Monday, October 25, 2010

India : The Soft Power (Video)

TED – Ideas worth spreading is a website which i had noticed something like an year ago for some of its innovative ideas. A boring evening took me back to the website and here I am sharing a video I watched over there. Shashi Tharoor speaks of India. I was impressed beyond words and I was not or surprised to see the kind of applause he got at the end of his 17 minute talk. This is a video you wouldn’t want to miss out.

 

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Man, his Diary and a Story!

diary-books-embroidered-5763-l

The alarm tore apart the silence in the room; starting off smoothly, slowly and steadily gaining pace and sound. The shade of a hand, rose in the darkness and started crawling in the surface; searching for something and in a few seconds it got hold of the alarm clock and killed the already loud tone. Hesitantly a figure rose on its knees, it was that of a nicely built man; he looked all around in the dim light, as if searching for something and switched on the lights by the bed side. The room was not as messed up as a young man’s, a bachelor’s room. There were quite a lot of books in the table and some clothes hung on his chair, the shelf was closed down and the room was pretty empty but for the table, the mattress, the study table and chair.

He opened the laptop lid and starred to the background wallpaper for a few seconds and opened the VOIP calling software in his laptop, and dialed a number from the contacts.

Tringg….Tringgg…Tringg…..Tringg…..

Hello Mamma…

Albertttt!!!..... You are so on time again, right at two! (Looking at the clock rear side) Where are you now baby?

I am way far off, Mamma… (Far away from you he whispered)

Far?? So what time is it over there?

Time..? I just woke up now Mamma…

Why do you sound different? Have you caught cold or cough Alby?

No Mamma…I am fine…

You said far, are you in the Siberians? Should be pretty cold out there…

No Mamma…it’s not the cold! I said… I am fine…

Alby, it’s been three years now, when are you visiting me?

Soon Mamma, I gotta go now, next week…Mamma…

Oh… So soon again!! Love you Alby…

You to Mamma…take care!

He pressed the end call button and kept his eyes on the phone number and the magical letters beside it, ‘Mamma’. Several expressionless moments passed by and he got down from his bed and went to the far end of the room and opened the door by it, the bath room. He spent several moments in front of the mirror, running his hands through the scars and marks and acne’s in his face, again the silence prevailed. Closing the bathroom door behind him, he took a sip of water from the flask and sat beside the study table. He searched for something among the ocean of books, and soon had that thick covered elegant looking book in his hand and the hard cover read “Diary – 2008”.

Under the elegantly written “Diary – 2008” was a hand written phrase in a nasty way which read “ Call Registry – only for saturdays”.

He smiled and opened it and kissed his mothers photo which was right at the first page. He moved on to the bookmarked page and read it and the page before it and the one before it, the dates kept on changing, but not the writing. The same text kept on repeating as in one of those impositions you were made to write in your yester-year classes, only the handwriting changed, which kept swinging from impressive to un-readable, probably explaining the regular mood swings.

He took the pen and started scribbling.

Called Mamma today. Another week has gone by and another week is to come. Another 6 days and 23 hours and 50 minutes to go; the wait for the last week now goes down the lane, the lane of history and its almost 3 years now. I still find it d…

“Albert…Alberttt!!...”

There was a knock on the door and someone was calling out his name, he dropped the pen by and rushed to the door dragging the chair while he was getting off it and making the irritating high frequency sound of metals.

The elderly sounding voice from outside, that of a woman, continued,

“...oh…how many times have I told not to drag the chair Alby? And how many times, not to lock down the door always?? You never listen to me…”

A rare smile crossed Albert’s face and replied, opening the door…

“You know I love irritating you, Mrs. Haven…”

“You & your love!! It won’t be long before I take away that chair from your room. Alby… have Suzanne come with the medicine yet??” enquired the elderly lady.

“No Mrs. Haven…its just 3.20 now and today is Saturday; your memory is rusting Mrs. Haven”

“Oh…well,come and have your lunch now…right now!!” added the lady in a stern voice.

