Friday, September 13, 2013

confusion..

The Arab spring and the burning west asia and north africa, latest among them being Syria Is the story of the decade. A military regime and warring islamic factions cause a civil war which draws innocents into the fold in Syria. both the sides of the conflict - the government and the rebels, some of whom are declared terrorist outfits like AL-NUSTRA - GET EXTERNAL MILITARY SUPPORT.

Now then the ultimate question of chemical weapons is brought out with pictures of dead children (pbut). Obama and the international fraternity is thus brought to action. The drama on the international stage that has resulted is nothing short of a drama-thriller worthy its salt in hollywood.....latest is this op-ed by PUTIN in NYTimes (Obama's territory) and the cries of giving him the Nobel Peace prize.

    Now this gives it a very interesting turn really. The Syrian crisis in the second innings (the first was started in 2011) has become is public relations nightmare for the American president. He first spoke all of the red-line and stuff and the call to arms in the most vehement call of military action, albeit restrained. But it has now wonderfully turned sour for him. The loss of vote in the house of commons in Britain, his back-step (not that i condemn it) to asking the US congress itself for a vote on it and now delaying the potential strikes all has added to embarrassment for him. And who would have thought that the Russian premire, that tiger fighting (?) and martial arts wielding mach figure would have sprung into drama-laced rhetoric and brownie point scoring amid such heat. There are now talks of handing him over the peace prize and what more, taking it over from Obama and handing it over. I am sure, the two leaders are acting in their best judgement and goodwill for the larger populace. But this truly is a time when nothing looks black and white and everything is a bluRR..
    In all this, the heart goes to the innocent child who is warped in fear and anxiety in some corner of a Damascus district.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Man of Steel - the movie

So I watched it today, just back in-fact. And about the review, well, it was.......pretty good! ..:)
There was the general Nolan mark over the film although he was not even the director of the movie - well he was the writer! now I did not read the DC comics episode so I can't tell how much justice he did to the storyline in the comic-book, but yes, that is for only academic purpose. 
First of all, Ill begin with saying that our mother earth is beautiful, much much beautiful. If I were born in the dark, macabre and gloomy desert of Krypton, gosh sod save me! Guess that is why kal-el/clarke kent/superman chose to save earth's environment and people over Kryton afterall......:) So the storyline began in Krypton with all the artificial life creating technologies and what not and could be lauded for Russel Crowe's performance. I guess he could be lauded for bringing life to such characters who are not from our times or in this case, world! I maybe prejudiced here coz the only two period movies I have truly liked are Gladiator and Robin Hood..ok digression it was..so launch to our Earth..it was mostly the dense high-rise of Manhattan-like business district or something and the verdant greens of the village which ought to be smallville (however it was never mentioned like that I guess, on purpose maybe, but why?), anyway. 
It was 3D and the goggles and all that. I am gonna make a revelation here. I am not a big fan of those as they dim the brightness way too much so it bothers me and I watch a lot of the screenplay without them generally eventually!. So it was more bright, the movie for me generally.
But Henry Cavil was awesome. For a old-timer honed in the clarke kent kool-aide from the Smallville show and Tom Welling's fan at that, this should mean a lot for Cavill's performance. He managed to feel like Clarke Kent, Tom Welling's aura in my mind notwithstanding! And of-course he looks good they say for whoever might care..And he brought the decent intensity to the character as well..Mike Shannon as Gen Zod was fine and so was Louis Lane..
The music and screenplay were pretty good, a touch below the Btman trilogy but yes, you cant take anything away from Zack Snyder and Zimmer on that one..I always believe that Superman is a difficult task for a director than Batman like Nagraj was than Dhruva as the element of human genius is hard to project. There I think Nolan being Nolan, he has managed to fir in that touch easily and masterfully. You dont feel like - oh god, not again that super-duper powergame..There is more to offer here..
I dont think I have missed any major pointers here. But if anyone manages to read thjis this point, I would be glad to take it further if thy may please in the comments section..till that time, its good-bye!!

lessons on things granted!

