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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Munich


After greatly disappointing us with the mediocre “War of the Worlds”, Steven Spielberg has greatly redeemed himself in my eyes with the spectacular “Munich”.

Based on true events that occurred at the Munich Olympics in 1972, this movie begins with the travesty of 11 Israeli athletes being taken hostage and brutally murdered by the Palestinian terrorist group, ‘Black September’. This event shocks the world and the whole of Israel cries for vengeance. The Israeli government, headed by the homely looking Golda Meir, hatches a plan to murder the 11 Palestinians involved in this terrorist attack. For this they form a secret association headed by a member of the Mossad, the Israeli Secret Service- Avner (Eric Bana). He is asked to take up this mission of tracking and killing the people responsible for the Munich attack. Initially, he is unsure whether to take up this responsibility or not but finally accepts and, along with his men, sets about establishing contacts and assassinating the required. Though hesitant at first, he becomes extremely dedicated to his duty and is determined to successfully complete it. The group carefully plans the death of each target, being scrupulously particular about causing no harm to innocents. As they inch closer to the end of their mission, members of their group start getting killed by the people they are after.

After a thwarted attempt to take the life of a particular prominent figure behind the Munich attack, Avner returns home unwilling to go on with the mission. He feels a deep sense of guilt. The Munich massacre haunts him, even while making love to his wife. This, and the thought of all the blood he has shed, gives him sleepless nights and a very troubled demeanor. The movie ends on a note of possible hope for the country, as Avner tries to explain to his employer the futility of so much death and atrocities towards the people.

Some scenes in this movie are exceptionally deep and meaningful, like the one in which Louis (the group’s contact) asks his father- the head of the information outfit- to explain why they did what they did, which robbed the lives of so many people. To this, the grandfatherly looking Papa bemoans how something terrible is always replaced by another as bad or worse, and how governments should be avoided as far as possible.

At one point, here is a heated discussion about the positions of Jews and Palestinians between an ardent anti-Semite and a Jew sympathizer (Avner). The conflicting viewpoints are explicitly presented and the whole scene is truly involving and transcending.

During the course of action, one of Avner’s men (the bomb maker) gets very emotional and overwhelmed with what they are doing- they, the ‘decent’ Jews. He seems to get very disillusioned with the situation and can’t seem to come to terms with what they are doing. Very touching segment.

Eric Bana has done an exceptional job in portraying the role of a military agent, dedicated to his country and willing to avenge his people’s deaths. At the same time, he is a family man- a devoted husband and a loving father. He leaves his crucial mission halfway and heads home, just to be there for the birth of his daughter. Later, when he’s out on the field and talking in the phone to his wife, he breaks down and gets teary on hearing his daughter’s voice. He appears to have become hardened and come to terms with his life and his job, but soon starts having sleepless nights and paranoia for his life. Even when he is home after abandoning his mission, he fears for his life and that of his family. He seems bewildered and unsure of how to react when a couple of minor Israeli officers express their honour at meeting him. Thus is illustrated a good honorable man who starts questioning the morality of all he has done, overcome with sadness at the state of affairs in his beloved country.

Throughout the movie, the brutal murder of the athletes is shown in fragments in a heart rending manner. Depicted very tragically, and with impeccable timing. The movie has an added element of authenticity with the many news broadcasts shown in it being original broadcasts from 1972, during this period of unrest in the world.

This is an extremely serious and somber movie, with brilliant acting, great direction, and beautiful choreography of the action. Definitely a must-watch for serious movie buffs with a taste for simplistic serious fare.

My rating-9.5/10

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Time..


Time is such a strange quantity… It’s so relative to everything and everyone…

I recently tried reading Stephen Hawking’s ‘A Brief History of Time’, and though I was making good progress, I had to put it on hold as I’ve had so much to do.. In it, time is described as such a physical, mathematical entity.. not all that appealing, is it? Time, to us, is in the mind- determined by how we do what we do.