“Sure Mrs. Haven…I’ll be there in 10 minutes…”

She let a sigh and said “Okie!!”

Closing the door behind him, he went back to his diary. He ignored the bookmark and raced to the back cover of the diary and took the cross-folded sheet of paper, nicely written on the flip sides and appeared to have been folded over and again in the same manner. He opened and glanced through, wondering if his hand writing was the only thing that had improved over the 2 years since writing it. It read,

Dear Mamma…

I want to apologize to you Mamma and this surely is not the letter you would have wanted to read, after not hearing from me for so long. I am sure you will have the patience to read through these lines and … and I love you Mamma.

I have been lying to you for all these years Mamma, of being busy across borders and oceans, with some work. I have been in an asylum in Philadelphia all these years I was infected by a disease and I was no longer wanted by my company. I was coming down to meet you on your b’day several years back and I lost consciousness while in the subway. The people took me to hospital and they found out my disease and with no personal information and contact details, they were forced to send me to the asylum where I had been for all these days.

I was told by the doctors on how serious my situation was and having faced troubles from my work place and among my old friends, I decided to stay full time at the asylum under the supervision of Dr. Stevens and Mrs. Haven & our lovely care taker and nurse, Suzanne. The time here was peaceful, with every one of us, the inmates being in more or less the same situation. I never returned to you fearing how your friends might respond to my sickness. I never even had the heart and guts to visit you. I called up only once in a week, because i wanted you to get used to, living without me, and i called you every week because i owed you every second of my life, for the breath that i took in was all a mercy of yours.

Mamma, I had AIDS and I am to be blamed for it. My actions are to be blamed and my care-less nature is to be blamed. I apologize to you for the discomfort this letter is causing you and I pray to god that you have the strength to overcome this. I’ve been regretting all my actions for the last years, knowing millions of hours of regret won’t let me rectify my moments in the past! I cry for another chance, for a wiser yesterday and a better tomorrow. I am sorry for leaving you all alone and by the time you read this, I would have closed my eyes for one last time.

Today is your birthday Mamma, a few years prior to when you will read this though. Happy Birthday Mom!!

Loving

Alby.

Oct 15, 2006

He was brought back to senses by Mrs. Haven’s loud thud on the door asking him to come over for lunch. He wiped the tears trickling down and moved on for lunch. At the dining hall he tiredly dragged the chair making the loud irritating metallic sound again.

“Alby, again how many times have I told you, not to drag the chair?”

He smiled and replied,

“You know I love irritating you, Mrs. Haven…”

 

AIDS not only kills you gradually but also kills your status in the society. People have their fear of being infected by working with or touching an infected person. Infected ones are hurt more by the way others behave to them rather than their bodies. This one’s a short story which was inspired by the Tom Hanks starrer Philadelphia in which he’s an infected men, who was thrown out of job on discovery of his disease. Various other films these days speak of the terrible diseases like AIDS and Cancer and the best thing one can do is to curtail one’s actions for a better tomorrow.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Ultimate Truth!! ( Guest Poem)

This is a guest post or a guest poem by Ardra, a friend of mine. She has some awesome thoughts and an awesome way of penning them down, and its a privilege to have her let me post this poem in my blog. I thank her for always honestly commenting on my earlier posts and now, for letting me publish this in my blog.

njk

Oh, Oh, Ohhh…..
How I love looking in your eyes
That’s where Innocence sleeps!
The same innocence of a new born baby…
Soo fresh…so dreamy…so nascent!
I have found myself lost in those…
Not once , not twice but everytime I’ve looked at it!

Oh, Oh, Ohhh…..
How I love to see your smile…
That’s where my Happiness lies!
The same smile of my Guardian Angel’s…..
Soo alluring…so mesmerizing….so beauteous!
I have forgotten all my sorrows…
Always when U smile at me!

Oh, Oh, Ohhh…..
How I love to stay in your arms…..
That’s where I belong!
The same protective feeling it gives….just like when I was in mother’s womb…
Soo careing….so indulgent….so benevolent!
I have felt the protective warmth…
Takeaway all the dead cold memories!

