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Thoughts & Things



One out of the few morons in this globe who still believes in love and passion.



Updated: 2018-04-15T15:41:55.844+05:30

 



PK

2014-12-20T18:28:41.240+05:30


If you expect one of those over the moon reviews on the much hyped movie, well you are certainly at the wrong place. I went to the movie expecting some pure, unabridged fun  and I had it to the fullest; but it does come with the flaws which you can let go, for, such a heart warming entertainer doesn't come very often.

'PK' starts with no fuss or sensational frenzies as the hero's spaceship lands in some less inhabited arid area. The alien gets out of the spaceship draped in a Remote/Locket around his neck (and nothing more). Soon he is robbed off his locket and that kick starts the array of events that forms the crux of the story. A parallel thread involving Anushka and Sushanth runs in Belgium and as you would see, both the threads blend well in the climax. I wouldn't be revealing any more specifics on the script as it would serve nothing more than a spoilsport.

Talking about the performances, Amir Khan was just superb and somehow I felt the character was tailor made for him. Even though his sermons at times felt awkwardly idiosyncratic, I am sure one would have the appetite to tolerate it. Anushka and other characters justified their roles and played their parts beautifully. As for the script and direction, the minor flaws can be sidelined given the motive was good and crew were successful in delivering their message. I liked Hirani's style of conveying relevant social messages in a strong yet subtle and gentle manner well blended with humour and fun. But one thing I felt was we can never give away with melodramas and hero-heroine romance cliches in our movies just like our obsession for spicy food. It doesn't matter if our hero- heroine are of different species or aliens, love has to be in the air, but that again is an easily forgivable part.

There are two important things I would like to say about this Amir Khan flick.
- You can certainly watch the movie since its worth it.
- Please go with a lighter belly and not a stuffed one, because you are gonna laugh your heart out.(image)



Interstellar

2014-11-21T22:36:32.963+05:30

Hats off to Christopher Nolan, not for his latest flick 'Interstellar', but for his sheer guts to portray interstellar travel as nothing more than a cake walk. I wouldn't suggest you to watch this movie if you are just hoping for a visual fascination, it would be worth watching if you are in the theater with an open mind not only to appreciate what you see on-screen, but to appreciate the determination of a man to bring onscreen what usually is associated with a nerd physicist's cup of tea. Whatever be the critics verdict, I would give a thumbs up for 'INTERSTELLAR' even though the movie comes with flaws.

The movie begins with the camera panning over burning fields somewhere in United States. The crops seem to fail one after the other due to ... (I am actually not sure what is the reason). There is dust storms everywhere around. The director has tried to portray a gray picture of earth that is wanting to be perished. The generation of the protagonist is termed as mere 'caretakers' of the world which is running short of its  resources. Meanwhile our protagonist is an ex- astronaut, engineer and a successful farmer who has a daughter whom he loves a lot. Before you catch up with whats happening, you see the hero is suited for his space adventure. But you really cant blame Nolan for any of these because he has lot of things to show you and he has time restrictions, so does his characters.

The concepts of time, black holes, relativity, gravity, space-time fabric, quantum mechanics, time dilation, worm holes are all covered and it would be very difficult to comprehend everything unless you have an idea about these things. But then again, you don't always need to know swimming to enjoy the beach. This movie possibly could be the first of its kind in terms of a realistic effort in bringing into screens what has remained within the books authored by astro-physicists or CERN labs. Nolan tries to let people know what time dilation actually is. He dares people to dream of a future where we will be capable enough to transcend galaxies in search of new home.

The visual extravaganza of Interstellar is not as rich as that of Gravity, but this has a holistic purpose in the the theme which Gravity didn't. Nolan has cleverly avoided mentioning the era the story is taking place. It was fascinating to see how gracefully the concept of multiple dimensions and the time warp has been captured. Even though I couldn't find the 'bookshelf in a black hole' convincing, I would still give it to him for there  couldn't be a better way of visualizing a scenario when you consider time as a physical dimension. The best thing about the movie  is the precision with which he has knitted intense emotional psych of the characters  into what would otherwise ended as another soulless sci-fi movie.

At the end , I can only say I saw a sincere attempt being made to show me something which I found only in  complex equations and incomprehensible definitions .
(image)



Gone Girl

2014-11-05T22:56:44.444+05:30

Gone Girl is an absolute watch beyond doubt. But please don't take your kids to this movie.

David Fincher is one guy whom you can certainly term 'Mr Dependable'. You wont sob over the money you spend to watch his creation. 'Fight Club' was an absolute cult, a master class; 'The Social Network' was good, so was "The Girl with Dragon Tattoo' (Though the Swedish version of the same was stand out). Be rest assured, "Gone Girl" wont disappoint you.


Ben Affleck plays the lead role and Rosamund Pike portrays the role of missing wife. I saw her last as a typical Bond girl in 'Die Another Day' where she flaunted her curves more than her acting skills. But believe me , she is a damn good actress and 'Gone Girl' is all about her. The movie begins with Ben Affleck having a drink with his sister at their bar. When he returns to his home, he finds his wife missing. He reports at the nearby police station and the plot develops with more complex ingredients being added at every moment. The movie gets interesting with each passing moment and maintains the suspense and intensity throughout.

The movie is a dark one. It, certainly doesn't have a sad ending, but can you call it a happy ending?, you certainly cant. Actually you would certainly come out of the cinema with a mixed feeling and its neither happiness nor sadness, its more of a fear, more of an empathy, more of an inexorable agony . You would  never want to live a life you saw on the screen . I probably think at least one Oscar would go to the movie and I wont be surprised if Rosamund Pike grabs it. As I came out of the cinema,  I felt, "Of all the demons you can think of, nothing can be more dreadful or torturous than your unfathomable fear/ agony.

(image)



Vellimoonga (Silver Owl)

2014-10-12T20:36:10.106+05:30

Vellimoonga (Silver Owl)  is a recently released Malayalam movie which doesn't have a huge star cast to boast about, but its worth every cent you would pay for. The movie would blend in to your imagination in the most smoothest way and you would leave the screen with a smile and a satisfaction that you have indeed watched a sensible entertainer.



As I already mentioned, sensible is the tag I would associate with the movie. Biju Menon is the central character of the movie who portrays "Maamachchan', a typical politician and Aju Varghese as his trusted lieutenant does justice to his role. The good thing about the movie is it is very realistic, the  'hero' is not essayed as the most eligible bachelor in the town, but is crooked, cunning and gets way with things and people in clearly a ruffian way. Tiny Tom as 'Jose', Maamachchan's arch-rival plays a fine part in the movie and so do the others. The sequences are well knit and you don't feel let down or bored at any point.

