Posted in Movies, Review

Would it help ?

We have learnt about the cold war in history. But we only tried to an extent write a few paragraphs for a 10 mark question, that may be left in choice. The understandings and implications are hard when you actually see it through a movie when you grow up.

There are no weapons but even an act of a surveillance hovering around enemy territory to take pictures is an act of war. The Soviet and US during the 50s differed in their nationalist ideas and any move that they could make between each other to gain the upper hand is what it is all about. A Cold war, a war on superiority of information and knowledge over each other.

That’s it. And how worse it could feel …

Spielberg’s Bridge of spies shows the tussles of an unlikely insurance lawyer hired as a defendant for a Russian spy in the court of justice of US constitution. What is merely an eye wash to support the constitutional rights of fare trial, becomes serious. One wouldn’t understand why Jim Donovan, the protagonist (played by Tom Hanks) had to take the defense seriously, after all he is a Russian spy and not in the interest of Americans. You may come to know when he meets the Judge at his residence.

What happens next in Germany with the backdrop of the Berlin wall incident is an extremely intense drama that you may not have expected. Only Spielberg could make this, or may be Zemeckis. Tom Hanks was easily Jim Donovan without a doubt and he made all the conversations interesting. Very interesting, you can actually learn and apply these negotiation skills at work.

This movie is obviously not made for everyone, but on a patient evening with nothing bothering around you, you will like it because of the central characters and their depth surrounding the story.

Luckily, Bridge of Spies is coming up on Zee Studio HD this Aug 15th at 1PM and 9PM and I would say don’t miss it.

For the love of Spielberg and Hanks, a True story portrayed very interestingly.

Would it help ? When you watch it, you will know.

Posted in Movies, Review

Since the 80’s … Untouchable … a.k.a Kabali

Kabali is an intensely laid out gangster drama that Rajinikanth need not have acted.

And yet …

One must be wondering what went into the mind of Rajini when he selected this script. The ever shining superstar gracefully let Kabali take over the Rajini and presented the audience with something that they probably did not expect to see. It must have been a bold decision and quite a transforming one for the actor. It is relishable for some of us who liked him in more characteristic roles like Mullum Malarum and Dalapathi.

Kabali did not want to be seen as just a Robinhood style crime lord who saves and protects his folks, but he was seen as the yearning one. The one who lost his life that he loved before becoming the Gangster. The longing and anticipation intensifies on the news of his wife and daughter. Kabali takes over Rajini fully in such scenes. The sighs, the facial expressions and ultimately the walk into the field and letting out oneself and the final
reunion was totally off the Rajini charts. In fact there was no Rajini and only kabaleeswaran, not even the Kabali, original Gangster.

Ranjith’s intention was clear enough to not just show the Gangster, but to show more of the man behind and the family he sought in a social setting in Malaysia. Commendable.

Background scores are usually tailored for Rajini’s presence but Santhosh Narayanan clearly wanted to stand out with the slow themes of Vaanam parthen, The romance with Maya nadhi tunes and ultimately the heavy guitar riffs for the Gangster Kabali. None of them had Rajini signature and they were wonderful and fresh in that way for
Rajini and Kabali. The Kabali Swag goes top notch on the Roof top party when Kabali walks in. Can I get a separate CD for the BGMs alone please ? I would buy one for the retail price if available.

Ranjith has used the Supporting cast from his previous movies Atta Kathi and Madras, but they were no more than a long cast shadow that disappears in the evening sun. None of them touched and were probably over shadowed by the importance of the central characters. Tony and Kishore were not a matching Villians for Kabali, as much as Anthony was for Baasha. Yogi was a surprise and Radhika apte acted naturally through her eyes.

Above all, Rajinikanth comes out with an epitome of acting, not satisfying the regular punch dialogue loving fans, but more for the fan base who loved him through movies like Dalapathi. It is evidently natural that Rajini shed Rajini, in every scene. After all, it is not in every movie that Rajini gets beaten, injured, shot at, over and over. Not at all.

Ranjith did well with Rajini. A Gangster drama that Rajini need not have acted and yet Ranjith made it to stay strong only through Rajini. A Paradoxical non-blunder.