I seem to have developed quite a warped sense of time recently. My mind zooms back and forth between the past and the present at an inconceivable speed, startling even to me. It seems like just a couple of days ago when I was attending my first day of Junior College, though it was actually two years ago. Alternatively, my school days seem eons in the past, though it was just three years ago when I last attended school.

Now that summer is here again and it's too hot, I was amazed to realize that a whole year had passed since I started talking cold showers in the morning instead of hot ones. Was it really a year ago? Sure doesn’t seem like it… I hear silly trivial things on TV such as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes having a baby and I think- Didn’t they just start going out?

A year has lost its meaning- it can feel as long as a decade, as it did when I was 14 (don’t know why), or just about as long as a couple of months. Each passing year, those 365 days seem to shrink more and more like time is speeding up, unnoticed by us…

On another note, looking at the future, it seems like the 13 years which are to go to reach 30 years of age is no time at all.. will be over in a snap. Then again, sometimes I feel like the mere 7 months to go for my 18th birthday is stretching too much.

Time is so bizarre… and, nowadays at least, I absolutely cannot keep track of it. Clocks and calendars have become erratic, time flies (or drags), seasons change, and, intentionally or not, so do we; in ways we never thought we would, or even could.

"Funny thing that time: we’re always running out…

...The days become the years, that'll be gone before you know..."


Friday, April 21, 2006

One red paper clip!

A few days ago, I read this amazing article in the paper.. Was about this guy, Kyle, who had always dreamed about owning a house but couldn't afford one, so he set about getting one in a most unique way.. Check it out here.. Cool, man! Innovative way to chase your dream i must say... Keep it up Kyle!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Tweet tweet: Part II

Why can’t I sleep at night? I think too much- I pretty much sorted that out last time. Part of that is due to my tendency to create stories in my head.

I first started this when I was 9 or 10 years old (as far as I can remember). Before sleeping, I would make up stories and this soon became a nightly ritual before I fell asleep. Soon I was doing this all the time- while waiting for the bus, while walking to class, while cutting onions… you get my drift. But mainly, before falling asleep. But this backfired on me as my stories kept getting more and more interesting. So interesting, in fact, that that kept me up, clamoring for a nice ending, a solid believable plot and script. And of course, I had to oblige.. Not that I didn’t enjoy it, but I was so sleepy!! Seems like I’m my own worst enemy, huh?

It’s also interesting to note that no one would actually believe this of me by knowing me as I appear to be, or as I think I appear to be, or as I think people think I appear to be. No one might have guessed that I’m this Divya-in-Wonderland sort of person because I really don’t look it. I appear very practical and down to earth (I think), but I don’t know if I am!! Well I am, just not in the conventional sense.. if that makes sense.

Well, I guess I’m just a dreamer trapped in the body of a non-dreamer (intellectual if you will)!!

P.S.- Again done at night, so hopefully no explanation required.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Tweet tweet, and I'm asleep!

Why can’t I sleep at night? I’ve always had this problem- insomniac since I was a baby. Ok fine, acceptable, most kids are cranky.. but this is ridiculous! I’ve tried it all- sleeping on my back, sleeping on my front, sleeping on my side. Sleeping with the window open, sleeping with the window closed. Sleeping with the fan on, sleeping with the fan off. And combinations of all the above. But no. And what’s the reason for this, you ask? I think too much. That’s right; this whole melee of thoughts jumbled up and intertwined, running through my head all night, graciously granting me a few hours of sleep, a looong time after I go to bed.

I should do something about this you say? Maybe I should try yoga, sleep therapy or just try to be more positive? My preferred method (if it were possible) would be the pipe method. That’s something along the lines of—I take this narrow bored pipe and screw it into the side of my head, just above my ear (my right ear, to be precise). I hold a jar beneath the pipe and tilt my head till all my thoughts flow into the jar, which is then capped and kept in the refrigerator (to keep my thoughts fresh, of course!). Then the pipe is removed and I have a blissful sleep punctuated by pleasant dreams-those manage to stay in there somehow and I don’t mind that. Then, come next morning and once again the pipe goes in my head, the jar is removed, and my thoughts are carefully poured back in (this time I use a funnel). Then out comes the pipe and my thoughts are free to bounce around in there all day! And this would happen every night…

Sounds cumbersome huh? But for a sound beauty sleep- worth it!!