The movie is a very pragmatic portrayal of the current political and social fabric told with a  wonderful humour touch that keeps you engrossed throughout. The only drawback being (that you wouldn't bother much) that the entire cast using a 'Kottayam/ Pala' slang for conversation even though the story is supposedly set in the lavishly green hilly areas of Kannur. Bottom line is this is the movie that you don't wanna miss. No IDI , no VEDI, no POGA and hence not at all a KATTAPOGA. Go give it a try, you would love watching it.
(image)



The Three Calamities

2014-09-22T17:10:03.082+05:30

And after a long long time, I thought I will post something. A hell lot of events and drama unfolded in about an year that kept me away from this space. Many a time I sat in front of my laptop trying to carve out something onto this canvas, but nothing got realised. Today, in this cool pleasant evening, I thought its time I should write something. Not that I have run out of topics, in fact there's a lot of to talk about, I thought I will just share a few thoughts on few things. Even though I have titled my post as my take on some calamities, certainly for sure, all the incidents that I have bothered to poke on necessarily aren't calamities as such :).Since decades, Kashmir and kashmiris   have been on the receiving end in the  political and social fronts and the valley has undergone gruel some test of time. If human misdoings weren't enough, now nature has thrust its fury upon the helpless to pile upon the misery. But a lot of interesting things came into forefront. The so called symapthesizers never turned in to wipe the tears of the needy, in fact they seemed to have vanished. The much 'hated' and 'savage' Indian armed forces pitched in for help. It was not only army, but localities as well as others too pitched on to do their bit. There is nothing new about the handicapped infrastructure or never existing preventive mechanisms that always fail us in these scenarios, but what startled me was initially it was solely Indian army who was involved in search and rescue operations. Nobody said no when army pitched in for evacuation operations  but to follow, there were bunch of critics who found armed forces' operations insufficient and inefficient at times. I don't know what exactly is the ground truth, but I certainly feel something is better than nothing. Till date I have not seen or heard from any symapthesizers  regarding the plight of the people of Kashmir owing to the devastating floods. Probably the logic may be the bodies drowned by floods is nothing sensational compared to the ones downed by bullets.Well the next news is I got married. Not heeding ears to the sincere requests and warnings from my friends who are already encaged, I decided I will join the bandwagon. As of now the ride seems smooth, and I do expects bumps and gutters in the way forward. Hope I would be able to handle them well and move forward with conviction. The days seem to be running away and time seems to be always a step ahead of me. Early days into the new stage of life and I hope things will settle down with time.Peruchaazhi is the latest malayalam movie of the legendary actor Mohanlal. I don't feel like reviewing the movie here but would touch open my feelings about the same. The intro was good, Mohanlal was at his usual best, so were the others. The movie had some wonderful moments , some ordinary moments and towards the end some embarrassing moments. I can't say it was bad, but I just felt numb at times thinking how immature the film maker expects the audience to be. I do understand the movie had a statutory warning requesting the audience to switch off their logic, but I felt they should have replaced the word 'logic' with 'sense'  in the warning. Another sequence from the movie which held me pondering was when the hero lavishly drapes an American flag as dhoti and unleashes his martial skills. I wondered what would have been the scenario had it been Tom Cruise draped in Indian tri color in a Hollywood movie. Our media houses would have celebrated it at least for a month. I am neither criticising nor vindicating anyone regarding this matter ( couldn't find a better statement to be on the safer side :) )That's all for the day, just a few thoughts that I thought I would share. Awaiting new adventures in the seas as my ship has embarked on a new journey.[...]



Gravity

2013-10-13T23:40:55.731+05:30

It feels like a long long time since my last post. Basically, the laziness had me convinced that I was running on a hard patch of writers' block. It needed a intense dose of push and luckily, I did have one, I watched the movie GRAVITY.

(image) The movie begins, the titles run on the screen and then there is darkness on the screen with a dead silence, "Welcome to the space folks!!". From the very first frame to the last, there is not a single shot I found draggy or meaningless. Even Schindler's List bored me in between, but a movie with virtually no background score and very few dialogues, I just didn't know how ninety minutes passed by. This movie tells about an out of the world event without any "out of the world" sequences. There couldn't be any  movie realistic than this one in its genre. I believed science fiction movies always pulls out the charm with ballistics,smoke and fire , but this one had none and still you just sit engrossed to your seats. You hardly see not more than three faces in the movie, but do you really care. Emotional scenes are captured with the very serenity it demands. Its not always about brawling and crying, I felt people became more humane outside the boundaries of the world. The scene when the tear drops of the protagonist comes floating to you is just one of the marvelous shots of the movie.

This is the first movie in which I just couldn't find any shortcomings. I felt what it is to be in space and probably would watch the movie again on an IMAX screen. I would find it hard to rate the movie as such, but if insisted I would say GRAVITY  > day light... >  any other movie. (image)



8

2013-06-09T23:57:17.887+05:30

When I think with a rather sane frame of mind, Rafael Nadal winning French open for the 8th time shouldn't be something I should be taking too much pride on coz he is neither my brother nor my best friend. But his victory today takes a very special place in my heart. I am a self confessed Rafa fan, but not the one, who shaves my head or tattoos Rafa's name on my hand. I admire him, but not obsessed with him and I believe there is a clear difference between the two. I am not a fan who would run for his autographs or Tees signed by him, but he is a role model for me in multiple facets of life.


I respect Roger Federer because he is the most talented person the sport of tennis has ever seen. I wasn't amused even when he amassed all those grand-slams because he was born to play tennis. I respected the man who would hit an unbelievable fore hand and stay at that stance for the phtotgraphers, but I started admiring a man who would run, run and run like he is running for his life and then return the shot with impeccable power and precision. There has been countless instances where Nadal pulls out the most impossible forehands and the opposition stands watching. Even Federer would have wondered, "How does he do it". Nadal defeated Federer when he was at the prime of his form. He didn't have the fear that he is playing against the World's greatest player, nor did he ever back off from chasing a  seemingly impossible shot.


I admire him for how he has grown to become a legend. The relentless conquistador who still doesn't know what it means to give up. I haven't seen any other guy who would run the court's length to take a ball when he is 0-40 down. His incorruptible spirit has always been an inspiration to me, never to give up anything in life; just as someone said, "Pain is temporary, quitting is permanent". Seven months of time outside court battling injury wouldn't have been a great time for him. I still remember those  reports that said Nadal would probably bid adieu to the game like Bjon Borg did. Even I feared it that way, But I just loved the way he does it, everytime when people writes him off, he comes back, fights back and wins back as an unstoppable force, always resilient, relentless and consistent. And now , there his is, at the best time of his career in terms of win percentage since his injury. He is far away from the class he is, but still he fights to regain what he is known for.


