Phoenix, Stalin and Desi Food

October 5, 2006

Abstract: Last weekend, I was at Phoenix, AZ. It was a nice trip for 2 days.


There were several reasons for the trip: Chiru’s new movie ‘Stalin’, a much-needed break, meeting some people there, and get to see a new city. There are three major sections in the description:

1) Movie: Stalin is loosely based upon the Hollywood movie Pay it forward. But the adaptation could not have gone worser. People pitied when I said I was going to Phoenix and gonna watch this movie (which costed $14.. I have to get every cent back.. even tried to get a cam print made, but alas!). Bad reviews were floating all around, but I wasnt there for the movie.. rather for the experience, and man was it excruciating?

Chiru is old and should get retired. Chiru fans would hang me for saying this but get the fact: he is fat, old and losing his charm. I agree he dances amazingly. His best movie ever was Chantabbai (my view), though Indra and Tagore were also great. Murugodass (who made Ghajini) took a nice skeletal script and mashed it beyind recognition. Bad stunts, mediocore music by Mani Sharma, bad acting, wavering storyline added to this mishap (but get this: it grossed over 14 crores in the first 2 weeks).

To summarize my experience, and the movie, here are some snippets:

  • Chiru’s entry scene (the one that makes the fans whistle, throw papers and go mad) had the camera show a semi-red eye with the rest of the screen covered. It was like he was looking through a peep-hole, but I was reminded of Jurassic Park where the dino was introduced the same way.
  • There were 2 lil kids (aged about 8-10) sitting on my left and right, in the back row. They completed the Dolby Surround experience. They sang every song, from the starting lyrics to the background score.. they did a pretty good job. They took me back to some fond memories.
  • There is a car chase scene where Chiru is chased by goons. So this girl in the back (they sat on sideways as I was blocking their view) asks her mom “mom, in which car is the BIG guy?”. They were refering to Chiru as in the American big, meaning fat. The other kid asks “mom, how much above the speed limit is he?”. I concluded they were born here.
  • The movie had a generous offering of lewd jokes (refering to panties and male private parts). But there were kids around, and I had my friend’s sis next to me. I was NOT at all humored.

Movie rating? Umm let me say it could be used to kill your enemy without leaving a trace.

2) Food: I ate at two places: Priya (Andhra Muslims from Vijayawada run this place) and Udipi (not sure run by whom, but it seemed like a multi-lingual place with ample doses of tamil and telugu). Udipi had awesome food.. the best veggie andhra food I ever had here.. their sambar, pongal and dosas were out of the world. We ate twice at Priya, the first time I had curd rice with chilli pickle (wow!) and the next time a buffet which left nothing for other customers. Average food, but nice VIP service (thanks to T!).

3) People, ASU, Phoenix et. al.: Phenox is hot, hot as on a fying pan. While others were hating the Sun and getting comfi in AC, I was enjoying the close to 100 F temperature. Awesome climate (burning hot), palm trees doting the sidewalks, and zilch humidity (burning feeling of skin). Now add to this: hot blondes, make them hotter than the climate, and get them to ASU. Yes, ASU has the most number of students who are playmates. And that is why (I guess) it has over 1000 desis (primarily gults, which is why it is called Andhra Students Univ).

Some random stats: a very very minor fraction of the desi grads there have a car, and all of them are Honda Civics (except one which is a Toyota Corolla). About 8-10% have a white girlfriend. It is one of the most well-lit univ (it is visible from moon, and no kidding). Printing costs money (with no free quota). They have reached a stupendously costly phase where the state council has refused to grant an increase in tuition fee any further.

People here are as snobbish as any other desi in US. But the intellites (zombies working at Intel) of Chandler ride on a horse and claim to have a crown on their heads. They seriously have attitude issues. Their larger-than-life egos make you sick of the place.

Conclusion: Phoenix is a nice place in general. Livelier, energetic and hotter than my place.

References: none.


13 Responses to “Phoenix, Stalin and Desi Food”

  1. vin Says:

    wow!! nice holiday.. udupi hotels are from karnataka…

  2. Jo Says:

    Can’’t want to imagine chiranjeevi and trisha romancing around..they look more like father-daughter…I guess chiranjeevi instead of retiring ,like AB, should start doing roles which do justice to his acting abilities.My fav chiru movie-Aapathbandavudu !

  3. hardu Says:

    14 dollars! That’s a huge waste. But anyway, you had some good food and felt a little jealous looking at desis wth white girlfriends. πŸ˜‰ So it was a fruitful trip anyway.

  4. Pavan Says:

    [vin] oh yeah, but I was wondering who the management was.. great food I tell ya.. so you Kannadiga?

    [Jo] oh yeah, it was pity to see Trisha and Anushka playing opp. Chiru.. I was really angry when he had Sonali Bendre as heroine! grrr..

    [hardu] thanks for sympathizing, but me and jealous? nah, I had taken the Sonali bendre poster with me πŸ˜‰ they were jealous of me πŸ˜€

  5. shark Says:

    LOL!! on the kid’s comments πŸ™‚ But 14$ is too much da! I pay only 10$ that too for a first day first show SRK movie … and it’s 5$ after the first week….
    There are some actors specially in south India who seriously need retiring! I don’t want to name..lest I get murdered in a foreign country!

    So had a nice time with the blondes?

  6. some body Says:


    agreed udipi hotels are from karnataka, but typically kannada is the last language spoken there (i refer to one of the older posts on hardu’s blog). typically, you would hear telugu, tamil, hindi and even malayalam before you hear any kannada.

    i know – i have been to two udupi restaurants (typically called ‘udipi’ i dunno why!) here and have had the same experience in both.


    “So it was a fruitful trip anyway.”

    something tells me that this pa1 did not go bananas – literally at least.


    “So had a nice time with the blondes?”

    methinks pa1 is in the majority, i.e., among the 90-92%.

    “There are some actors specially in south India who seriously need retiring!”

    rajini is not one of them i presume.


    one of the better quality restaurant food that i have had in the usa (then) was at a punjabi place in flagstaff near the intersection of i-40 and the n/s highway (forget the #) but that was a few years ago.

    – s.b.

  7. anu Says:

    nice reading abt ur holiday.. liked ur blog.. the posts have variety and there is a lot of sincerity in ur writing..
    txs for visiting my blog..

  8. Pavan Says:

    [shark] kids say the darnest things? and btw I dont dig blondes.. only brunettes πŸ™‚

    [s.b.] bingo! I was happy documenting my “villager-visiting-city” experience.. and didnt get approached by a female either πŸ˜€

    All heroes at one side, and Rajni is diff.. I really like the image-elevation he gets.. Chandramukhi was nice (and decent)

    Flagstaff has desi restaurant? wow, it is kinda my pitstop but never stumbled upon that..

    [anu] thanks.. would I get any discounts in your hospital? πŸ˜‰ not that I would fall sick for that..

  9. Ahhhh….ASU brings back so many memories. When I studied there , a few years ago, printing was free, and the folks at intel were as modest as you and I ;), but even then it had tons of gulTs (and gulT gangs unfortunately, where non-gulTs weren’t allowed). Desis definitely owned more variety of cars, the campus was as colorful, and yes, a lot of Desis had white and hispanic girlfriends.

    Thanks for the nostalgia !!!

  10. some body Says:


    here you go!

    – s.b.

  11. vin Says:

    yep… me a kanndiga… πŸ™‚ and a veg too

  12. Srikanth Says:

    Came here through “”
    Nice blog you have, and I liked this post in particular, your “Stalin” experience…
    Will visit more often…

  13. Hi Pavan!I think you’ll enjoy the jokes in this blog:

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