henry woke up late into the morning and rushed to the gym after just drinking the water and cleaning up..he was not one to eat just after getting up for all he acids that built up in his stomach through his sleep. ALThough he recalled having his dinner ealier than usual the previous night, still he didnt need food badly. so he had a perfect hour in the gym and he rushed back to take the shower. he had started to feel hungry but he had to rush to the mall for the afternoon show of the blockbuster hollywood. He went to the kitchen for the breakfast but realized the cook had not visited that morning. So he thought, OK I should have the pop-corn and nachos during the movie probably. He was running late and did not have the time to wait by a restaurant or anywhere. ill have some tasty stuff in the mall he thought and rushed his way. he stopped by his friend's place to get a bag from his wife. he saw cookies on the dining table which looked delicious very much, but decided against grabbing those as he was a bit in formal terms with his friend's wife. but hat indicated him that he was hungry like he had not experienced in a while. So he reached the mall and headed straight to the multiplex. He was surprisingly not thinking of the movie at that moment. He thought of food! So he got in the queue and stared through the menu on the wall. Everything looked and felt delicious that day. So he decided his thing and reached for his wallet when he ws the penultimate person in the queue. While he was reaching out for the card, he realized something that sent a chill down his spine. He had not carried his debit card. He recalled how he did not have any much cash in his wallet the night before and he had decided to go to the ATM while on his way to the gym. He got the cash. But he did not carry the big wallet, instead just the card. And the hurry through the morning meant he did not put the card or the cash back into his wallet. The result was just some change in his heavy wallet he carried at that moment. 
And by that point he was starving like he had not felt in years or as long as he recalled. As luck would have it, he was watching the show alone on that fateful morning as it was a holiday in just his office for some bizzare reason and none of his friends were joining him. The thought of a 3 hour movie and then another hour before reaching home to grab the cash and head back to a restaurant spending more valuable minutes while he was dying of hunger had made him terrorized. But what option did he have. He silently disengaged from the queue and after drinking as much FREE water that was available and his stomach could take, he headed to the theatre. He even got reminded of the cookies he had seen earlier in the day. Only if he had realized their importance earlier. He evn dabbled with the idea of befriending a group of nice, well behaved girls standing nearby so he could have a chance of sharing their pop-corn. Not a good idea to stoop so low he thought. 
But the aftereffects of the intense work-out coupled with not having eaten anything in 16 hours already were showing. The show was a bittersweet ride for him as the pangs of hunger were sharp. He even looked at his neighbour's food at least three times very intently. Only if the neighbour would have noticed! He thought to himself, "the food that I take for granted is pretty important afterall!". He eventually got his meal before he fainted but had learnt a silent lesson very privately!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Of Ghazals and Sufism

Chamakte Chaand ko toota hua taara banaa daala...meri awaragi ne mujhko aawaara banaa dalaa....Sounds like a rhyming prose or poetry at the best. But you need to hear the rendition from the Ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali to be mesmerised by the lyrics. I mean the import of the words is there definitely, but they pound you with an intensity altogether different when sung in the Ghazal. Outside Cricket and Bollywood, he may be one of the handful personalities who enjoy such high patronage and liking on either side of the border. And why should he not. For that matter, the Ghazal tradition in Pakistan has flourished always. Mehdi Hassan and Abida Parveen are two more names that ring a bell of familiarity across India, both Pakistani scions. Meaningful poetry often laced with deep rooted philosophy and melody are two almost essential elements of a good Ghazal. Ofcourse sublime rendition like that by Ghulam Ali (Bade Ghulam Ali Sahab or even Chote G A) makes a Ghazal what it is. It may be of concern to the vetean patrons of the art that there seems to be little interest among the youngsters towards this sublime craft. The Ghazal evenings are far and few between in the day and age while the rockstars hog all the lime light and then more. The sensibility towards poetry seems to be declining and the romanticism ensconsed in it has few takers among the young. It is just not pacey enough. But they might well be keeping themselves bereft of a flavour of living.
    Another art form or rather more so a way of life indeed is Sufism or the rendition of Quawwalis.  Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan can be credited to internationalize this music form. Sufi music has been cultured and practised in praise of the almighty for no less than six or seven centuries. The saints of yonder and old expressed their love and devotion to god through the mystical Sufi music. And the tradition flourished. This music form enlivens and charged the ambience like no other. Often incorporating high pitch truisms, the best proponents of the art form have been widely classed as among the most capable singers. Nusrat is a very good example to boot. Quawwalis have specially taken centerstage in Bollywood over the decades. And Pakistan continues to be the land of genesis for the best talent there is in both these music forms. Here is hoping that the practitioners would always find enough patronage for these music styles to sustain and flourish in times to come.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Of FDI in retail.