Kabali, to be watched again after the Rajinism expectations fizzle out, to understand and enjoy the real story behind.

Spoiler: It was only logical for the lawmakers to strike at the root. After all, It was under the good natured human, Tamilnesan that the Gangsters of Good and Evil formed and it is only going to be of the same way under Kabali as well. It was not a choice but more of the right action that had to be taken. Tiger became the unsuspecting pawn for the last frame.

 

Posted in General

Relax…Let it be…

New year resolution. That means, you swear by something on Jan 1st, the New year day and then you mark it as resolved by Jan 2nd. So, 2016 with the pretext of not taking any resolution, I am actually taking a non-resolutionistic paradoxical resolution:

Relax…Let it be…

Ok, but it doesn’t mean that I am just going to Relax and let things be as it is. It is actually a fantastic complex cosmological resolution that is far more simple and abstract than Zen. It is as vague as Arthur Dent not getting the hang of Thursdays. Now, I am not making any sense.

Let’s say I have a list of steps to do for accomplishing a particular idea or a thing on a particular day. As a first step, while I make plans, I need to keep myself open to the fact that plan gets screwed up all the time. That means, I start by not expecting the steps to happen as per the plan at the same time or in the same order or both. This is the part where I need to “Relax”. This is compulsively complicated for many of us modern workers, because we have goals and chase targets. We get shit crazy when things go out of our hands and lose control.

Relax and only try to do the next possible logical step. Add hope or faith that it will get done eventually as part of your list of steps. Either that, or it will find a logical day for completion and somehow fit into the bigger realm of things. The idea is to focus on the next logical step like Thala Dhoni.

Now, the part where I need to “Let it be” is the craziest because I cannot let anything in the world to be what it should be, including myself. Some say “Let go”, for me it is outright blunder because when you let it go it goes nowhere, just hides in a convenient place in your mind. So “Let it be” is about consciously putting it in your mind and not worrying about it. Phew, wish I could really be able to follow this so called “Let it be”. The feeling is more like you had a heavy tasty meal but you feel blocked by the gas and then you execute this universal “Let it be” rule, you belch out the enormous sub woofer sonic gas and then you start seeing roses and daises out of the Joy of relief, from gas.

But I will be able to “Let it be” only if I “Relax” and I can Relax only If I “Let it be” ! There, I have now reached singularity.

Posted in General

Fulfillment

Modern civilization focuses a lot on acquiring wealth and enjoying the luxuries of life, simply because it has become easily possible for anyone with a professional degree to tread that path. While wealth and luxury is not anything wrong, there is a portion of life that needs to be looked at.

Fulfillment.

Your heart senses emptiness whenever you do things only for the sake of doing. You feel a drain in Energy and you attribute it to just making your living and say “I am supposed to do this to earn my living”. An article on Lonely planet couple of months back made me to think on this term fulfillment and it took me 2 months to understand it to an extent that I can write it here. The article was about an Italian cook who simply said “If I had the money to live, I will cook for free”.

Would you do what you love to do for free?

A recent episode of “Who wants to be a millionare” equivalent in Tamil aired with Actor Arvindswamy as the game player. He was largely a modest man that none of us knew him about. He made a simple statement towards the end, “Whatever you have or you achieve will rot someday including yourself, what matters is with whatever you have and whatever you are, did you make the best, did you have a fun and fulfilling life?”. Ask yourself and look around what you have. They will all decay someday. So go and make the best use of them right now, Don’t postpone your fun!

Let me point to our modern day problem. People are so mixed into the daily affairs that they fail to differentiate between mundane tasks and fulfilling ones. Here is a surprise for you, Every task that you do has an aspect that can give you fun, even if it is really mundane. For example, my job requires me to do Excel and Powerpoint work. While it may sound boring, it is actually fun when you look at how you can think and put your own formatting and presentation. It is a like creating an art on a canvas, free to do the way you want. The requested data didn’t change, but the paint and brush are mine.

