Friday, July 6, 2012

Invention of Dreams

Finally watched HUGO.. First of all, this not a review. It is an Oscar winning movie made by one of the finest dreamers and movie makers - Martin Scorsese.

This is just an account of how this movie affected me and MY experience watching it. I did not have much idea about the plot when I watched it - I let that be a mystery. And it has played to my advantage. 
The first hour I thought there was something surreal about the movie, that the AUTOMATON brings bad luck which consumed the boy's father in a fire accident. My curiosity built up  as the story progressed. The second half starts giving you hints about the mystery and the magic. There was nothing surreal about it! It was a movie about movies and a great movie-maker. How movies were thought of as a way to portray one's dreams - a medium taken for granted today. They were once thought to be a wonder and compared to illusions. It is funny to think that someone thought movies could be a passing fad, just like they thought the telephone would never be used by a common man!. As i type this, I see trailers of some of our Bollywood products. I am not sure if the inventors of cinema would be proud today. Well neither was Alfred Nobel when he saw what his invention could be used for when he made Dynamite!!

Back to HUGO, this seems to be a semi-biography of one of the greatest filmmakers - Georges Melius, who I haven't done any research on yet. The movie has been inspired from a book - "The Invention of Hugo Cabret", which goes into my reading list. 
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Other than being witness to what possibly could have been a creator's dreams, who used whatever he could lay his hands on, to give life to his imagination, there were a few takeaways from a philosophical angle:

A scene where Hugo shows Isabelle, the Eiffel from a clock tower. He says he imagines the world to be a machine when he looks at it from there and that no machine comes with an extra part. It comes with exactly what it needs to function. So if we thought of the world to be a machine, no one can be an extra part, we are all here for a purpose. That was quite an analogy.

Monsieur Melius sadly says that Happy Endings happen only in movies (quite in contrast to our "picture abhi baaki hai") But Hugo disproves him by bringing to him his invention, which Melius thought was gone for good. So life does have Happy Endings , one just has to wait,  a quality many of us lack in this "8MB internet generation" and this movie serves as one good reminder.

There are several levels of interpretation and it could touch each person in different ways.
For me, it became part of a weekend I can never forget. :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

On being a bibilophile and book "reviews"

Being literate means one can read and write at least one language (other than knowing a little arithmetic). But some of us go a lot beyond that - We read books. Some go a little further - they LOVE reading, a diminishing interest. Ironically, books are more available now compared to any time in the past. Libraries in the neighborhood and schools were the mostly used sources.
Though I love it that we can find any book online, I do miss the way a book smells. Ardent readers (bibliophiles rather , who are in love with BOOKS besides READING) don't find electronic devices as a replacement to the good old book. Being a bibliophile myself, taking me to a book shop lifts my spirits (the other place being a coffee shop) 
This is my Happiness Equation ;)

I started reading when I was 6-7 years old, which were mainly Amar Chitra Katha, Tinkle and other children's books.  I started appreciating good literature when I was 13 and loved classics like many other girls. Adulthood was a period when there wasn't as much reading as collecting books. But that's what growing up does to you - when one needs to take on "responsibilities" and what we actually love doing goes to the background.
In spite of the pressures, even if I did read them, I could not remember how much I liked them and how exactly it felt when I devoured them. I still remember that I cried when I read Oliver Twist and David Copperfield when I was a kid and that I was deeply affected by the ending of Crime and Punishment, which was a little too heavy for a 15 year old. I also remember that I preferred to finish a book late in the night so I could let it sink in.
Now that I don't remember much of what I read lately and there isn't enough time to read a book more than once, I have decided to capture my emotions in the form of a "review", if you will.  Even I was skeptical to call it a review , but after a little thought I realized that I bought the book and took time out to read it. I guess I can take the freedom to write a review, as long as I don't defame the writer.
Hope to read more, at least to keep updating this blog and act upon two of my resolutions ;)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Intervention to an Egomaniacal friend


I have to hold an intervention to address an issue you have been having.Let me make a list so you don't forget.

  1. The thing that the world goes around is called the SUN, not you.
  2. No one is bigger than the system, not even you.
  3. The system is not a small shanty in the kingdom you rule and we are not your subjects, so stop treating me as one
  4. Now that you know you are no king/queen, stop telling me how I am supposed to communicate to you.
  5. Also, modesty is inversely proportional to success. To put it in  a language you will understand. successful people are modest, and the lack of it only creates an impression that you are a failure. So what's with all the air you seem to carry..
  6. If you seem to get upset with anything anyone says, even if they were only discussing the weather, it shows you need psychiatric help. 
  7. If you don't know how to use your imagination, write a book. Don't be overly imaginative about any casual conversation I have with you. Like when I say, "Can you do this for me?", I don't mean that you are incapable of carrying out a task. See for yourself. Doesn't it look absurd when I write it down?
  8. If you are as sensitive as a touch-me-not, lock yourself up in your kingdom. Don't wander in the streets, because what you say, especially when I have done no wrong,  sometimes gets to me too.
To summarize, stop being such a pain and  do yourself a favor. Go get some help!

And by the way, I have a nickname for you: I DON'T CARE WHO YOU ARE.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Toxic Proofreaders!!!

We went to an A.R.Rahman concert last week - my first ever!! I was as excited as one can imagine. This concert was a part of his tour after he had won the TWIN Oscars and soon after ROCKSTAR released. I was in love with the ROCKSTAR album and was full of anticipation.

The concert was arranged well, good selection of songs, good choreography and backdrop. As far as I know, the concert was designed/directed by a person (I don't remember the name and too lazy to search online and anyways the name has nothing much to do with the post :) ) who is worked with Lady Gaga and the sort. In short, it was intended to match up to international standards.