It must be an irony that when tomorrow, new rankings come up, Nadal would be pushed to 5th and Ferrer would be 4th. But thats what Nadal is made for, he is that human being who just keeps pushing the frontiers of  human capabilities to nature defying levels. He would fight and win back whatever he has lost and keeprewriting history books.


Ferrer during the presentation ceremony said, "He is the greatest to have played in clay" and how true he is. Hats off to the greatest player to have graced the surface of clay.
(image)



I Fear To Write

2013-02-08T08:59:00.696+05:30

I fear to write
For, my pen is no longer the sword
that had the fire of justice in every word;
My words appear framed,
Something that cant be tamed.

I fear to speak
For, it no longer represents the masses' voice;
And I have no choice,
But to sit lame and dump.

I fear to paint
For, what comes out in canvas
is no longer a beautiful flower in the vase;
It could burn down a town
And so I remain, pinned  down.

I fear to dance
For, its no longer an art;
I would be banished as a concubine
The one who strips near the table where you dine and wine.

I fear to live
For, with every passing day, I feel more in pain;
I see myself tied up in chain;
But I can't die,
coz, Big Brother is watching
Big Brother is watching.


Dedicated to those who had to put off their spark of creativity out of fear 
(image)



"Coffee with Destiny": My entry for the Get Published Contest

2012-12-30T15:56:09.993+05:30

The Idea :
The story is about a chance encounter with my ex-girlfriend when I was having a cup of coffee at a restaurant with my wife. I was having a splendid evening at my favourite coffee shop with my wife when my ex-girlfriend, along with her family comes to the coffee shop and occupies the adjacent table.  Memories gush on to my head, but I maintain my composure. I manage to stay calm and after sometime she leaves with her family. We shared some glances, but never talked to each other and my wife never knew what was going on. The story treads through those delicate moments and emotions between three souls and how the whole situation passes off  visibly unnoticed.

What makes this story real? :
This story  is certainly a  page in everyone's life. It wouldn't be difficult for anyone to relate to this story and they would find it quite theirs'.

Extract :

My obsession with coffee at “Dine” is well known among the staff in the restaurant, but is an obnoxious fact for my better half. I still cant figure out, her irrevocable deterrence of coffee, but more surprisingly my unjustifiable but determined effort to give her a piece of my obsession. Through the seemingly non existent large glass pane, the diminishing rays from the sun seemed to uncover the tint of tacit dissatisfaction on her face which she was trying to hide. Even though she dislikes coffee as much as my obsession for it, she prefers to gulp it without hesitation . One reason could be the fact that we have been together for just over 6 months now. A feud over coffee is presumably too early in what is planned to be a long career together.

Endnote: This is my entry for the HarperCollins–IndiBlogger Get Published contest, which is run with inputs from Yashodhara Lal and HarperCollins India.

(image)



SkyFall

2012-11-09T19:04:33.300+05:30

After 50 years of spying and messing around, now Bond does a bit of house keeping ; I don't know if that's what you wanted from Bond, but that is definitely the thing on offer. Believe me and DO believe me, Bond can cry and you would utter with a sigh,"Oh s**t, he is human". Well about his house keeping part, he seemed to have cleaned it up too well.

There are two classes of Bond patrons (Well if you didn't know, i just made it up :) ), one who would always prefer him to be the cold blooded naughty agent who finds the same thrill in mutilation and fornication, one who is more a humanoid than human, the synonym of "flirting with danger". There is another set of people who craved for a human "Bond", the one in blood and bones, the one who isn't burdened with  the magnanimous volume of arrogance and a  too racy character. The movie might appear a bit disappointing for the first clan, but for the second group, you are in for a show guys. If you are expecting a bond flirting with bombs and babes, a tad disappointment on your face would not be a misnomer.


Javier Bardem just again exemplifies fine performance, I am sure, by far, he is the most powerful villain of the Bond franchise, not because of a powerful script, but his power packed performance. Judi Dench as M is exceptional, the new Q looks promising where as the lady brigade is a real disappointment as they haven't got anything much to offer. Daniel Craig is far more promising, I found him in better shape, in terms of performance and his body, in this edition than his previous two outings.

Talking about the technicalities, awesome locations, fantastic camera work and breath-taking actions steal the show.  No technical things have been over done and it appears picture perfect. Just forgot to mention, you wouldn't find Bond pulling out an explosive pen or a time bomb watch, this one is much more realistic and close to the heart than ever before.

People who feel that I am messing around rather than giving a clear verdict on the movie (Not that my verdict carries any significance), its because I am still confused if I was satisfied. Don't miss it because it is indeed a very well crafted movie, but is it the best bond movie ever, well.. I would say No. I am a fan of Bond who is more Brosnanesque rather than Craigesque. I love a Bond who caress his tie knot under water when normal people would gasp for air and skates sangfroid in the ice when an avalanche is behind his back and that Bond was missing in the movie. But I am not completely hopeless,  when he jumped into a half blown cab of a train and found time to fix a sleeve of his coat,  that gave me goosebumps. May be in next, we shall have the Bond we all are waiting for (Atleast I am!!).

“If you like reading this post, please consider sharing it”.(image)