P.S.- Reading this now, I wonder what was wrong with me when I wrote this. But then again, it was the middle of yesterday night when this idea was insistently bombarding my skull, which made me get up and write it down- just for my peace of mind. And now it seems just crazy enough to share over here! Can you believe this? Then again, if you've actually read this till all the way down here, you probably can! Hahahaha sleep tight folks!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Does my blog own me?

According to this, I care only 12.5% whether my blog is read or not! So this is done almost purely for myself and as for that itsy-bitsy 12.5%, well a little interest never hurts!! :) So carry on people!

12.5 %


My weblog owns 12.5 % of me.
Does your weblog own you?

Men and Women

This is hilarious but actually kinda true!! :)
TWO WOMEN TALKING:
Woman 1: Oh! You got a haircut! That's so cute!
Woman 2: Do you think so? I wasn't sure when she gave me the mirror. I mean, you don't think it's too fluffy looking?
Woman 1: No, it's perfect. I'd love to get my hair cut like that, but I think my face is too wide. I'm pretty much stuck with this stuff I think.
Woman 2: Are you serious? I think your face is adorable. And you could easily get one of those layer cuts - that would look so cute I think. I was actually going to do that except that I was afraid it would accent my long neck.
Woman 1: Oh - that's funny! I would love to have your neck! Anything to take attention away from these football player shoulders of mine.
Woman 2: Are you kidding? I know girls that would love to have your shoulders. Everything drapes so well on you. I mean, look at my arms; see how short they are? If I had your shoulders I could get clothes to fit me so much easier……

NOW TWO MEN TALKING:
Man 1: Haircut?
Man 2: Yeah.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Blah blah...

Yesterday- utterly ridiculous! Had planned to see Munich but nothing was confirmed- I so hate that, I need to have tickets in advance, just for my peace of mind! Ok so finally it was confirmed that we would actually go, then we ended up reaching the theatre 2 minutes before the show was to begin! That's cutting it way too close.. Needless to say, we did not get the tickets... Big surprise, considering the movie had released 2 days ago and it was a Sunday night, never mind that it was Easter Sunday as well..... Then we tried our best to try to make alternate plans but failed oh-so-miserably! One guy had come for this all the way from Powai to Juhu and was cursing the indecisive person responsible for this mess, and I don't blame him! The both of us spent the better part of our time together making the guilty party feel more and more guilty, till we finally decided to give him a break. But that poor guy had to go all the way back to Powai having done nothing!!! Then to top it all, having forced my friend to drive me home (the one at fault here so I didn't feel too bad about that), it took us almost 90 minutes to reach home, whereas it usually takes 10 minutes!!! Freakish traffic.... What a waste of a Sunday night!!!
*****
Miami Ink is a really cool show.. The whole scene is just so radical!
It's about a tattoo shop opened by 4 friends, along with 1 apprentice, and shows how they manage their business along with their personal life. Interesting clients, awesome camaraderie between the guys and fantastic tattoos!
*****
Oh dear lord... This was said by The Times of India to be an ultimately dull blog and that's such a MAJOR understatement!! Zzzzz....

Friday, April 14, 2006

Cho chweet!

Rang de Basanti was amazing wasn't it? Loved it.. inspiring, entertaining with fantastic acting and a spectacular music score!

I knew Aamir Khan would be really good..no doubt. And me; I'm a Kunal Kapoor fan. But even exceeding these two, i loved Siddharth's performance. Was beautiful and heartfelt.. Only flaw is he smoked way too much but, oh well, i guess the character called for that.