By all means, fun is the one that leads us to fulfillment. When people say this hindi phrase “Mazaa aagaya” (means “Had fun”), it means they loved doing something that striked a chord in their heart and made it quiver and the simple phrase popped out as a form of expressing that. Fun is the simplest and basic form of having fulfillment in life.

Yes, you may ask what about ambition and charity.

Ambition or what people call Aim in life is just to give a serious face paint for the basic and core aspect of necessity – “Fun”. It is mostly influenced by successful people. You can find a hell lot of folks in the world who are influenced deeply by Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and then they formed their “Aim” in their life. What they don’t know is Gates and Jobs had fun in doing what they did and they never really would have thought their ambition was to get here. They may have been lead to this place step by step. So don’t rush yourself as well. Fulfillment is not about ambition. If you want fulfillment then think deep into your childhood. You will know that the things that you do to have fun gives you a good night sleep and pushing yourself for a career and ambition makes you lose sleep. If you slept well, it means  you did something fulfilling. Fulfillment is larger and beyond than Ambition.

What about charity? If you do this because you have extra money it is meaningless. But if you are able to sense someone in need and provide them with that, without a need to be recognized for your name to appear in a placard, that would give you happiness. This is also actually a kind of fun because it excites in a way for just doing it and not expecting anything in return. You just did it and you did it purely from your own will with absolutely no influence from others and also not because you got some extra cash this month. This is fulfillment, otherwise it is just a celebrity show off.

My friends, all these days, every single one of us have been looking for nothing but Fulfillment and giving several names to it. Some are after ambition, some think charity, some think family, some think career aspirations. At the end, none of them alone will purely give you any permanent fulfillment. The permanent fulfillment is only in the way you see and handle your life. Whatever you do, it has a serious aspect and a fun aspect. The fun aspect gives you fulfillment while the serious aspect keeps you straight and focussed. Both are needed and if you can direct serious aspects to your brain and let the heart see the fun, you will have a fulfilling life in whatever you do. You will not go after fulfillment once you begin to see this. I hope I made some sense.

Have a fun and fulfilling life.

Posted in Humour

English speaking Country

India is my beloved English speaking country. Whether people know the language or not, English is a fashionable language for Marketing and publicity. It is not that English was force fed during the British rule, but it was more of an evolutionary adaptation by people of India to cut across various cultures when Hindi is not enough for everyone. English has become so important for us that people of all economic background are fond of using it.

I am more fascinated by how the mass population who are not expected to be good in English, love to use it for tail stickers and small sign boards. You can find them in the back of the Autorickshaws, Trucks, Water tankers etc., I do not mean to undermine their efforts to express in the language that is alien to them, but I would rather go to the length of appreciating their work because, they have no fear and nothing to lose by making Typos and that they are doing something out of their comfort zone without worrying about some stupid blogger who might write a few lines or so from their slogans.

Here are some I enjoyed around Bangalore.

Cashmir pashmina shawls – Perhaps, he took only “Cash” for Kashmir Shawls.

Bretainiya Spread – We are honest. We will write it ourself even if we are wrong even though it may be there as Britannia on the Box in the shelf. (I hope I got the number of “t” and “n” correctly myself !)

Puncher Shop – You can go to this shop to get punched. Price may vary by preferred anatomical location.

Vegitabil Superfasht – Just to let you know that This is a super fast truck carrying fresh Vegetables, which can take its own sweet time on an inclined highway blocking your Audi or BMW in the back. Atleast it did so to my small car on the Krishnagiri highway.

Do not Falow me, I am sunami, Sound OK Horan – I had a hard time typing this one with Auto correct on!

And the latest I saw shows you clear cut steps on how to save your country.

“DEAR CUSTEMER USE PAKING BAG 2 ONLY CHILLY, BEANS, TOMATO, {S}ONION, BENDY, GRAPES & 2 SMALL ITEAM, PLEASE TRY TO AVOIDE PLASTIC BAG & SAVE COUNTRY”

Let me clarify what “BENDY” is. Bendy is Ladies finger (UK Version) a.k.a Okra (for my American friends). It is pronounced as Bhendi in Hindi. I have no clue what {S} is doing here!

