31 December 2004: A quiet New Year’s eve at home with a glass of Scotch and a Bond flick.

30 December 2004: T dropped in unexpectedly. It was lovely seeing her.

26 December 2004: The havoc of Tsunamis. Sad.

17 December 2004: Took Ruchi and Rajiv out to the Club Bar at The Oberoi to sort out certain matters of consequence.

15 December 2004: Wedding reception at a residence at the Chattarpur Farms. Great place with huge green lawns and a Japanese teahouse but I thought a deliberate overdose of ‘culture’ was a bit too much for the senses. Interestingly, wine was served only to the foreigners and not to the ‘natives’. We went because Yuka-san was doing the tea ceremony there and was keen that we should experience the best of her world, though I suspect the reception ceremony of an Indian marriage may not have been ideal to showcase the grace and aesthetics of the tea ceremony.

12 December 2004: Happy birthday, Papa.

11 December 2004: Dinner at Sarat and Shivani’s place at the posh The Laburnum at Sushant Lok. Warm couple and great Thai food. I tried Single Malt from the Isle of Skye in Scotland (there's only one brand and is called Talisker). It had a smoky, ‘peaty’ flavour with a hint of saltiness, thanks to its seaside aging storage. Peat, the Internet tells me, is a kind of “growth found in swampy areas. Sometimes it is found in huge deposits, sort of like geological coal in the making. Used extensively in Ireland and Scotland as fuel, it is mined right out of the hillside and used for household heating and distillation.”

9 December 2004: Ma came today with our help at home, Bhagat, to tide over the absence of our maid who is on her annual holiday to her village. I am so very much looking forward to being with Ma, and of course, enjoy the great food which Bhagat makes. For his culinary skills alone, he deserves a mention in this weblog .
Saw Swordfish on the idiot box. Loved the acting of one of my favourite actors, Travolta. The film also has some David Lynch like scenes. I enjoyed the graphic quality of the visuals and their seething undertones especially when Halle Berry first meets Hugh Jackman, and the first meeting Jackman has with Travolta. Almost like a cult movie. Almost? Yes, because some scenes were too deliberate. Ebert also suggests an obvious weakness. He says the film is “skillfully mounted and fitfully intriguing, but weaves such a tangled web that at the end I defy anyone in the audience to explain the exact loyalties and motives of the leading characters.” Characterisation is a bit convoluted. Travolta’s for instance. Ebert says Travolta’s character could be “(A) a patriot protecting us from bad guys, (B) a bad guy, (C) a double agent pretending to be either a patriot or a bad guy, (D) a free-lance, (E) Ginger's lover, or (F) Ginger's target. His true identity is even cloudier than that, but I have said enough.” How I wish the plot had been more focussed. It could have been a great film.

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