Siddharth was quite good in Boys as well, but this performance really took the cake! He looked so cute, so innocent, so naive… But then he had to stand up for society, against the government, against corruption. He looked so confused, so much in doubt, so brooding, so rebellious, that it would make anyone want to go over to him and just console him saying, “There there, it’s going to be all right”. Too good…Hopelessly endearing.. And he’s adorable too.. What a combination!!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Unfair!!

Outrageous is not the word to describe this. The Mandal II report is unbelievable! 50% reservation for SCs, STs is way too much!! For a good cause, sure why not? But this compromises the chances of so many others! Lowering the cutoff for these minorities does make some kind of sense but how beneficial can it be in the long run? I mean, if you consider top medical institutes for one, these people have a chance of getting in even with poor performance in the exams and moreover, there are now all these extensive reservations. Now how would they be able to cope with the entire regular syllabus and compete with their ‘upper caste’ counterparts, who got in through pure merit and have proved they have the mettle to be there? There may be some special cutoffs for them even there; I wouldn’t know. But what kind of doctors would they make in the end? Not to generalize, but with all this special treatment, finally a not-quite up to the mark doctor is produced. Another deserving applicant could have obtained that seat instead isn’t it?

It’s hard enough to get into reputed institutes in any field nowadays, what with all the competitive entrance exams and staggering student to seat ratio and this just makes it a hell of a lot more difficult. Less seats, more competition.. finally a loss to the open category students- even those who deserve the seats. Why? Because the government suddenly felt a need to do something for the minority categories…?

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Is it just me?

Me- I have this thing for bikes.. I love bikes; I think they’re really hot. I don’t actually know their working or anything; I just love them in the aesthetic sense. Whenever I’m in transit and get bored, I start bike watching and totally involve the person who is with me- “Oh look; an Eliminator!”, or “Check out that Karizma, how cool!”.. This has been with me for quite a while, but not too many people knew about it… My mom thinks I’m totally zapped.. “A girl who loves bikes, what next?” she says. Out of my friends who do know now, 90% of the girls think I’m totally psyched! Hahahaha! Their expression when I get started on this is hilarious! They think- “Poor thing, she’s lost her mind”. The guys, on the other hand, think it’s cool. Impassive reaction I receive, along with comments of their own on bikes. Much better…. Let me illustrate my point- The other day on the way to the bus stop, I saw a Suzuki Hayabusa zoom by!! Awesome!!! At that instant I received a call from my friend and the first thing I said to her was, “Guess what, I saw a Hayabusa!!!” Her reaction-“Eh? What’s that?” On further explanation she said- “Oh whatever… Come on!”. Later when I told the same thing to a guy friend, he went-“Hey cool! Where?”. Poles apart… But whatever it is, I love shocking people when I suddenly start shooting my mouth off about bikes, because I know it’s relatively unusual! You’ve got to see it to know how much fun it is!! But I take pride in knowing that because of me, a very cynical friend of mine has converted and she jabbers away with me about bikes! Open your eyes girls… maybe you will see what I’m talking about.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Hello?

Ever wondered why we say “Hello?” when we answer the phone? Well, when the telephone was first invented, people became accustomed to ringing a little bell, kept especially for the purpose, and saying “Are you there?” whenever they answered the phone. Tedious, huh? So, once when Alexander Graham Bell was in engrossed in some work, he received a call and he was so impatient that he snatched up the receiver and abruptly said- you guessed it- “Hello?”. And there it is… It seems Bell invented more than the phone; he unknowingly established the beginning of telephone etiquette!!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

V for Vendetta


"Remember, remember, the fifth of November, the gunpowder treason and plot. I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot. " Thus begins this memorable movie, brought to us by the Wachowski brothers, after the brilliance of 'The Matrix'.