So, what funny tail slogans did you see in India? Share it here!

Posted in General, Spirituality

Time

Time is not the clock. Clock is used to measure the time with numbers. Year, Month, Date, Hour, Minute, Second give us a certain feel that time had a start and definitely there will be an end. But we neither know the start nor the end. Time as such is just an experience of our life externally and a corresponding feeling of that situation internally. The experience of life keeps changing but it is repetitive. Perhaps Time is cyclical. Think about it, everything is cyclic – Day and night, the 4 seasons year after year.

If time was linear, the Earth would have been on a clean long endless straight super highway with no traffic jams and all our clocks would have been an infinitely long inch tapes instead of circular devices. So what makes time look linear. Our age. Our body ages linearly with cycles of time. Our experiences mature as we move along several cycles of time. Our response to the external forces are different each time based on our past.

If Time was not cyclical, we may never have the same or similar opportunity again in our life. We might as well live a life of repentance and guilt for our committed mistakes and never redeem ourself. It will be depressing and hopeless. Time will test you in cycles and time will give you the luxuries of life and take away in cycles, good and bad all of it in cycles. What will matter will be our reaction to the same or similar looking situation again. If God meant for you to learn empathy, you will be faced with that situation again and again until your perspective of the person is altered.

If time was really linear, we wouldn’t have to do the same thing over and over again. Same breakfast, lunch, dinner over and over again in cycle. Work, Money, Hobby, Vacation in cycles. Hindu belief is this cycle extends to birth and death, incarnations after incarnations.

So if Time really worked in cycles then is there a point in our life where one cycle ends and another cycle begins? Is this a point of hyper jump when we can slip out of the never ending Time cycle into another dimension where time comes to a standstill and we simply exist in harmony for ever without the need for anything in life, without even feeling the compulsion of the passing time? Is that the real freedom? Is that a hidden dimension we have glimpses of once a while without our knowledge and get pushed back into the cyclical Time to face our weaknesses and continue our learning. Do the events like Mahasivarathiri, contain these points of hyper jump?

Where do I begin? Where do I end? What time it really is? and What really is Time?

Only Time can tell!

Posted in General

Pain

No Pain, No Gain. This is one of those universal Mantras. But what is the level of pain that one can tolerate before we break down. Sadly, we find out the limits only after we break down, when it is too late.

Let’s briefly classify the causes of pain as known and unknown.

Pain can come to us in any forms. One of it can be from a stressful day at work, or over stimulating by watching too much TV, overeating or generally overdoing something. But since these kind of pains are known to us, It is possible to regulate them. But think of the pain that can be caused by unknown factors, a death of a loved one, an accident, an unexpected long day at work. These can be some of the unknown causes which we cannot control.

Pain is inevitable in life. Anything and everything in this world would ultimately lead to some form of pain. Even as I type this, my fingers would pain a little after I finish. But that didn’t stop me from typing because my objective of experiencing this pain is so that I can express something useful to the world. Pain is not all bad then. The key to pain, is channelizing it for the right purpose. We have no right to cause pain to others, but if we can give a little bit of pain as a medicine to others, for their own development then it is not wrong at all. For example, if you want to teach a student on a particular subject, you can give him an assignment which would pain him to search through materials, collect the points and format it into an assignment. That pain for that student is necessary for his development.

So what is bad about Pain then, if pain is anyway inevitable?

There comes a point in life where we get blinded by selfish motives that we are not even aware that we are causing pain to others. We may ourselves be experiencing some pain and we would simply be subjecting others to that pain, in a sadistic way. That is unwanted pain. Pain that you would cause to a lot of people to satisfy your ulterior motives, your childish, selfish and perhaps egoistic motives.

One way to solve this problem is to become aware of the consequences of your action just like how you would predict the chess moves. There is pain in everything, but why should we become the cause of the pain to others and to even ourselves, when that pain is not developmental in nature. When you become aware of the consequences of your action and when you determine that there is unwanted pain in it, ask yourselves why would you still want to perform that action?

When there is no unwanted pain in this world, there will be real world peace.