The Epic Fall of a Legend: Lance Armstrong

2012-10-26T21:23:24.944+05:30

At the very outset, let me tell you,I am too confused and perplexed if I am right about the title that I have chosen for this post. I have no doubts about the "Epic Fall", but I am quite bewildered about the word "legend" and its appropriateness when woven along with Lance Armstrong. Its not about a sportsman being kicked out on account of doping, its about the disgrace and defacing of a persona who has been the face of a sport for a long time.Lance Armstrong was a Goliath of the cycling arena in every sense. Franky putting it,  there was a time when cycling meant Lance to me. I didn't know it was a team event, I didn't know he was part of a big team. It appeared to me as a one man show just like tennis or golf. I won't blame it completely on my ignorance, media is one big accomplice who convinced me that cycling is all about Lance. Every year I used to follow Tour de France through newspapers and there was only one name I could find. Later I stopped following it due to the boredom that blossomed within me due to the monotonicity of seeing the same name every time.With every year, my admiration for him scaled new heights. Few years back, I came to know that he was a cancer survivor and that too a case, even doctors had written off. I became his fan, even though I never saw any of his races. I assumed him to be another Sachin Tendulkar with stupendous and enviable character, on and off field.Controversies have always wrapped sporting legends and some have remained as ineffaceable blots on their very character. It seemed Maradona had addictions to things other than football and Tiger was indeed a crouching tiger on many fields, golf course being only one among them. But Lance Armstrong was not just a sporting legend , he exemplified many ideals, he was an inspiration to a morally decadent society. Its not about a fling or a drug fantasy,  but much more beyond that. When the consistent and shamelessly professional and organized fabric of doping cosmos came into daylight, the damage had already been done. When it comes to Lance, it doesn't end in pulling down billboards or tearing down advertisement posters, He stood as the embodiment of  human resilience and determination , replacing a symbol is not as simple as defacing an idol.The USADA report on the doping and subsequent actions taken by the UCI have in fact not only jeopardized  whatever Lance Armstrong had, which includes his profession, personal life and his legacy; but also  put fans like me in a rather dis trusty waters. You are not in a position to stand for him because you know he was callously cheating the whole world or at least took an active part in the whole doping saga. Its hard to hate him because more than his sporting legacy, he has indeed inspired a generation which include sportsmen like Yuvraj Singh and many more. He quit the LiveStrong Foundation, but that doesn't do any good, I completely fail to see a rejuvenated Foundation growing out of its ashes .  UCI clearly washed off their hands saying Lance Armstrong  has been erased from the cycling history while it was their clear cut duty to clean the sport of all the nonsense when it was being held, not years later. You can rewrite the record books, but its hard to tear off the image of a man in yellow jersey who pumped his fists as he crossed the finishing line.Talking about the man himself, Lance must have had a stone cold heart to endure his cancer treatments and also to systematically fool the global audience for so many years. I can only hope that we would never end up having such people who not only shame themselves, but  their fans and followers as well who end up finding a tough recoup.[...]



Ayalum Nhanum Thammil

2012-11-16T08:57:26.573+05:30

Another beautiful tale from Lal Jose, another lucid script from Bobby - Sanjay, is what I would say about "Ayalum Nhanum Thammil". It is indeed a satisfactory watch and the performances of the cast has been to the mark if not mind blowing. The movie is neither an adrenaline pumper nor a blood gusher,but slowly imbibes into our heart and soul and gives a refreshing touch to our tender side.


Even though the movie is heart warming and good, I felt the storyline very much predictable. It would be impossible to match each frame of the movie or the story thread with another movie , but I strongly feel script writers have indeed trod over well laid paths and plots. The movie moves through the college life, romance and the various critical phases of the protagonist's life and there is no glitch or lack of clarity at any point. Songs are good too,but certainly not the best; maybe too many recent songs have been of the same genre, I didn't feel glued to them.

The performance of the cast is indeed worth mentioning. Prathap Pothan as our hero's mentor has played a picture perfect role. His subtle mannerisms and dialogue delivery helps to connect viewers to his role. Its a  satisfying thing to note that Prithvi Raj is maturing as a fine actor. Even though it is too early to cast him in the category of elite class of  fantastic malayalam cine performers, he is putting a commendable effort to join the league. I am not a big fan of his off screen persona, I felt him to be too arrogant (May be he cant feign modesty and is too frank) . But I have to admit, for the first time, I admired his acting above everything else. He has pulled off a fantastic performance. Other cast including Narein, Reema and Ramya have justified their inclusion in the movie.

I wouldn't say its a must watch. May be I kept too much hopes on the movie that I wasn't  fascinated at the end of it, but  certainly worth a watch. Its a good movie that is much beyond a time pass with a good message. But again , as I leave the theatre I felt I had seen these things before.(image)



The Krishna Key

2012-10-20T13:03:36.079+05:30

The Krishna Key- This is more a philosophical saga than a rational thriller.

Chanakya Chants was one of the very few novels that I have read in my life. I have to admit that it really caught my admiration. When I knew the author was coming with his next historical thriller, I did expect a matured craftsmanship in similar lines as that of Chanakya Chants. I wouldn't say I am completely disappointed, but I am not satisfied either. The fact is that I expected a hair raising thriller and my expectations just withered away as the story developed, but there was indeed an overdose of philosophical preachings and historical  backscratching. Since I do enjoy a bit of philosophy and history, I could bear it, but I am not quite sure how many can really chew that.



The reason Chanakya Chants was uninhibitedly accepted by the masses was that it directly correlated with peoples lives. For the very same reason, The Krishna Key lacks the punch. Its not that we are not concerned or completely aloof about our historical splendidness, but I think the author should have taken into account that all his readers are not going to be scholars, historians or archaeologists. I have utmost respect for the vastitude of facts that he has spectacularly dispersed throughout his novel, but at places, he seemed to have run out of preachers . Even a mafia don appears to give lectures on Krishna and Indian history and that was beyond my sane frame of  grasp.

The gain from the book was that I got an overall picture of Mahabharata, the great epic that I always wanted to read. The subsided fascination within me for history and mythology seems to have waken up.  I knew about a hell lot of things after reading this book which I never had any idea about. But as a novel or a story, it failed to catch my imagination. At times I did run at the pace of the story with astound eagerness to know what happens next, but then it slowly died down. There are places where the story might defy logic or becomes a bit unpalatable, but I continued since the information inflow was quite acceptable. Read "The Krishna Key"  for all the efforts Ashwin Sanghi has put to enlighten you. But it lacks a consistent demarcation of what is fact and what is fiction as, many a time, my comprehension failed me and  was in a state of confusion if  whatever information, I was being fed,was it a myth or a fact!  But you can give it a try with an open mind and I am sure its not just another junk in the bookshelf.


(image)



English Vinglish

2012-10-18T12:29:49.586+05:30

What is it that you expect in a movie ?.., whatever it is, "English Vinglish" just delivers that. A feel good movie is a term, in some sense, belittling the sense of satisfaction that a viewer takes back home after watching the movie. There are very few negatives, in fact none  that I can point out. Even emotional scenes are given matured treatment and fortunately, you are saved of the scenes were the protagonist open up the flood gates.



If  an actress does have to get back to the dashing world of Bollywood after a long time, this is a dream like entry anyone would want and I am sure many would envy the beauty queen of 90s for having made that mind blowing re-entry. Sreedevi  appears on the screen and you just sit frozen. Believe me, she is much more beautiful than how she looked years back. Her serene presence along with some subtle mannerisms just hold our senses and you start empathizing her character. You feel hurt when she is insulted, you feel embarrassed when she struggles with her language. I doubt if Sreedevi has acted better ever before. Even her eyelashes seemed to perform . She has been given all the screen space and rightfully so. Others have performed equally well, especially the kid who took up the role of her son.