V for Vendetta is a strong opposition towards the establishment and speaks of a way of doing something to overcome oppression. It strongly opposes the exploitation of the government and has a firm stance of taking matters into the public's own hands. As the protagonist says- "The people need hope, not a building". It shows how one man decides to eliminate the wrongs which society had begun as a change. It thus questions the ability of humans to be able to decide what is best for them and also whether they can rectify the inadequacies in their plans.

The hero of this flick is the masked and caped "V", played by Hugo Weaving, a man scarred by his horrific past experiences suffered at the hands of the fascist administration, and bent on revenge. He takes it upon himself to eliminate those who meted out injustice to him and others at a so-called 'clinic'. He happens to rescue a regular average girl Evey Hammond(Natalie Portman) from a life or death situation and she becomes his unlikely ally in his crusade. She becomes enlightened about his philosophy of life and ultimately concludes what he had begun. A cynical cop(Stephen Rea) is entrusted with the duty of stopping V and finally realises the futility of ignoring V's message to mankind.

The movie takes quite a dramatic and unexpected twist in the middle, which involves Evey being mercilessly tortured and imprisoned about her connection to V, which could have been portrayed in a better way. Apart from this, the script flows smoothly and is accentuated by the slick dialogues delivered flawlessly by the performers.

The government, which is an extreme satire of the present one in the U.S, is represented as a cruel, faceless entity in this movie and the implied message is one of standing up for one's rights. Or as V remarks- "People should not be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people".

My rating- 8/10

(Later I discovered that Hugo Weaving is Agent Smith from The Matrix!!! I never would have guessed!! Did not seem like him at all... the voice, the character.. Well he sure seems multifaceted..

Few more dialogues I loved from the movie-- When Evey asks V if his favourite movie- The Count of Monte Cristo- has a happy ending, he says, "Only as celluloid can deliver". Wonderfully cynical, don't you think!!?

In the beginning, when V saves Evey, she asks him who he is. He jovially points out the paradox of questioning the identity of a masked man... Deep!!

In the same scene, V gives this meaningful and verbose though hilarious speech which I'm going to copy paste here.. It had me in splits!!
V-"VoilĂ ! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is it vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose so let me simply add that it's my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V. "
Evey-"Are you like a crazy person?"
V-"I'm quite sure they will say so. "

I'm still laughing!! Hahahaha!

All right, enough... Go watch it now.)

Monday, April 03, 2006

I'm always at my window.. now you can see why.



This is the view from my window...one picture at noon, one at twilight. Not quite as divine as the sight described previously, but still gorgeous. This is the rustic part of Juhu beach, not seen or talked about too often.. 'Tis a beautiful sight.. the fishing boats, the trees and, to top it all, the lighthouse... far in the distance blinking away all night, every night, the red beam of light cutting through the darkness... Gives me such a peaceful feeling to just sit and stare at this light and forget anything and everything.. Love my view, love the sea!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

A whole new world!

The lift in my building recently decided to go on hiatus, thus the terrace has been opened to allow people to go through adjoining wings. Whenever this happens, no matter how much of a hurry I am in, I take a minute and go to my favourite part of the terrace and of in fact the whole society… the part which has an absolutely magnificent view. I stand there and marvel at the sprawling 180 degree spectacle of the Arabian sea- or as I like to refer to it, My Beach. My Beach is gorgeous, especially during sunset and twilight…. The sand, the water… they lose their dirty quality which exists in reality and become this dream world of mine… Toward my extreme left, the old world lighthouse and rustic fishing boats returning with their daily catch, and to my extreme right, the five star beachside hotels with their elegant buildings and perfect swimming pools. And in the middle, a mixture of normal residential societies like mine and the gracious olden style villas and bungalows, with the gentle waves washing to shore… And in the distance, the water stretches, the horizon is distant, and one can make out that it is curved… It is beautiful… I breathe in the salty air, the wind blowing back my hair, my arms outstretched.. I am a part of this and this is a part of me.. Time stops...It is breathtakingl.. It is my world.. So as anyone can imagine, I long for my lift to become cranky more often so that My Beach is again open to me!!