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.