Hats off to the  director for having made a wonderful movie of such a simple plot. She connected all dots knitting a master piece which treads through various social realms, family fabric and relationships. There is a scene where Sreedevi talks to her classmate, a french chef, in hindi and he reciprocates in french. But still both seem to understand each other and so do we. Its a wonderful feeling that I am fortunate to be a part of some fantastic films being made, at least in the form of  audience. Don't miss "English Vinglish" for anything, else you are indeed missing out something special, You would surely take "Shashee" home along with you .(image)



The Callous Side

2012-10-18T12:31:03.368+05:30

This post has been due for some time. There has been a tussle goin on for a few weeks now, a bitter one between my self confessed procrastination and a never ending itch to write. This is not the first time I have hosted these fights, but my pen had never before endured such a long struggle to come out victorious. On July 26th morning, another usual bright morning at office, I was skimming  through the online news papers when one headline caught my eye. Thankfully it was not another media sensationalized sexual abuse incident, but much worse. "Newborn dies as father couldn't pay Rs. 200 for incubator". I didn't want to read the details; who would want to begin his/ her day with such a heart wrenching news matter.Caught up in the abyss of office work, I forgot to read the news later. As, it was a friday evening, me and my friends decided  to have dinner at 'Subway' rather than our usual restaurant. We sat at the table near the TV to catch up with the news. The news ticker flashed the news I had read in the morning, but soon I sunk deep into some stupid conversation that we were having at the dinner table. As soon as I got back into my room, I logged onto the internet to read the details of the news. Disheartening would be too small a word to describe my feeling. The new born baby at a Government Hospital at Jhalander had some birth related complications and so had to be kept in the incubator. A fee of Rs 200 had to be paid, the parents didn't have the money and  had to beg with almost everyone present at the hospital and still they couldn't arrange the money. The child was taken out of the incubator and soon the poor soul met with a completely avoidable demise.In some sense, I feel the child never deserved such an ignominious society; He/she is lucky to have never born in such a callous social fabric. Two hundred was what I paid for my one time meal at SUBWAY,  I never knew life came at such a cheap rate. Its even beyond my contemplation, the mental attire of a parent who failed to pay such a meager amount. Nobody  in their vicinity was ready to help them. We have indeed pulled out a new low in our society, the very same one which doesn't mind throwing away bucks in the name of new year parties or other big bashes.I find it hard to distinguish between us and a wild animal; we live in concrete jungles and they live in natural ones; we eat junk food and they eat raw ones; even in case of wardrobes, we are strongly competing with them, nudity being the fashion statement these days. The only thing that separated us from the wild was humanity or the intensity of fellow feeling; but now, it seems to be very much disappearing.  Sexual abuses thrive in the society and the media celebrates it with much fanfare. Why blame the media when we enjoy every bit of it. Its our sheer insensitive apathy that is exhibited in each such savagery acts. With this incident, we have hit the last nail in the coffin.What economic prosperity are we talking about when we shamelessly host such infanticides. Its high time we realise that any progress unless in holistic realm can lead to an ethical chaos and probably, we are in the middle of one now.  What I felt about this particular incident is, it wasn't the lack of money that killed the child, but our attitude.  We talk about removal of corruption from the country, lets first come clean in our individual self introspection. Its not about barging out in the streets and getting involved in fist-fighting for the justice; its about not sitting duck, until your house is burnt, your sister is abused, and your child is dead.[...]



Magnificent Mary

2012-10-18T12:31:38.632+05:30

I don't remember the day when I read in print media about an Indian woman winning the world boxing championship for the fifth time. it wasn't a big news either, just a small article at the last page. I didn't remember her name, but I remembered that media or in fact boxing world had rechristened her as "Magnificent Mary". Some days back when the Olympics began, as everyone else, I too joined the bandwagon of well wishers for the team.

We slipped,limped, but somehow managed three medals even though none of them were gold. Then came the event of women's boxing and all the news media had one name to chant,'Mary Kom'. By the time, she cleared the first round, she was everywhere in the news, even international news media covered her victory. I was just amused; "Who is this lady?, is she so great that even the westerner's hail about her?". After a little bit of R&D, I came to know much more about her, a mother of two; five times world champion, residing in an old national games village quarter; was about to retire, but continued due to her husband's insistence and obviously the medal hope of India.



It must be more than ten years back that I had gone through the maps of North-East India. We had this business of marking places in the map for our exams. After so many years, today after noon, I searched for Manipur in the map, well I rediscovered it from the dusted shelves of my memories, the forgotten state of this country, its people, its culture. Till this moment, nobody bothered about her or her state, but now everyone seems to know where she hails from. She is a boxer in true sense. Her punches are more on our insensitive consciences rather than her on- court opponents. It has knocked out the lethargic ignorance that we pampered, it has reminded us that India is not limited to Bollywood, Sunny Leone and Cricket, this nation is far beyond that. There exists people in this country whose sole purpose is not to fill our census reports or show off our territorial vastness, but who has every right to be part in the process of constructing a sensible nation.

Even I used to wonder how mongoloid look alike people can be Indians. Unfortunately many morons like me still exist in our society. But I realise, they are more committed too this nation than me. They have the spirit of unity running in their blood than me. They are more 'Indian' than me. Now I understand, why Mary Kom is 'magnificent', she seems to have achieved more than just a medal. She reminds us of what it means to be part of India, what it means to fight back against odds to succeed. She has waited for twelve years and sacrificed much more to be at the Olympics. She has succeeded and in fact, she is at our hearts. There is nobody who would not have goosebumps when she fights for the country, when her punches makes you yell. When I mentioned about Mary Kom to one of our family friends, his wife asked me if she was Indian and not Chinese, before I could answer, her seven year old kid came upfront to correct her. She was still not convinced, she said, "But she looked like the Chinese..."; I just smiled at her, "She is very much Indian like us, may be much more..."(image)



