid tribute to her famous association with the Black Eyed Peas with an interesting medley that included Where is the Love and Shut up, which had the crowd singing along, proving just how far she had to go to achieve the status of her ‘godfathers’. There are bound to be comparisons and it’s unfair to expect Fergie to set the same pulse as her band but she doesn’t fall too short, her funky voice was enough to entice the crowd. Also, the fan base is widely different – Fergie’s more a teenage rage than the Black Eyed Peas, which strikes a chord with young and old alike. Let’s face it, Fergie is not Madonna, her stage did not feature lavish sets or thousands
of spectacular dancers, but her powerful voice was enough to capture the crowd.

Fergie’s most famous No 1 single, Big Girls Don’t Cry, from the Dutchess, was a rage with the crowd. And to imagine she wasn’t even planning on including it in her album. For the uninitiated, Fergie’s solo career kicked off in 2005 with the ‘Dutchess’, a misspelt version of the Duchess of York, stressing her close link with a woman whom she shares a popular nickname and last name.
Fergie put on her glittery girlie dress for her hit song Glamorous. From rock to reggae to R&B, she proved her versatility with amazing ease.

Fergie understands that she has a long way to go in terms of a solo career and is smart enough to hold on to the Black Eyed Peas. And keeping this association alive, she rendered her famous Don’t Phunk With My Heart and Lady Lump. She ended her hour-long journey with the most apt – Fergalicious.

On the whole, the concert was nothing spectacular but just a reminder that here’s an artiste who has come a long way and is determined to make it on her own. Kudos to that!

Published in E+ issue November 20-26, 2008

Saturday, 15 November 2008

'D' does it for Karan Johar

After dabbling with a series of ‘K’ films, Karan Johar has finally hit the nail on the wall with Dostana. And surprisingly the omission of his lucky ‘K’ has actually proved lucky for him. Dostana is a coming of age film for a director who boasts of nothing more than lavish sets of predictable mushy-mushy candy floss romance.

Almost in sync with Hollywood’s Something About Mary, the film is about unadulterated fun. His humourous touch to the ‘gay’ issue is actually funny. Maybe because it’s a topic very close to his heart, what with numerous rumours about his supposedly ‘close links’ with SRK and also his famous last film Kal Ho Na Ho, which jumped the popularity charts because of SRK and Saif’s mistaken gay link! In fact, the infamous scenes were so popular that it was repeatedly enacted at almost all film award ceremonies, until it stopped being funny any more. And this could probably be why Karan, very sensibly, decided to omit the two Khans from playing the lead roles in Dostana.

After handing over the directorial reins to debutant directors for his last film, Karan follows the trend this time around as well. The new kid on the block, Tarun Mansukhani, does an impressionable first film.
It might sound weird, but I am actually convinced this is SRK and Karan’s take on the world for pointing fingers at them. Somehow I felt the joke was on US! It seemed the most apt way of getting back at the world for categorizing them as gay. Whatever the case, this film is an absolute winner. It does have its weak moments, when you cringe in your seat, but that’s forgivable, considering it’s Karan Johar. I mean, if it weren’t for those scenes I would have seriously suspected that someone else had ghost-written the script for him.

Yes, the film is full of obvious, we’ve-heard-that-before-a-million-time gay jokes, but it still works. And this film will definitely place John and Abhishek as the best reel-life couple ever in Hindi cinema. They complement each other throughout the film, with brilliant comic timing. It’s easy to go over-board with such roles, but they play it just right. They play it subtle at times and then hit the havoc button just when it’s absolutely right. And in a way, that’s what makes this film work.

Dostana is about Kunal (John), a fashion photographer, and Sam(eer) (Abhishek), a nurse, who pretend to be gays so that they can rent an apartment with the landlady’s savvy niece Neha (Priyanka Chopra). The boys instantly strike a good friendship with the girl, but this friendship takes a twist when they find out she’s smitten by her new boss (Bobby Deol). The film is about this mad race to win Neha’s heart. I wouldn’t give the end away and spoil the fun. But this I have to say, Karan’s handled it maturely and for the first time ends it in style!

On performances, this is an outright Abhishek Bachchan film. He’s got brilliant comic timing and gives his all to each and every scene. John, on the other hand, gives in once in a while but quickly bounces back. Must say, it’s a huge improvement from his earlier stone-faced performances. Priyanka does very little to her role. She plays it safe and giggles her way through. Bomen and Kiran Kher are the icing on the cake. They effortlessly push us off our seats (rippling with laughter) with their funny moments. Bobby Doel is the only sore point. How could an actor, who claims to have good acting lineage, ruin such a simple role. All he had to do was to look smart and sexy, but even that he can’t do without making us want to hit him! Forget comic timing, this man couldn’t even wipe the dumb look on his face. They didn’t even him in flesh and blood, all they had to do was scan his picture, make paper masks and paste it on some dummy and complete the shoot!

It’s true that Karan’s characters have no real dum but for a fun film like this it’s pardonable. In fact it’s appropriate. And he doesn’t confuse his audience with a large bunch of supporting actors with no real story to say.