so the FDI is allowed in a majority percentage by the rule now, only the state govts need intervene. I have not read the covenents nor have I read extensively on the subject to wax eloquent much longer. However, I have my doubts over one aspect of the debate. The question or the assertion that the Kirana shops would take a huge hit looks like a little outrageous to me. Let us briefly dabble. The current crop of shoppers at a Reliance fresh or more or smart/foodworld are the ones most likely to move to avail the services of one of the giants like WallM or Carrefour for access to quality and freshness at maybe the same price.That makes for a fair point. But the people who are still shopping at the kirana at the nook and not the Reliance fresh a couple hundred yards away are least likely in my humble opinion to the mammoth super retailer round the corner may be just a bit too much for him/her to foray to on a regular basis. India is a billion+ strong country with such strange and amazing stratification of the society that it is difficult to straightjacket its people into one formula. What say? I am just as naive.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Batman and the BomB

So it featured this time  round in the story, the Nuclear bomb. The goon was sinister and so was his method. But the director missed a trick in my opinion. First, what was all the hoopla about when Batman knew he could fly the device up into the sea. OK there was the autopilot thing but he knew  it had been rectified. So he should have been more calm than fox and the likes. Even more baffling is the detonation of the device. I am no nuclear physicist or even read about nuclear warheads. However, one thing I think would happen pretty sure if a nuclear device goes gungho over the seas is a Tsunami. I mean so much energy is generated in so little time. The Gothamites did not look like worried for any kind of radiation damage while appreciating the nuclear cloud that had formed, credit to them. But in real life situations, a novice like me would think a couple huge waves of angry Tunami water ushering to the shores is a fair estimation of the goings.        Rest it was an awesome and stimulating piece.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What an Idea Sar Jee, or no-brain jee?

The famous TV commercial of our beloved Jr. Bachchan explaining the reason for more than a billion human souls in our homeland first felt like a banal comic act to just continue the "Bhat an Idea" campaign. Not until a supposedly very intelligent/or just intelligent friend of mine seriously quoted the reason in one conversation. And also his flatmate there. And then they quoted it a second time. I had to shed my lethargy and blurted "U really believe in what they are saying"? And their expression was like huh, have u even got a brain there? Dont you know India has always been a backward (always?) nation. Ok wouldnt even argue on that one. So? What about the Europeans? Did they have the trendy phones with a xG connectivity ever since the land was carved out? After a few minutes of senseless arguments, atleast the question came "Ok so what do you think would be the reason of our mammoth population? Wars, I reckon. The Europeans lost entire generations of men in the wars they have fought among each other as tribes for ages. Their tribal footing in any case started pretty late - the Frank (modern day French) and Germanic (Germany etc) tribes et al were forest dwellers as late as the 4th century into the first millenia after the christ trudged. India on the contrary has been there since much before (even if we discount the mythology, the Buddha and Mauryas wrote indelible history 500 years before the christ. What is however more important is that Indians have never really fought wars or witnesses large scale demolotion of the populace. The foreign rulers established their holds among the people since at least the last thousand years without any significant bloodshed in retaliation really. Even the movement for Independence was wrought with nonviolence. So all things equal India would anyway grow much fast. But even the other things have not been equal historically. The black death - the dreaded plague - of the 14th century wiped half of the European continent. The world wars have been the most recent among the annihilation sagas. I might have made - terribly tired that I am - an error here and then there at this time of the night, but I do not find it not to be a better explanation of India's high population. What about China you might ask. I would put forth my reasons later. Size and strength are two pointers I would just throw for now.