Oh, Oh, Ohhh…..
How I thrive on U
Stumbling over words to express how I feel
Because, U have always boldly seized my voice!
How you are the first one
I've found myself willing to learn and grow with
Because, U r my past, the present and the future!
U have invaded my heart
Broke all the walls that have taken me so long to build!
Now, all it conveys to you is my fears of getting hurt
As well as the fact that I don't care anymore
Because my heart has been taken over by U
And now, there is no turning back!.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Camera Speaks!! The Auto-Expo…

I’ve clicked an entrance ticket for the 3rd time in my camera and this time its the Nanjing Auto Expo. The Expo ran from Sept 28th to Oct 4th. I had been planning of visiting it since hearing of it a month back and only when i woke up at 1 PM on the 4th did i remember that the much anticipated Auto Expo shall end in another 4 and half hours. This one is a photo-blog which shall speak for me, on how i spent nearly 3 hours exclusively with some of the hottest cars on the planet!

 

…Another Entrance ticket…the 2010 Nanjing Automobile Exhibition…

DSCF2622

…we were welcomed by a whole bunch of cars you see every day in the road, the Toyota’s the VolksWagon’s and the Honda’s…this is how the environment looked like…

DSCF2849

…VolksWagon were the only ones who had models posing for camera’s…

DSCF2687

…I was told this is the car used in the Transformers, movie series, we weren’t allowed to even touch it…

DSCF2710

…Now those are 3 of those Bentley cars, i admire them n I am sure u do too…

DSCF2737

…that’s how it looks inside a Bentley…

DSCF2991

…now do i need to say what this is? the awesome Ferrari…

 DSCF2762

…another one…there were 3 of them…one yellow, one red n then one black…

DSCF2774

…this one would be my dream car on any given day, the Lamborghini Gallardo…this white one looks so perfect!!…

DSCF2793

…two beasts…

DSCF2800

…now the Rolls Royce Phantom…

DSCF2813

…time for some from Maybach, this one’s from a showroom near by…

DSCF2878

…this Audi R 8 looked as good as any other…

DSCF2969

…i did make it to the wheels of many cars, but this convertible one from Volvo looked best for me…

DSCF2958

…another view…

DSCF2962

…well…its theoretically an Indian Limo, TATA owns the RANGE ROVER…

DSCF3004

…making it to the EXPO at the last moment was a blessing, since we had the opportunity to see it closer and pose with it ( these cars were just for show before), while they were taken out from the Exhibition hall, on the culmination of the Expo…

DSCF2994

…a tough choice!! A Phantom or a Gallardo? ( that girl was jointly responsible for that Lambo in this expo)…

DSCF3024

…how do i fare with a BMW?…

DSCF2869 

…The End of it, back in the metro station and the boards still read…

DSCF3051

Friday, October 1, 2010

INCEPTION – A Review! (Guest Post)

This is a guest post by one of my buddies Shivam, an intelligent human being who has a unique way of seeing and reasoning things. His bio in twitter reads

I am an instance i.e. object of my own class, so all those who know me is via this object only; n not all methods n variables are accessible outside the class!

This post is against all the notions of a regular movie review, as this is being published some 2-3 months since the movie release. But then i saw this movie yesterday and having read this awesome review, i can’t resist posting it here. An Excellent review this, my friend! Thanks for allowing me put it up here.

Inception-Teaser-poster-2-15-12-09-kc 

It’s not easy to settle one’s mind with resonant and original films these days when no-brainers are dropping in continuously, but imagine what can happen when comes something like INCEPTION! While being not-just-a-mind-flick, it surely does require us to bring a lot of CPU in with some adrenaline and a bit of (p)research is a bonus. Yes, because this is one film of our time which is sure to enthrall us, entertain us, numb us and definitely leave us with something uncomforting yet satisfying. Contradictory? Yes, it is; not that the film is, but the thoughts derived by viewers can be for sure.

