Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Hunger game

There aren’t that many movies that I eagerly wait to watch these days because I have been disappointed by many movies in the past. I believe that when you have expectations about these movies, it feels bad when they don’t meet your expectations. So I made a rule not to expect too much from the movies beforehand and now I just watch movies that have good reviews but Hunger Game was a different story.

From the time I knew the movie was going to be made, I kind of knew that it was going to be great. For those of you who don’t know Hunger Games, it is a first of three movies based on a novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins. The second one is called Catching Fire and the third one is called Mockingjay.

So on Tuesday night, we went and watched the movie. I was really excited and I was not disappointed with it at all.

The movie started with an introduction on what “Hunger Games” is. It is a concept like ‘Big Brother’, ‘Survivor’ or similar reality show where your every move is watched and they have to survive until one man/woman is standing. Unfortunately unlike these shows, it is not voluntary.  The contestants are chosen from different Districts of the country and then they are sent to a jungle where they have to fight each other to survive and win. It is a televised tournament for the whole country to watch.

The graphics were done brilliantly and the story line is perfect. I liked the way producers of the game try to control the game by sending some beasts from the control room to make the game more exciting which is very similar to the reality show on our TVs everyday. At least the movie didn’t try to hide the fact that money, power and influence makes a big difference in who wins the game.

I love the movement, colour, passion, grit and, most importantly of all, the substance of this movie.  I loved everyone who started in the movie from  Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Willow Shields, Paula Malcomson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Wes Bentley, Stanley Tucci, Isabelle Fuhrman, Alexander Ludwig, Lenny Kravitz, and Toby Jones. I am sure Jennifer Lawrence going to be a big name by the time this trilogy is completed.

Even though the movie was 142 minutes long, I never felt bored or felt that it dragged at any point. In fact, I wanted the movie to keep going as I was really getting into it and didn’t want to come back to our reality.

Anyway this is my experience about the movie. Some of my friends didn’t like the movie but for me this was one of the best movies I have ever watched. Now I am eagerly waiting for ‘Catching Fire’ to hit the cinemas. I am sure it is going to be one hell of a movie as well.

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*I’m Addicted to Game of Thrones *Life in a day *The Man Who Sued God
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Yumcha

Living in Sydney, we get access to all type of the food from around the world. It feels really good to choose from hundreds of options when we decide to go out for lunch or dinner.

Last weekend, it was very wet and windy so we decided to go for some nice and warm Yumcha lunch at Dragon Boat Restaurant in Darling harbour.

Yum cha also know as Ban ming  is a Chinese style morning or afternoon tea, which involves drinking Chinese tea and eating dim sum dishes. Yum cha in Cantonese literally means “drink tea”, while ban ming is a more poetic “tasting of tea”.

To start of with, the place has an amazing view of the Darling harbour. It is one of the most happening places in Sydney so even on a wet day, the atmosphere was great. As we had gone there around mid day, the place was not busy but as the lunch time had started the place filled up quickly and most of the people were having warm food, probably due to the weather.

The place was excellently furnished with Chinese red wood furniture and we had an amazing view as we were given a window seat.

The place was a bit pricy for Yumcha compared to other places but we loved the Peking duck. We also had meat spring roll, Pancake, prawn dim sim, mixed fried dumpling, chicken leg, fried prawns and pork belly. I was very disappointed by dumplings and the worst part was, the waiters are so unfriendly. They try not to look at you as much as possible. We had to wait a long time for a glass of water.

Apart from that,I had a great time with my husband.I was happy to enjoy good company with nice food. I still love my Yumcha and will go back again but may be to a different restaurant.

How honest are you?

Yesterday I and my husband went to a bookshop where we bought a few items. He paid for the books in cash and as we were walking out, he suddenly turned around and went back into the shop. I didn’t know what happened but when he was back out he said “They gave me too much change”. I was so glad to see my husband honest and I’m proud to be married to him.