An Eyeopener

2012-10-18T12:42:11.296+05:30

"When a movie amuses you, its an entertainer; when a movie makes you think, its an experience"A few months back, I don't remember the date, I don't remember the day; the only thing I remembered was I "paid" an amount equivalent to hardly one-tenth of my monthly salary to a charitable organization (Till yesterday, it was a payment for me, not a donation). Don't count me for a messaih because I had not done it out of charity, not out of a clear conviction that indeed I am doing an extremely small part towards a better life for someone; It was an accident( a pleasant one I would call it now).That sunday fine morning when I was busy having some fun time with friends, I heard a knock at the door. One of my friends had gone out to fetch breakfast, expecting him I opened the door only to find a strange but smiling face. He was a student working as a part time volunteer for an organisation called CARE INDIA which worked for the upliftment of the downtrodden. He was explaining their various programmes and we were bored to hell. We just wanted to get rid of him somehow, a weekend never seemed to be a good time for charity. Initially we thought we would dispose him with some hundred bucks, but it seemed  the programme was to provide health care for some HIV infected kids in Andhra Pradesh and so the initial amount was really high. I was not moved at all since these stories were always on the air and people run all melodrama for snatching money in the name of some or the other cause. We put forth some probing questions and when he started promptly answering them, we told him we were short of money now and if he comes after two-three days, may be we would consider paying for the cause. We had performed more than enough so that he realizes we were disgusted with his very presence, forget what his purpose was.Against all my expectations, he came three days later in the evening, he had to wait for an hour or so since I was late from the office. Now there was no running away, my ego was pestering me a bit too. Being a Class-A gazetted officer, I felt I had to put a Gentleman's attire and with a set of mixed feelings, a little of embarrassment, ego, maybe a tint of sadness, a botheration of failure and somewhere a tiny feeling of doing something good(That was really tiny), I paid the money. He gave me a receipt and informed me the organisation would be mailing me some letter for tax benefit and also the details about the child who would be benefited by the amount I had given. I was not even listening to him, I was of the mood "you got the money, now get lost". As he moved off, I thought, there goes my hard earned money (Slightly disputable point may be ). Later I received some letters from them, some thankyou notes; I didn't bother to read, those letters just decorated my dustbin.Months later, I got a call from the same guy mentioning about the well being of the child they had managed to bring back to life with the meager amount I had paid. He asked me if I was interested in helping them out one more time, I asked him to email me the details and I will go through. My apathy should have been so visible that I got no email. Unfortunately, I was happy, this time I was not going to leak out money.Yesterday,  I went for a movie with my friends, A Malayalam feature film named "Ustad Hotel". An entertainer with a mix of emotions, melodrama, humour and whatever that makes a movie a pleasing one. The movie caught my senses spellbound when the plot lead the protagonist to a south Indian city Madurai where he met a ph[...]



The girl with the RJ tag

2012-10-18T12:44:14.873+05:30

Its been a long time since I spent some time over here. My pen seemed to have stopped spilling ink. I sat days starring at my blog without typing anything. So now,  as my eyes flirt with the elegant night lights of Bangalore,  I  put in a committed effort to break out of the jinx, I try hard not to lose myself,  vehemently fight not to get drowned in the trivialities of life.
The music that soothened my ears came from a radio channel. Usually I prefer not to give ears to the blabber of RJs, but I always appreciated their ability to keep words pouring in with loads of energy. As the sweet voice of the anchor created a cozy ambience, I noticed that she was talking about "falling out of love ". I had quite a lot heard about falling in love,  but a programme on falling out of it appeared interesting. The most interesting part of the programme was that while the RJ kept sobbing over many callers ' experiences, she would say, " On this note, lets listen to a very romantic song ". I really felt sorry for her. She had some songs lined up to be played and irrespective of the scenario or mood,she had to play them. The callers couldn 't ask for more. A poor chap calls up and says his gf has dumped him and there comes the song for him, 'Ek ladki ko delha toh aisa lagaa...',  well how could that relieve a distressed soul,  I have no idea.

Then there was another woman who had kids and stuff and she seems to be falling in for some office guy and many more cases. The RJ assured each and every caller that she would pray for all of them and wished them good luck. I thought infidelity was a word that could be related to most of the cases. I felt people just forgot what compromise and sacrifice means in the context of family. Just because your partner doesnt get time for you doesnt give a big enough excuse for kickstarting a flirting saga. I am no saint and I cant make prophecy on what happens to my life after x years. But just prioritising your lust and selfishness over family and moral ethics is not an idea I find worth pampering. May be some of you might disagree with me, but I felt repelled to some idiotic calls and more awful responses that I switched off the radio. At nights,  when one would prefer some beautiful songs and sweet talk, I couldnt digest a 20 year old advising a 30 year old on dealing with her extra marital affair followed by a romantic song on air singing her a lullaby. May be the channel could air the topic at some other slot calling in a sensible psychiartrist to host the show rather than a college going girl who tried her best with some subtle groans and ohhs. I wish God would pull in some sense into these people  so that they dont start searching solace in an RJ's voice.
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The Trial

2012-10-18T12:44:58.634+05:30

Someone rightly said, 'There is a thin line between sanity and insanity'. The beauty of Franz Kafka's novel  (for that matter, his any other work)  is the ease with which he treads the line and takes the reader through an ambiguous mental realm. It was nothing more than just curiosity that prompted me to read his works; having known about his reputation as one of the very best in modern literature, it was high time that I should read any of his works. I started off with his short story, "The Judgement". After reading it, I felt, "Give me a dose of 'ecstasy', give me a pen and paper, I would, at any time, give a better shot.". I just couldn't stop cribbing  at the unquantifiable piece of insanity , I felt it like a holy piece of ****.  But not let down by this, I thought I would read "The Trial". My first impression, "What Kafka can contemplate, well only he can contemplate.". His ability to detail even a trivial human thought with unrivaled surgical precision impressed me beyond words.



The novel starts in the usual Kafkaesque style, the protagonist Josef K comes to know that he has been put under trial. There is no mention anywhere regarding the case or the incident K got involved in  which gave him the 'accused' tag. The whole novel focuses on how K faces the trial and his struggle to prove his innocence. There is no conventional chain of progress or demeanor that any of the characters portrayed exhibits. Its as chaotic as it can ever get. The behavioral patterns exhibited by some of the characters might seem to be out of place, well , 'The Trial" is never meant for a conventional citizen. There is no way you can guess the climax unless you are as imaginative or as eccentric as Kafka (I certainly believe its the former one). But certain parts of the novel would boggle your mind because of the ease with which the author details, what appears to be subtle events and his unparalleled skill to portray it completely in words. The philosophical attire that the novel drapes is twisted, but fantastically conceived and aptly presented. After reading the novel, you never get a feeling of eating up a thriller diet or fatigue of a philosophical torture, but a pleasant feeling of ambiguity that you dont want to clarify, an unexplainable sense of gratitude for the author who have serenely portrayed what your mind wanders through at times, but never knew how to express. Finally your mind would succumb to the fact, "Kafka is a genius".
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Kabul

2011-08-20T23:34:35.358+05:30

"But the game involves only male names. Because, if it's a girl, the name was already chosen". My eyes barely met with the penultimate word that it flirted with a news article on my computer screen. I sat numb with my eyes gouging into oblivion on account of two facts I conjured; Khaled Husseini is nothing less than a pied piper, Hope still seems to be too highly priced a dream for a desolation draped nation.