After his blockbuster and acclaimed “The Dark Knight”, returns the man, Christopher Nolan, the new age psychogenic sneaker, who has already shown his astonishing skills in ever confusing Memento(2000) and other gems like Insomnia(2002) and The Prestige(2006). Interestingly, Inception being his only original film after his first, Following(1998), bears a lot of similarity with the latter in terms of thought process, but the scale and the range of the film is higher than even its contemporaries.

The core plot of the film sounds and appears tad easy, as Leonardo DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, a subconscious thief, who can steal people’s ideas and secrets from their mind through dreams, while they are asleep, gets a last job of “Incepting” an idea rather than stealing it, which will redeem him from his past and he can go back home to see his children, and hence, he assembles a team of highly skilled “dreamwrokers” which will perform inception on the mind of Robert Fischer Jr.(Cillian Murphy) , heir of his dying father’s empire, so that he subverts it instead of prospering, which will ultimately end rivalry for the tycoon Saito(Ken Watanebe), one who offered this deal to Cobb. Cobb’s team includes Arthur(Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who is the right hand of Cobb; Ariadne(Ellen Page), the newly appointed dream architect; Eames(Tom Hardy), forger in the dreams; Yusuf(Dileep Rao), the sedative expert. Also, there is Mal(Marion Cotillard), the deceased wife of Cobb, who diverts and sometimes spoils the whole process of breaking into dreams by appearing in his subconscious, whose mind still preserves her as a part of active memory. However, it’s the proceedings and the multiple levels of dreams which are there to entangle the audience, much like most of the director’s previous films.

Film runs at a decent pace, including the first half which lays the rules and guidelines of dreams and makes it a little simpler for one to grasp the second half given that one should not dare to blink even once through both. While it is said that Nolan’s films are devoid of the fundamental human emotions, Inception is another reply to that statement involving both psychological aspects of humans, and reasoning with sentiments. A testament of that is abstruse intimacy of Cobb with his wife and children who provide him all reasons to risk his life and are integral part of his emotional subconscious.

Performances by all actors are scenic and come alive together as they all bind together seamlessly, still as the protagonist, Dicaprio takes a leap from others, depicting struggle with reality and dreams as his domains; whereas Levitt sizzles as a strong and subtle support for Cobb and Tom Hardy lives the kick-ass forger very effortlessly. Ellen Page also plays a critical responsibility of connecting Cobb’s own internal upheaval and its resultant effect on his ventures.

Film is packed with astounding visuals, which are no fillers but demand of the realm of dreams with some brilliantly performed chase sequences and gunfights. While the gravity defying scenes are breathtaking, the architectural marvels are worth applause. Special credit goes to cinematographer Wally Pfister for pulling off a lot it with real camera work instead of post CGI. Editing by Lee Smith is another exemplary feature to save it from being uneasy to digest. A word for score by Hans Zimmer is must because it livens up the dreams and extends their limits.

Inception may be regarded as a pure psychological, but it is intended to be received as a Heist Film, so as to function as an edge-of-the-seat thriller. Still, its dialogues are not merely to tell the story, but to describe the philosophy behind dreams and our metaphorical contrasts. Be it “to become old filled with regret” or the reference to “disappointment”, at large the film deals with projecting such expressions into a media to live life with. Totems, used as symbols of individuality and scientifically proven explanation of dreams are some things everyone can relate to.

So, despite the fact that there are many theories to be evolved based on the film (scientifically too) and many more elaborations with debates are expected, it’s a cerebral attempt to uncover the extreme possibility of human brain by the exceptional brain of Nolan himself which without any doubts requires more than one viewing to absorb fully. Nolan sets his own bars higher than the previous but more importantly he enters into subjects which are mostly overlooked or not heeded that well therefore Inception is an essential rendering to try and explore more into the depth of our being.

I can go for 5 on 5 for it, but that is uneasy to explain fully until one gets to experience it on their own just as dreams are experienced themselves.