This made me wonder, how honest are we?

NAB bank here has a ad right now which shows some experiment that they conducted to test how honest Australians are? They tested people randomly in different cities. The tests they conducted were as follows.

  1. They had a barista which intentionally gave customers more change than they were owed, and waited for people to return the difference.
  2. They had someone drop cash filled wallets on a street in Sydney and waited for it to be returned.
  3. They had a man drop some money in the street and checked how many people returned the cash.

Have a look at the videos below.

The result was:

  1. For the change test, 91% of the people returned the change.
  2. For wallet test, 88% of the wallets were returned.
  3. For dropped money test, 95% people stopped, picked up the money and gave it to the man.

 I am really happy that there are so many honest people around. All of us like to think that we are honest but in our hearts we also know that there are times we tell fibs and also we engage in a little dishonesty too from time to time.

If you were Pinocchio, how long would your nose be now?

  • Normal nose length
  • Just your arms length
  • So long that you couldn’t properly see it’s tip right now.

No, No, No, be honest about your dishonesty now! This is an honesty test and you are lying about this as well?!!! (Just kidding :))

According to a research, the average person tells around 11,000 lies during their life, which means we tell 2 to 3 lies a week. If we really break it down like that it does look like a lot.

What about white lies? I read somewhere, “If you tell a lie that doesn’t hurt anyone in anyway, you can get away with that”. Do you agree?

I will give you some examples, the obvious ones.

The girlfriend buys jeans and tries it in front of the mirror and asks her boyfriend, “How do I look.”. It is too tight and colour is red so basically she looks awful. What should he say? As you know this is a situation where you don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings and at the same time want to be honest.

I believe lying is a habit and if you start it, you will, most likely, continue lying, be they white lies or not. Remember when we were kids, they teach us, honesty is the best policy, believe it and practice it. So the best practice is not to lie in first place. This saves having to come up with lies to cover more lies.

Tell me your story?

Ghoda Jatra

As always, no month passes in Nepal without a festival and today it is Ghoda Jatra (Festival of horses).

On this day there is a grand parade in Tundikhel, a large open ground in the middle of the city. It is believed that this festival began after the Kathmandu people buried a demon under the soil of Tundikhel show grounds. They say that he may rise again and cause terror in the world if he is not trampled on by horses each year. So every spring, this victory over evil is celebrated by organizing processions and grand display of show jumping, motorcycling feats, parachuting, aerobatics, bicycle races and gymnastics. The president, prime minister, ministers and other official along with, the Living Goddess Kumari, and thousands of people from all over the country observe this Jatra.

After this great function of horse ridding in Kathmandu, there is the Khat Jatra of the eight sister goddesses. The Newars of Kathmandu city observe this day as a family get together or ‘Pachare’. The chariot of Goddesses Lutidevi, Swetakali, Kankeshwori and Bhadrakali is brought to Ason, and the family get together of eight sister goddesses also takes place, as legend says.

At Bal Kumari area, in Patan during Ghode Jatra festival, a horse is intoxicated with spirit and an equally drunk person in a traditional Newari attire rides it and the townspeople chase the intoxicated animal through the streets amidst much cheering and clapping. This race is thought to have been commenced in the olden times by a certain king of Patan to give a better show in comparison to Tundikhel’s parade, as in those days no one from Patan could attend the show in Kathmandu as it was a rival kingdom, a time when Kathmandu valley was divided into three kingdoms of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur.

How much time should you spend in the shower?

Coming from a country like Nepal, I do appreciate getting an abundance of clean drinking water and hot water for a shower.

Even in the urban areas in Nepal not all people have availability of constant running water in their homes. The Nepal Water Supply Corporation supplies drinking water to the homes in urban areas but even there people are lucky if they can get drinking water a couple of times or so in a week. They still need to store this water as it has to last them until the next time the water is released in their area. In some areas where piped water is not available, due to technical reasons or unavailability of water, the water is distributed by water tankers, so there the people have to collect the water from the taps on tankers and use that water for the rest of the week. In summer months it is normal not to get water for many days as the dam level is low and the supply of water to even urban areas is severely disrupted.

