Tag Archives: Review

Books, Blogs and Cricket

This post is a culmination of my thoughts for over 5 minutes, so you have to forgive the gibberish that you are about to read.
Books : After what feels like an eternity, I have managed to get hold of a book that I have wanted to finish as soon I read the first page. ‘The immortals of Meluha’ is to me the book that has brought back the interest in reading and writing. I first heard of this book from my father in law. The very next day Kunal ( a dear friend and now a famous writer, hence the dear-before-friend – get used to it 🙂 ) reviewed the book and wrote about how enjoyable it was. It did seem like a worthy buy. However, one of the problems of living in Pardes is, the scarcity of English books. The most famous Book store here has a collection of 5 English books, neatly stacked in the most obscure corner of the store, collecting dust and inviting spiders. Expecting to find a book written by an Indian author here is like expecting Dolly Bindra to shut up (Yes, am still not over her .. the after shocks of watching her wake me up in the night, perspiring). Anyway, my In laws were here for a visit, and one of the unexpected perks of their visit was that they gave ( / I stole / they forgot ) the book to me.

As for the book, it holds so many unexpected surprises that I just could not put the book down, at the cost of being accused of ignoring the wifey by the wifey (I wasn’t, swear to you sweet heart 😛 ). To me, I judge a fiction book by two parameters, possibility and relatability (I know that’s not a word, but inventing words makes you sound smart and competent – Just ask Barney Stinson). The demystification of Indian myths is done in such a matter-of-fact way that you (an even an atheist like me) can accept it. The Somras, the so-far larger than life characters, the events, all seem possible when put this way. About the book itself – It manages to detach Shiva from the mythical, heavenly creature, known for his rage and make him seem human. His faults exist, his love is as real as any, he too bleeds and for the life of his, can not understand why is he being treated god-like by everyone.
I think Amish has done a fantastic job at two fronts. One, He has stuck to the myths but has not tried to hide behind them. He has not tried at any point to get away by saying something in the book and then throw it to the readers as obvious because it was related to religion (or mythology). Second, he has accepted the science factor in everything. A particular passage in the book that I enjoyed the most is the conversation between Bhraspati ( a scientist , not a god ) and Shiva ( a human, but still looked upon by everyone as a saviour) about the importance of science when following religion and the reason why people do not look up to science, the same way that they look up to Religion for answers. This is the relatable part that I talk about.
Kudos to Mr Amish Tripathi for penning down one of the most fantastic books of recent times. If you still havent read the book for whatever reasons, I suggest you grab a copy now.

Blogs: My personal blog post count has gone down like a house on fire – in self-destruct mode – being crushed by the Hulk at the same time. However, the joy in reading what others are writing hasn’t diminished. However, the problem that I face now is that everyone whom I knew as a good writer, has either stopped writing altogether or started writing 55s. As enjoyable as 55s are, they do not really spur me on to comment, respond or commend people on a job well done. I know it is a pretty tough task, to finish telling a story in 55 words (and looking at the size of some of my previous posts – I should be compulsorily made to write a few), but it gets over before it begins. The fascination of going from the build up to the twists to the climax is just not there (and I am still talking about 55s and blog posts – not anything else). So, I request friends, foes, jackasses, weirdos, to come together and contribute the ever-growing blog database at wordpress or blogspot (whatever catches your fancy). The joy of actually knowing the author of a well – written post should be experienced by everyone.

Cricket : I finally have a reason to look forward to cricket, again. The Ashes are back, and for the first time – in what feels like a zillion years – England look like a serious threat to Australia. I know they have won it a couple of times, and also managed to draw some matches, but they have not looked threatening at any time. Australia on the other hand, has never looked as vulnerable as they do now, even at home.

Let me be a little more honest here. The real reason I am so interested in Ashes is also because of the Cricinfo fantasy leagues, where my wife is kicking my ass (At the moment, I am at some 6k and she is at 500 – damn you Peter Siddle).


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Before I begin writing about the movie, let me just take a moment and welcome myself back here on my blog.

Phew .. its been such a long time .. I actually forgot that I had a web presence. Lots of things contributed to my absence from the blog, namely .. lack of an exciting social life, and the pressure to keep my personal life, personal 🙂

Long back, when I had begun writing, I used to actually post just about any crap I could think about without even thinking about what I was posting. Limited audience does that to you. But after posting crap for about a year, I got a comment from a non IIIT-ian and that is when I realized that reach of the blog. Its not that I didn’t know that outsiders can read the blog, but I always thought what would make a non-IIITian be interested in the life of a IIIT-ian and that too a rather dull boring life 🙂

Anyway .. Here I am ..Reviewing one of the 2 movies I saw last Week – Dasvidaniya

If you are going to see a movie about a dying man, you expect lots of emotional drama , lots of crying, and LOTS of boredom. Dasvidaniya was the exact opposite of that on every count. The emotions were there, but there was no unnecessary drama. There were no unnecessary death scenes stretched out over half hour in front of a temple. There was no crying, no boredom – not even for a moment.

Vinay Pathak plays the role of one of the most well organized account managers you would know. His life’s sole aim is to make a TO-DO List everyday of his life and ensure that he finishes his list by the End of the Day. If he can’t, he takes care to include that item in his list the next day. His Geyser though, remains unfixed all through the movie. Reason – the day he included the geyser fixing in his TO-DO List, he finds out that he has just 3 months to live.

His alter ego looks like some extra from some crappy 70s movie, but that is not the point. The point is that his alter ego makes him realize that there are better things to do in life than to fix geyser and take shit from your boss every day of your life. In short, If you are dying, there are better things to do than worry about life. His life turns rosy all of a sudden, with a new car, a flashback love, a foreign trip to see his best friend from school, make up with his brother.

There is no unnecessary drastic make over for him though, he doesn’t all of a sudden become the SRK of Kal ho Na Ho .. though he does try to learn guitar and the first song he wants to learn is Kal ho . His simplicity remains with him, so much so, that he needs to be reminded time and again by his alter ego that he is dying and needs to live life. From making him buy a car, to proposing to the “love of his life”, who is married now by the way, to making him take a foreign trip.

The best part of all of this is, even though we know that he is going to die in the end, its his very simplicity while going through all of this that makes us like him, to an extent that we hope for a fairy tale , typical Bollywood, ending .. “Reports mismatch ho gayin thi .. you are not dying”. But this was real cinema .. and it would not have been so great if Vinay Pathak had not actually died in the end.

The most touching moment of the movie would be the time when his angry brother finds out about his looming death.  The angry young man suddenly turns into a loving brother. It just makes you think that sometimes we take relations for granted and think that they will continue being the same with us, no matter how we behave towards them. Sometimes we get angry with them , and forget how nice they have been to us all life. Probably we should learn to value family relations a bit more.

And , the idea for the ending was really awesome. They interviewed all the actors in the movie, and asked them what they would like to do before they die.  Simple question, but something that really makes you think about your life’s real ambitions and goals.


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