The songs are an interesting mix with all the spunk necessary. And what’s a Karan Johar film without his lucky mascots – SRK, Rani and Kajol. Unlike Kal Ho Na Ho and Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, he doesn’t picture them in a song, but cleverly introduces them through his earlier film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai,. Watch it to get the twist.

On the whole, this is truly a mindless, entertaining fun film. Karan has finally learnt the art of adding just the right ingredients to make his film just right.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Fashionably unreal

It's just my second week in Dubai, so the prospect of attending a premiere, reminiscent of my stint with the glitzy Mumbai world, was extremely exciting. So I dragged a friend along, promising a date with the stars! But the Fashion premiere on Wednesday night turned out to be anything but a big yawn!

Madhur Bhandarkar might have thought it fashionable to host a red carpet premiere in Dubai but he conveniently forgot to brief his glamorous ladies on red carpet etiquette. Surely Bhandarkar could have taught them a thing or two about making eye contact, smiling and posing for the cameras. The actresses, however, looked uncomfortable and were rushed into the hall by their hefty bodyguards. Their eyes remained fixated on the red carpet and only rarely shot glances at the crowd. In fact, they looked more terrified than happy to see that a crowd, however small, had actually turned up for their film. This should have been an indication on the fate of the film.

And it wasn't bad enough that we were subjected to their snobbery, we were also pushed around by two huge bodyguards, who refused us our seats! They behaved as if we were a 'threat' to the actors. But we, like good Indian women, gulped down the abuses and decided to give Bhandarkar's angels another chance. The actors, after their rude red carpet entry, had the audacity of faking a 'we-are-so-happy-to-see-you-all' act.

Anyway, we finally got to our seats and were hoping that the film would make up for all the bad vibes... but sadly, it didn't! Bhandarkar's take on the fashion world is stale, insipid, cliched and highly avoidable. If anything, he has excelled only in the trade of film marketing. The swanky photo shoots and crisp editing end with the promos, leaving the film with nothing else. For a man who claims to be a 'realistic' filmmaker this is a far cry from reality. It's depressing to see him waste a perfect canvas on nothing but cliches.

The film is the journey of a plain, small town girl Meghana (Priyanka Chopra), who becomes a famous model, but her flashy career comes crashing down after she makes a few silly moves. In fact, reality goes right out of the window, when the filmmaker categorises Chandigarh as a small town! Doesn't Bhandarkar know the difference between a big or small town? Also, Meghana's struggle doesn't seem like a struggle at all - she looks the same from start to end - her look, hair, walk and apart from a few tacky clothes, she's boringly constant. It's funny how Meghana starts off aiming to become a supermodel, but is shown craving to become a showstopper, as if that's all there is to achieve for in the fashion world.

This is a film of contradictions. Initially Meghana's father is upset about her decision to become a model, but when she returns home, broken and in dire need of psychiatric help, it's her dad who encourages her to go back. And why he would push his own blood back into the big, dirty world of fashion is anybody's guess. Also, when Priyanka walks out of a live-in relationship, she's doesn't shed a tear, but goes absolutely crazy when her affair with the sleazy, married fashion tycoon comes to an end.

Bhandarkar makes us believe that all models sleep around, all male designers and make-up artistes are gay, there is only one big daddy in the entire fashion industry, and if you cry shamlessly on the ramp you can easily become a super model!

The shoddy script and weak character sketches, leaves the actors with very little to chew on. Often you can spot the uneasiness on the actors face while they mouth the insipid dialogues. Also, there are far too many characters who walk in and out of the screen without no real story to tell.

Despite all the glaring flaws, Bhandarkar does attempt to be realistic, only with quick, fleeting instances of wardrobe malfunction and design thieves. He completely forgets to throw light on the industry -- about how hard the designers work on their collection, themes, choreographers, music and more importantly issues like anorexia and their much-talked about low IQ. His models and designers are stereostyped, suggesting that there aren't any with a few shades of grey.

And all this controversy about Kangana being unhappy about Priyanka hogging all the limelight is pointless as this is an all-out Priyanka film. The rest of the beauties have only a few minutes of glamour on screen. Of the performances, Kangana is the most striking. Priyanka in the lead was an obvious choice, considering her place in the industry, but she's done nothing to win our hearts. Kangana absolutely rocks. For a model, Mughda has done what they do best, walk the ramp! Arjan Baweja may consider himself the male lead in the film but he's in it for all of 20 minutes! Arbaaz Khan is average but Kitu Gidwani is a treat to watch.

Salim-Sulieman's music is catchy and fresh. But I fail to comprehend why they worked out only four tracks? The composers kill the magic by repeating the same tracks, each time with a different beat. Either they weren't paid well or they were pure lazy.

All in all, I think it's about time Bhandarkar did a complete reality check!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

In Mallu land

I've opened another chapter in my life.

Am starting life on a clean slate in the ever-fashionable, ever-stylish, city of Dubai.

Let's hope this journey turns out just as memorable.