I was lucky that the house I grew up in Nepal had a well in front of it which made sure that we always had enough clean water to drink, shower and wash cloths with. When my parents moved away from joint family into their own house, we had a well built in our yard and a big tank installed to collect water in, so we always had plenty of water.

But I have seen lots of people in Nepal struggling due to the unavailability of water. Most people these days buy water at least once a month, this includes my in-laws as well. So they use water with great care.

In Australia, it is really difficult for people to believe that so many people don’t have access to clean drinking water and use water from ground wells or ponds to bathe and wash cloth. This made me curious to know how much time we normally spend having a shower.

I myself am guilty of taking hot showers in the winter and spending more than 5 minutes under the shower with a constant flow of water running over me as it helps me relax. I know that I am wasting water but I am trying hard to mend that habit.  Normally I shower every day in summer and every other day in winter. These showers are not too long, may be 5-10 minutes max. But on weekends when I take a shower, I take my time and enjoy the hot water so these can go up to 30 minutes max. I am also guilty of filling a bathtub with hot water and relaxing in it. I can’t imagine how much water I am wasting by showering/bathing so long but I really feel good after these long showers.

I find that most men don’t take long showers, most likely because they have short hair :-D. This is my observation from watching how long my dad, brother and now my husband takes in the shower. But I know people who spend more than one hour every time they take a shower. I had a flatmate once, who used to spend at least 2 hours in the shower every time. It used to get really annoying when one of us had to use the toilet. Even when we talked to her about it; she used to say that it is her habit and she couldn’t change it.

When I talk to my friends and colleagues about their shower habits, most of them seem to think 30 minutes for a shower is a reasonable time. But I am sure if I talk to anyone from Nepal or a country where there is not enough clean water available even to drink; they will have a different opinion.

Since I got married, my husband reminds me, constantly, to save water and I am making an effort to do so as much as possible. He hates it when I have the tap running while brushing and reminds me that there are people for whom the water that I waste would last months.

So what is going on in the shower? How long do YOU shower?

Jaywalking

Jaywalking is an informal term commonly used to refer to illegal or reckless pedestrian crossing of a roadway. Examples include a pedestrian crossing between intersections (outside or, in some jurisdictions, also inside a marked or unmarked crosswalk) without yielding to drivers and starting to cross a crosswalk at a signalized intersection without waiting for a permissive indication to be displayed

I have seen everyone jaywalking, men, women, boys, girls, old women and men, men in suit, tradies, students, take you pick.

I know we are time poor but I don’t think I am ready to get hurt just to save a few minutes or seconds in most cases. My friends sometimes make fun of me when I refuse to jaywalk with them when we are out and about but I am not ashamed to leave them jaywalking and go to the nearest crossing and wait for the sign to turn green to cross. The funny thing is that they will be waiting for me on the other side of the road anyway.

In NSW, Sydney there is no law against jaywalking but in Victoria,Melbourne they fine $60 on-the-spot if cops see you jaywalking. A few of my friends have paid that fine before. I am so supportive of that law and wish we have it here as well. By jaywalking, one is not only risking oneself but also endangering other people like the drives and other pedestrians on the road.

I don’t see why it is so hard to be patient when crossing the road. It might be a few minutes of the wait in the crossing but that might save you from being hurt, disabled or even death. Isn’t your life more valuable?

If you still think jaywalking is ok, please read the story below and think again.