I was meant to be writing a book review on " A Thousand Splendid Suns" which is another class act from the author, but it would be unfair to constrict the vastitude of human misery defined in the book to be mere heart wrenching. What pains me the most is even after almost 40 years of endless wars and crimes on humanity, Afghanistan remains a blood sucking land and Kabul, a cradle of unfathomable miseries. I have never been to Kabul, but the novel teleports me from my plush mattress to the parched meadows, air conditioned coupe to sun stricken deserts. The endless times of endurance tests are beyond words and sometimes, it is hard to perceive the depth of adaptability cortex wound around human souls that transcends any emotional breakdowns and bypasses savage torture. Its unbelievable what a mass of flesh and bones can withstand in order to survive and realise its hopes.

I winced in pain when the protagonist embraced the lashes, silently wailed when mines chopped off the limbs. When I finally finished  the book, I had a sigh of relief that there will be no more EQ poking, a satisfaction of having read a wonderful piece and more importantly, the assuagement that  after all this is just a story and I just self-abased to pamper some one else's imagination. All of a sudden, when the news article that worded the brutal bombings at Kabul, struck my eyes, I knew; Beyond any veil of words of misery in a novel, beyond any magnifications by the media, there is truth in the pale story of Kabul, there is pain in every street which I might never see, but I feel it. A pain inflicted by humans on humanity with nature watching  silently as if incapacitated by its intensity. Many excuses tabled  and the burden being borne by mute ideologies which are being preached by purblind "saviours". I realise the triviality of my self assurance of existence, how obvious it seems to me that I will be alive tomorrow, how true is Maslow's hierarchy where the base level  meant nothing  more than an academician's delight to me.

But there are some painful similarities between me and a human embodiment in the land of hopes. He has learned to walk past the debris of bodies with indomitable calm, he has learned to sell his artificial leg for a meager meal, he has lost hope of seeing his kin and kith alive tomorrow morning. He has gained strength. I have learned to skim past the pages of truth with indomitable calm, I have learned to tread on others pain without a treble. I proudly claim, with an unashamed conscience, I can feign compassion.
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The Kite Runner

2012-10-18T13:58:07.050+05:30

My fascination for fiction is in its infancy and I am quite enthralled to tell you that I have been fortunate to read a gem which is termed as one of the best read in the last decade. 'The Kite Runner' is nothing but fascinating in every sense of word and beautiful beyond any bounds of tangible expression. As  I ran through the last words of the book, it was not a sense of  satisfaction that I had, but of a settled window pane that had quivered in a severe gust of wind, a satiable smile after having a ride on roller coaster of emotions.

The novel takes you through the parched lives of Afghanistan and the hardships people face to survive another day. Its an unparalleled caricature of  human story of Afghanistan with such depth and vividness that you cant tear yourself off the plot. The first hand narration of the protagonist makes you empathize the character  and your involvement to the whole plot bears an involuntary commitment.



The novel is based on two childhood friends, Amir and Hassan who grow in Afghanistan through the turmoils of time and later, part ways brought about by the turbulent situation in Afghanistan. Amir, the protagonist and his friend had woven a thick fur of friendship which gets torn off as time passes by, thanks to the justifiable cowardice of  the protagonist, and Amir moves to the United States of America  when Afghanistan was being ravaged by war. The novel continues with the narration of protagonist about his life in US and his saga  seeking redemption.

Even till the last word, the author has been successful in mesmerizing the reader in his web spawn of  hand picked words and heart crunching emotionally pricking tangled events. I would suggest it a must read for all  since its a passionate account of  deteriorating humanity and the never ending struggle of a nation and its people to find their niche.(image)



Chanakya Chants

2012-10-18T13:58:40.105+05:30

Its been a long time I have written a review on a book I read, the reason being successful pampering of my procrastination in ploughing out time for reading something worth. When you are happy cuddling on your idleness in life, it requires something spectacular to throw you into action and "Chanakya Chants" is nothing less than that. Its the latest novel written by Ashwin Sanghi of "The Rozabal Line" fame.

The novel starts with an old man, toiling for his last breaths at a hospital bed, watching, a woman getting sworn in as the prime minster, on television. The next chapter pulls you down the time line to some where around 500 BC when the King Paurus is brutally murdered by a female assassin. The novel is a blend of two stories occurring at different timelines but the theme being the same. The present time story has a man named Gangasagar Mishra as the protagonist who successfully thrones a poor village girl in the helm of the world's largest democracy. The second story which dates back to 500 BC or around when Vishnu Gupta alias Chanakya avenges his father's murder and in the process places Chandra Gupta Maurya as the Emperor of 'Bharath'. The novel in detail portrays the strategy carved out by both protagonists in taking their partisans to the zenith of political power. It explicitly mentions the shrewdness and diplomacy played out by both king makers in getting their jobs done.

One cannot stop admiring the precision with which Sanghi has spawned both threads and intermingled them throughout the novel in a delightful and gracefully discern manner. The novel glues to your palms from the first page and it requires quite an insensitive mental attire to even take a pee break in between. I would recommend this novel a must read for those who love political thrillers and also those who closely follow the Indian political scenario. Even though the author claims the book to be entertaining, rather than educative, I feel the second aspect has been well covered, given the depth with which the domain has been handled. Read it and conjure your wickedness :)(image)



Chotu

2012-11-07T14:32:26.620+05:30

Drenched in November rains, this morning appeared much colder than it usually is, that walking out in the streets without a sweater was implausible, at least an over coat is inevitable. I was in no mood to move out of my bed. But my belly would never agree. As always, I again 'deliberately' missed my breakfast today. I always believed that on holidays, ten in the morning is too early to rise from bed, but unfortunately, after ten, you can't find breakfast in any nearby restaurants. So, even though the clock had just ticked twelve, I decided that an early lunch would solve my belly's outcry. At half past twelve, I walked out of my apartment with my black khakis and a grey t-shirt that has been demanding a clean up for past few days. But thanks to my deodorants and perfumes, I completely suppressed the ever longing hope of my fabric.I walked to the restaurant across the street. Being a bachelor employed far away from home, the only respite in life for me was the sumptuous lunch and dinner that I have from the nearby restaurant at weekends that pampered my native tastes, even though it emptied my pockets. At times, I felt I worked five days a week just in hope for having those feasts at the weekends. I entered the restaurant and ordered my usual rice and fish curry. My memory has wiped out any traces of that moment when I ordered something different. Since I am a usual visitor in that hub, I had developed a warm acquaintance with the restaurant staff. Since my eyes had already been accustomed with those faces, I never kept an inquisitive view until I saw this boy who was a shade darker than a wheat flake and stood four feet from the ground. He cleaned the table, served me water and brought the dishes I had ordered. I looked at his face and instantly, I guessed, had he been in school, he must have been in fifth grade. I was having a peaceful rendezvous with my food when I noticed a family, a middle aged looking couple with a ten year old boy, caught my attention. One of the restaurant staff called out, "Chotu...(kid)" and the four feet tall sprung onto action. He cleaned the table, served water and continued with his designated task. I knew "Chotu" was not his real name, but probably they renamed him for convenience. While serving, Chotu's eyes were locked on the wrist watch the boy was wearing. In midst, the boy looked up at his father, "Papa, that new ferrari you got for me seems to have some problem. The remote control is not working..". The gentleman gave him a consoling pat on the back and advised him to concentrate on his food. Chotu who was still serving seemed amused and perplexed. I think he found it hard to figure out what "ferrari" meant. The family got engaged in finishing their plates and at times I found, the boy was virtually spoon fed. I could see 'chotu' looking at the boy with envy and sadness in his eyes, standing besides the kitchen door. Its not that I have not witnessed stark dichotomies before, but never been a part of such a touching one. All at once, I realised that my half dried hands required to be cleaned and I moved to wash room. Once I paid the bill, I called 'chotu' and gave him a ten rupee note. He was happy and confused at the same moment since no customer at the restaurant used to pay tips, at least I never saw anyone doing that which includes me. I came out of the restaurant and I saw a big banner smiling at my face which read, "Happy Children's Day". I turned back, and saw 'chotu' busy with his[...]



