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Archive for September, 2009

Watching Before Sunrise/Sunset

Watched two really splendid movies over the weekend.
Before Sunrise and Before Sunset are two wonderful movies each having a different context though about the same people. One’s about the youthful optimism and one’s about realism.
I have a hard time understanding the fine technicalities of movie making but anyday few things capture me. Good Screenplay and dialogues, expressive but subtle emotions and overall beautiful cinematography like Santosh Sivan does.
before sunrise
These two movies the conversation is all you get and want. The setting may be Vienna/ Paris but what you do is strain to hear every line and considering they talk literally throughout the movie its awesome.

Before Sunrise when I saw in the afternoon I liked it as a sweet movie , the kind on which our DDLJ stuff could have been based and kind of like a memory of youthful times when you wanted to believe in love and all that .

It makes quite a logical question on the soulmates issue which I loved – It goes something like this
“OK, well this was my thought: 50,000 years ago, there are not even a million people on the planet. 10,000 years ago, there’s, like, two million people on the planet. Now there’s between five and six billion people on the planet, right? Now, if we all have our own, like, individual, unique soul, right, where do they all come from? You know, are modern souls only a fraction of the original souls? ‘Cause if they are, that represents a 5,000 to 1 split of each soul in the last 50,000 years, which is, like, a blip in the Earth’s time. You know, so at best we’re like these tiny fractions of people, you know, walking… I mean, is that why we’re so scattered? You know, is that why we’re all so specialized?”
But overall it was relatively much feel good.

Before Sunset

Before Sunset is different – its much heavier though a bit shorter(Actually together both movies are less than 3 hrs).
As the director said somewhere it is romance for the realists and I absolutely adored it.

The discussions are more about the world and how its affecting them rather than memories and dreams.

It is when you watch Before Sunset that you love the original movie a little more like you love memories a little more.

The discussion goes on and on in Before Sunset with no obvious conclusion but as is said in the movie – its about evolving through

“Maybe what I’m saying is, is the world might be evolving the way a person evolves. Right? Like, I mean, me for example. Am I getting worse? Am I improving? I don’t know. When I was younger, I was healthier, but I was, uh, whacked with insecurity, you know? Now I’m older and my problems are deeper, but I’m more equipped to handle them”
Overall its been quite some time since I like something as much. They are a great watch.

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This is going to be a long post of mish mash , of my readings , of thoughts , some unwritten snatches remembered and some pieces fitted in.
I was looking up some of my older posts and realized Ive lost even that focus. Even though what I write is hugely diarylike I asked myself why do I write then on a blog, may be because making it a post allowed me to focus on a structure or a thought.

But I seem to have even lost that grip and so I write even less. But whats worse is its become quite hard to read books as I used to read.But I try for my own world is collapsing just as I assumed it would , but hoped it wont.

As quoted by R.A.Heinlein one must never be a pessimist
“a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun–and neither can stop the march of events.”
But unfortunately events have proved me too correct for my own good esp at my home.

Tolstoy knew what we was talking about when he started that morose novel with the lines
“All happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
So is ours .paranoia , hurt ,power and economics rule our lives more than we care to admit.
If I were younger I would have still been complaining but for now I just know each of us are unhappier due to each of us
and its a vortex of hurt we are being sucked into and I fall in line.
Giving up doesn’t solve it.you have to keep fighting it and that is life.
To escape this and a listlessness of a different kind at work I tried my only escape left.Books
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I thought a simple fantasy story would keep me hooked to another world and started reading the Lord of the Rings, a movie which I resolved not to see till I read the book.It was a hard start esp the initial pages I just was losing my patience but it was the Gollum story and Gandalf thing that finally pulled me in and I was lost for a few hours every day.

But wherever you get lost one line here a thought there pulls you back too your own world

Lonely men are we, Rangers of the wild, hunters – but hunters ever of the servants of the Enemy; for they are found in many places, not in Mordor only………………..And yet less thanks have we than you. Travellers scowl at us, and countrymen give us scornful names
“”Strider” I am to one fat man who lives within a day’s march of foes that would freeze his heart, or lay his little town in ruin, if he were not guarded ceaselessly. Yet we would not have it otherwise. If simple folk are free from care and fear, simple they will be, and we must be secret to keep them so.”

As I read this my thoughts of having peace came back to me and then I thought one cant have peace without war , whatever some people preach.You need some brave strong and fearless who fight so you have peace. I don’t like this thought but somehow what I see around me convinces me more and more of this.

The news then got filled up with death of CM of Andhra Pradesh in unforeseen circumstances and you can see everyone for a moment was in shock, not out of of grief for the departed or such but more because of it brought back to people the fragility of life, the helplessness of man against nature .
It convinced the fatalistic even more of fate,
to the religious the certainty of the power of God ,
to the happy go lucky it convinced them that there may never be a tommorow so live for the day
and to some it reiterated their own beliefs.
We all interpret events ,books, movies by our past experiences and deepest emotions ,fears .
How ever can there be an absolute truth?

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Have started reading Stay Hungry Stay Foolish by Rashmi Bansal.Its quite a good collection till now though I must say nothing beats Steve Jobs speech.