This is a story of a mother who lost his son because she decided to jaywalk with the kids. This mum had 3 kids aging from 5 – 11. She decided it was safe to jaywalk in a suburban road as it was not busy. The nearest crossing was 500m down the road in the other direction they were going so she held the hands of the two youngest kids and ask the oldest one to hold one of the other kids’ hand.  They cross half of the road and stopped on the divider island in the road. When she decided to cross the other half and was about to cross the road, she saw a car coming towards them  so she held back and pulled her children back to the island but unfortunately the oldest child whose hand she was not holding couldn’t make that judgement and kept going and was hit by this oncoming car.

I know it must be a great pain to loose a loved one especially kids, but to feel responsible must be the worst feeling in the world. So just because she decided to save a few minutes, she is suffering the consequence for her whole life.

Please think for a second before jaywalking again. There are loved ones waiting for you at home who rely on you and love you so much that their world would fall apart if something happened to you.  Be responsible and be safe.

Movie marathon month

Since we came back from Nepal, we had been a bit busy so we didn’t watch lots of movie but for some reason I just realised that we watched 4 movies in the last 4 weeks. So here I am reviewing all of them.

Young Adult 

 

I went to watch this movie because I like Charlie Theron but I was heavily disappointed by the plot, the cast, the acting, virtually everything.

IMDB has it rated 6.9 with synopsis as follows “Soon after her divorce, a fiction writer returns to her home in small-town Minnesota, looking to rekindle a romance with her ex-boyfriend, who is now happily married and has a newborn daughter.”

Sorry IMDB but you got it all wrong as I will give it a 2. It was so boring, nothing really happened in the movie to occupy the audience and the ending was so disappointing. I need to choose my movies more wisely from now one, just can’t go and watch it because there is a good cast.

Hugo

 

AS picked this movie as he loves movie like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Anyway I hadn’t had high expectation but was surprised that I loved it, It is a story set in 1930s Paris of an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station and is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.

Asa Butterfield, the boy who played Hugo, has the bluest eyes I have ever seen. I was expecting this movie to have robots and all from its trailer but surprisingly it was nothing like that. Also I think Chloë Grace Moretz, did a great job as well. There are many lovely things in this film that it is easy to forgive its small shortcomings. If you want to know a bit about early cinema, you should watch this movie.

For me the best clip was when people get scared when a running train comes on the screen when they are watching the movie for the first time. The moment people were trying to duck the train and run away from the seat in fear of being crushed by the train made me laugh. We have come a long way with movies.

Contraband

I chose to watch this movie as I am a huge fan of Mark Wahlberg since he made Entourage (I can write a whole post about it so I will leave that for another post).

It is a story about a man who gave up his criminal past to start a family and live a normal life but was forced to get back in it to protect his brother-in-law.

The best scene of the movie is the last one where the money just starts floating in the open sea.

This movie is watchable but not great .Whole movie goes in same pace so there is no adrenaline or excitement. Most of the story is predictable. I would have not gone to the cinema for this kind of movie but it is ok to watch at home on your leisure time. I was disappointed overall.

John Carter

 

We went to watch this movie because my husband’s work organised a private screening of 3D in a Gold class cinema. It was only 38 people in a luxury cinema with finger food served during the movie.

I think people who are into Sci-fi movies like my husband will love this movie.

John Carter is based on a classic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs about a guy who is transported to Mars and meets a princess who is in desperate need of a savior (so Disney like). I loved some of the scenes of the movies as they looked so real and so Mars. But for me I was able to go through the whole movie only because I watched it in 3D. If it was a normal screen I would have been bored. I don’t like all these animated characters and out of this world story. I am sure most of the movie was shot in front of green screen as well.

I am waiting for Hunger Game to come in cinema. Really exited for that movie. According to who read the book, it has an excellent plot. It starts Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth (Aussie Aussie Aussie :), brother of the one who played Thor), Woody Harrelson, Willow Shields, Paula Malcomson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Wes Bentley, Stanley Tucci, Isabelle Fuhrman, Alexander Ludwig, Lenny Kravitz, Toby Jones and directed by Gary Ross  and realising on 22 May 2012.

If anyone has watched these movies, do let me know how you liked them.