We were mesmerized with the music and the spirit of the people around us. As we left, I checked my Facebook page on my mobile and was surprised to see 2-3 of our friends disappointed by the concert and with AR Rahman himself. I am not saying he is not capable of delivering something unpleasant, but this could not be classified as one by a vast majority of people. At first, we shunned it saying people will have different points of view. Sometime later, we were joking about what they would have wanted that he didn't deliver and jokingly (I don't know which among us said it) realized a philosophy in life - People find faults with A R Rahman; what chance do normal everyday people stand at not being criticized!!!!! What an epiphany!!

People often proofread writings that should be relished for the essence of its contents. There will always be people who complain and act pretty toxic. As long as we know what we are doing, we should shun proofreaders and just DETOXIFY!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Random Ramblings........

Too many thoughts today... some incomplete, some questions, some realizations and some wondering...

First thought that came to my mind in the morning was where would you draw the line between going after what you want and letting nature take its course. I am at this point where I would like to change industries, but I am getting close to an interview only in my previous area of work. So do I interpret this as a sign that I shouldn't change industries or am I not putting in enough effort to get what I want!!!!

As I was combing my hair and re-thought about this in my office restroom, the cleaning lady hummed away while she cleaned the mess. I often see her doing that and feel good. I tend to remember a saying "Koi kaam chota nahi hota" and that whatever we do, even if it's sweeping a place, we should do it whole-heartedly and happily. This incident inspired me, but I was as confused as before. But her hum at least got me to my seat with some inspiration.

This frustration got to me!! I was kind of close to being mean to two people. I will always regret that!! Well, one of them has a history of being mean, so I shouldn't be bothering, but still bugs me. The other was a poor taxi driver - his fellow men seem to have created a bad image of themselves in my head I guess. I tried to be nice as I got down!! My frustration combined with their image in my head brought out the meanness in me!! Whew!! I wonder what is it in us that makes us feel guilty even if we have been victims ourselves at some point!! This voice in my head that rebukes me - Is it my weakness or my conscience?????

Coming home, as I sat quietly for a minute, I had an epiphany. Life is never going to be perfect. I am going to have complaints about my work, workplace, bosses or my pay all the time!! I am not going to have them all at the same time (unless its a miracle) There is no end to dissatisfaction, so though I should follow my dream and hope for things to be better, I shouldn't be beating myself up.

Now, Now, That feels better.. putting all my thoughts down did help!!

But my question remains unanswered, where does one draw the line between chasing him dreams and letting the universe to put things together!!!! :):)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Not so funny....

What is it about humor? Is it so difficult to crack a good joke? Have you tried telling jokes? Are they your own or are they off the forwards you received? Are they classy or puerile? What defines good humor? Do your jokes make your audience go ROFL or :) or oh!!

Humor looks easy, but is quite an art. Forget about repeating jokes you read somewhere, it takes a certain amount of intelligence and "being there" to make people crack up on day-to-day things. It's quite risky!!!! It could be something in your head and completely something else when you blurt it out.

I have a thing for humor, at least in the use of language in a humorous way. Oh Yeah I do!!! Looking at my previous posts you may color me serious or philosophical, but that's just one side of me.

Anyways, I have tried a few times, though not all of them were conscious attempts at trying to get people go ROFL. I am not even good at it, even if half of them work out, I'd be happy.

Sometimes, the audience doesn't relate to what I say (language barriers) while at other times it is the incidents referred to. But yeah, when I see a ROFL, I do get happy!!! :) Sometimes a :) also makes me go :), but when it comes with raised eyebrows makes me :(

Anyways, I am trying to achieve some success. My most recent made me feel I was becoming the queen of PJs. Most of these I murmur to myself and it sounds funny in my head.  But sense of humor does keep you relaxed, even if you tell jokes to yourself. You don't need a Russell Peters for that. But making fun of people can backfire (unlike Russell Peters), so its risky business for lesser mortals. Wonder how many people wanted to throw stones at Mr. Peters before he became this famous and make fun of THE Mrs. Junior Bachchan !!! ROFL

When I looked out the window...

How often do we pick up some of our old belongings like pictures or diaries and reminisce!! Well, the diary I picked up wasn't that old , but I read what I had written a few months ago which was a longer and better version of my previous post. I had forgotten about it.  Writing something down and reading it later will surprise the (amateur) writer, it feels like our thoughts were frozen in time and we are revisiting them.

Anyways, I thought it would make a good post. So here it is.... My little pearls of Wisdom!!!!

"Somethings are out of place-not everything that's happening should be happening, IDEALLY. But this is not an ideal world. I am only grateful that all of these didn't happen to me and I have the leisure of giving a commentary when life is going on; like looking through the window onto the street.
  1. (At the risk of repeating myself :) ) The past is not an indicator of the future!!
  2.  Wherever you are in life, it is sure that you will not stay there forever. Tables turn and "Karma" does exist. You may end up being on the other side of the table. 
  3. Nobody's life is perfect. Of course, perfection is subjective, but everyone's life has a real flaw (like having dysfunctional family, money issues, health issues, job issues, relationship issues)
  4. Life is not fair. An even playing ground does not exist. Your success in life depends on a lot of parameters- not all controlled. It depends luck, where you are, what you are, who you are, who you know, what you know and what you can do.
  5. There is no rule book. People always respond to how you are with them.
  6. No individual has the authority to judge whether you are good or not. These are opinions and are subjective. It helps to be selectively deaf and mute.
  7. There is always an other side to the story.
  8. True friends are always there with you, no matter what s#!t you are in. 
  9. Humanity still exists - some faceless strangers help you often
  10. Career and money are not the barometers of success. They are only tools to living a life that one wants to live well.
  11. Less is more.
  12. Never talk about people, because some day you will regret it.
  13. Live like a child. A child believes that everything in the world is possible."