Though when you read something like this (its by Shantanu Prakash of educomp)at a time when your pay sucks and career seems hopeless you really feel…Hmmmm lets somehow get out of this

Two years you may struggle. If the average salary is Rs.15-18 lakhs p.a. (gross) how much do you make in five
years? 18 x 5, right? After tax, you make some 50 lakhs.In 5 years, I can guarantee you, any business you do, will
earn you that. Assuming that you are at least a little bit intelligent, within a year, the valuation of your business
itself will exceed fifty lakhs. No matter what you do.

Now its not the logic of it which can be argues , its the sheer confidence and obstinate persistence I think that makes some people successful.But then failures don’t have books written on them.
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A friend brought up Atlas Shrugged a book I read a decade back and cant recollect every scene, but she was a author I liked
though not quite completely in the usual sense.
Ive written about it here.

I tried re reading parts of it and though I still like the conception of her theory its a ideal we can struggle towards may be , but it ignores so much. The Francisco money speech is one of the best in defence of the goodness of money , something you want to throw back at all those smug people who say money is evil.
“When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men. Blood, whips and guns–or dollars. Take your choice–there is no other–and your time is running out”

But what this assumes is men always deal honestly with money, truth remains that men make/buy men as tools using money too and just as “blood whips and guns” money too is a tool used by mankind to gain power(over what depends on the individual ).

Ayn Rand is quite popular among some of great acheivers Ive noticed and you have to say that in her times it seemed right considering what she must have seen living at the height of communism and complete subjugation of the individual, the high ideal that she created even she never lived up to it , because life even for a individual sans society is much complex.

Every individual somewhere deep with is a sum of the parts of his experiences and personas he battles within.

================LIFE SIMPLE ?===================

Someone remarked at office – Life is simple people are complex in a different context?
Is it ? – I wondered at heart. what is life if not people and how is life simple.
People defintely are not but so isnt life. Its just that since we cant simplify ourselves we wish life was simple,
like a set of rules and so we have religion or society or whatever that makes people frame the rules to live by.
And people who refuse to look beyond it and live by it may be do have it simple.
But its a choice in the end and it has to be made.

===================THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS ==========

The last book I read completely immersed into was like 2 months ago and though I was moved enough to write on it I never managed to.
I have had a certain dislike to Arundhati Roys views since well like very long and my tendency to stay away from hyped books at times prevented me from reading “The God of Small Things” . But I guess everything has a time and so I finally read it.

I have a complete distaste for many of her arguments esp political but I say she writes marvelously.
I felt that first when I read her piece against the nuclear tests in outlook over a decade back and was very impressed and her novel is moving enough.The book may have the usual nuisance like the incest parts and the India for the west potrayal (inserted for sales) at times, but I rather ignore them and enjoy the better parts.

She really brings a visual and auditory feel by her words esp her repetitions and the childrens parts there were truly refreshingly childlike.
“Ammu held out the crisp matching knickers for her. Rahel, with her hands on Ammu’s shoulders, climbed into her new knickers (left leg, right leg) and gave Ammu a kiss on each dimple (left cheek, right cheek). “
You could almost see a small little kid girl being readied by her mother.

It was probably a long time since a book had captivated me by its style and writing .
I liked the kids part of the description in the novel hugely for its sheer innocent beauty.

The way life was as I stared at another of the birthdays then I just could think of the lines
Not old, not young, but a viable, die able age.

The line keeps coming back in the novel and in thoughts so very often.
And then the below

Little events, ordinary things, smashed and reconstituted. Imbued with new meaning. Suddenly they become the bleached bones of a story.
Still, to say that it all began when Sophie Mol came to Ayemenem is only one way of looking at it.
Equally, it could be argued that it actually began thousands of years ago. Long before the Marxists came. Before the British took Malabar, before the Dutch Ascendency before Vasco da Gama arrived, before the Zamorin’s conquest of Calicut. Before three purple robed Syrian bishops murdered by the Portuguese were found floating in the sea, with coiled sea serpents riding on their chests and oysters knotted in their tangled beards. It could be argued that it began long before Christianity arrived in a boat and seeped into Kerala like tea from a teabag.

That it really began in the days when the Love Laws were made.
The laws that lay down who should be loved, and how.
And how much.
However, for practical purposes, in a hopelessly practical world…

So she proceeds to the story and while its flaws are immense the little goodness outshines them when you read it from the heart.

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Watched Kaminey. Did I like it YES I did , considering that I am not much of a gangster movie fan I still liked it.
Shahid Kapur was quite good and though I did not think it great of anything as so many reviews say I liked it . Seemed like a 70 mm movie after a host of multiplex movies.
I am not very sure but may be it was just my mood which made me like it. My mood of letting this world go to hell I guess.

The music too added to the mood.I love the line in the title track

Jiska bhi chehra cheela, andar se aur nikla(whenver i peeled the mask off a face the face was completely different inside)
masoom sa kabootar , nacha tho mor nikla(the innocent pigeon when it danced , it got revealed that it was a peacock)

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