The PRO who never voted

2010-09-25T07:30:14.828+05:30

At this moment, when my thoughts are being draped in words, I hear rain drops pelting at the glass pane. I can feel its restlessness, it mirrors what I feel within. When the rains decided to drench a thirsty Bangalore night, I walk into the world of nostalgia, I trace back the steps form this moment to as far as I can go. The drizzle always have had the effect of a vodka in me. It burns in through my memory hole slowly and steadily like a vodka does through your throat. You never gulp vodka, you feel it.Another hour from now, when people expect me to rejoice the moment which I consider trivial, I am reminded that whatever I do, wherever I am; I cant escape from the clutches of inevitable decay. I am growing on one side whereas at the other end, am decaying. Its been twenty four years since the unique moment when I cried and my mother smiled. At the penultimate hour of twenty three years since my first breath; the rain makes me skim through all those moments that I have shelved at various phases. The latest one that tickles my funny bone took place almost six months back.Since I am a government employee, I am obliged to serve the country in various ways. But at the age of twenty three, I never ever imagined that I would have to conduct a poll. The heat of BBMP elections were at its peak and all the posters and banners ensured that none of the walls in Bangalore were spared. But, I was least bothered. To put it frankly, I have been an irresponsible cribbing citizen of this country who never casted a vote even though I had three chances. I never considered it worth enough to be a part of the democratic process, not that I dont believe in it, but my lethargy always surpasses my duties by yards. So BBMP elections were not even in my distraction list that could eat up a few minutes of my life. And all of a sudden, I came to know that I am appointed as the presiding officer (PRO) in a particular booth during this elections. My vocabulary fails to express the agonising moments I went through, the agony of a person who has never seen a ballot box and has to conduct the polls.I had to attend a training session two days prior to the elections. Most of the sessions were in the domestic language and even the handouts conveyed the information in the same. Since the native language appeared nothing better than Greek to me, one can imagine what I would have learned during that day. The day before the elections, I reported at a school where I met my other "team members" (Polling officer and two assistants). Fortunately, they belonged to the same state and luckily for me, they could follow English. I thought I could communicate with the voters at the booth through these people. Finally, after a long wait, I was given the ballot box and other components. So there, I had my first rendezvous with the device that tracked a nation's destiny.We moved on to our polling booth. It was already evening by then and even the twilight bid adieu while we arranged the room for the next day's election. I knew I had to fill up a hell lot of forms and so I pulled out the bundle of forms to fill them one by one. Once I went through the forms, I had a smile on my face. I realised, you smile only on two cases, either when you are satisfied, or when you are sad beyond reconciliation. None of the forms were in English, not even the numerals in the forms. I think my smile doesn't need an explanation now. My team mates sprang into action [...]



64 and Beyond

2010-08-18T13:42:40.771+05:30

This Sunday morning had some peculiarities when I bring in other days into perspective. The first thing I noted was , I had my eyes wide open at 6 in the morning; I was having a stroll with my friend when I should be craving for warmth under my blanket. It would be hard to pick up another such day from the scrap of my memory when I was this unfortunate (Not that I was with my friend, but I was out of bed). Other than this trivial personal mini anecdote, the day was important as my country celebrated her 64th anniversary as a free state. The Independence day had always given me reasons for joy at various phases of my life. During my school days, I never missed the session at school on this particular day. It was the thrill of getting a flag badge along with the sweets, once the programme was over, that enthralled me. All vehicles had the tricolours hung on them. I knew Prime Minister delivers a speech on that day, but I could never follow it since it always appeared boring and the words "development" and "harmony" were repetitive. Once I was at my college, Independence day meant I can either sleep at home or can watch a movie without having to sacrifice the attendance. The Prime Minister's speech was not even in my minds. I mean how many times can your ears buy a mere verbal distinction. In the current phase, I am a pessimistic citizen who believes that nothing can be right. Some one rightly quoted," Everyone wants change, but none brings it by themselves". I am a pseudo well wisher of this nation who believes in a radical transformation of our administration system for the good, but prefer to find a seat in the audience. This sunday morning, I was no different. I knew there will be loads of talks on hopes and aspirations and future and finally by the end of the day, we remain where we are. There is a KG school in my neighbourhood and the day's celebration was on with small kids dancing and singing. I thought this would be interesting and so, had my ears open to the activities running there. Thanks to my laziness , I preferred to 'stay and listen' rather than 'go and watch'. It was the turn of a boy to speak on Independence day. He began his speech in a loud voice which was blend with innocence. He kept speaking whatever he had memorised last night. I expected it to be another well polished set of un-perceived sentences from him. I could never have blamed him for that since he was too young to know what he was speaking. My prejudiced perspective was jolted when I heard him say, "We need to save our country from terrorism". Even though he might not be knowing, what he meant, the statement had its impact on the audience including me. There are many things that hit my head when I heard that child throw out those bunch of words. The first thing was that I realised, how terrorism had become a part of our life that even a four year old kid mentions it. During my kindergarten days, the only "ism" I knew was mannerism, " Dont bite your nails, speak politely to people and bla bla..". But for current budding generation, there are more important terms and hard realities to catch up with, that what I learned during my kindergarten days are what they imbibe in nappy days. Fifteen years back, our problems were mostly monotonic, we had to bring down poverty levels, stabilise the economy and bring in decent job opportunities for the youth; almost all of them were financial concerns. Now we[...]