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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Who's next?

As the tenure of the current president APJ Abdul Kalam comes to an end in July'07, the nation is now wondering who's going to be the next President.That's the hot news that I see floating around in all news pages these days. As a common man, there is no say whatsoever in the election of a president.Yet there are polls to see what people desire. Apart from the current VP Bhairon Singh Shekawat, some of the choices that are floating around are Narayan Murthy, Amartya Sen and Amitabh Bachchan... becoz people now want a non-politician to be the President!

Well..NRN could be a good choice but I wonder if moving him to Indian politics from being a successful entrepreneur, is the right thing to do?! He's the man who built the Infosys brand...zillion software professionals look up to him as an idol... he is a man of vision and mission.. a man of ethics. He has helped his organization to reach greater heights and the Indian economy in general. So won't his talents and enthusiasm to do such outstanding things be curbed by entering the indian politics... I feel he is good at doing what he's doing now.. and shud continue to do so... let the country benefit...

Abdul Kalam's tenure has been good... he is well qualified and has left a good mark.. why not re-elect him? But I guess that's not going to happen. Waiting to see if a non-political person will actually make it to the President's post!

Monday, May 21, 2007

More Koffee...

In continuation with my previous post on Koffee with Karan....

"My mother goes weak in her knees everytime she sees you on TV!", said Karan Johar as he welcomed the heartthrob Richard Gere on his show on Sunday. But I wonder why he was wearing a P I N K shirt and a white coat!!! Anyways... this was one of the rare episodes which was extremely good, like a couple of previous ones with Konkana Sen/Rahul Bose and Amitabh/Abishek Bachchan. It was a pleasure to watch Gere talk for an hour on the small screen. He spoke a lot about his inclination towards Buddhism, Tibet as a nation and about The Gere Foundation - fighting for a cause and how he continues loving to do what he does. For once, Karan asked the right questions and led a meaningful discussion! In the rapid fire round, Gere made sure he was politically correct with all his answers - I think he's already too much in news :-) He also said he wants to act in a bollywood movie - with song and dance sequences! Guess he doesnt know what he is getting into if he wants to do that ;-)


He blushed as he said these words... "I was making a movie recently and there was a little press conference so that everybody would know what we are doing … and there was this young reporter there … so she came up to me and said, Mr. Gere, “Three generations of women in my family love you…. my grandmother, my mother and me”, … and I started blushing.."

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Hungry Tide

A friend of mine had given this book to me, authored by Amitav Ghosh, about a year and a half back. Due to lack of time I was never able to read it and didn't carry it to ISB either. I just found it yesterday lying in my cupboard and started reading it in the morning and just couldn't keep it down till I finished reading it in the night... True to all its reviews, it's really fascinating!

I developed an interest in indian fiction after I read Jhumpa Lahiri's "The Namesake" and "The Interpreter of Maladies". I had heard a lot of praises about Amitav Ghosh's writings from friends who've read his books... this was the first time I was reading his works.. and I am glad that I picked up this novel. It does take a lot of effort and talent to create that undying interest in a novel, for the readers and Amitav Ghosh is one such novelist. I have all praises for him!

The Hungry Tide - is a simple story told in a very vivid way. The author's attention to details, the style of description, the choice of words all created a moving picture in my mind. The story is set in the archipelago of islands near the bay of bengal, called the Sunderbans and the backdrop of the refugees from Bangladesh coming to India. The story revolves around the 3 main characters Kanai - a delhi businessman and a translator, Piyali - an American Indian in search of the rare river dolphins and Fokir - a local fisherman..... the story is all about their encounters in the tidal country. The characters portrayed are very intense and memorable and the emotions described are very subtle and touching. This ain't a thriller - there is no constant suspense or action but this does not slow the pace of the novel! However, towards the end of the book there is too much detail on the scientific research about the dolphins which could have been cut short.. but that doesn't pull the novel down in any way..

If you want to see the Sundarbans painted vividly in words and know a bit of history and myths about the refugee camps and the dolphin species amidst those intense emotions of love, hatred, trust, faith, pride, jealousy...... then this is the book to read!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Random thoughts....

It's so true that too much of anything is always too bad! It's been 5 and a half weeks of break now, after my graduation. The busy life at ISB had always kept me longing for a fully-relaxed-long-break... but now I feel I have had too much of it already!! I am waiting to get busy all over again.. I want to be loaded with work... I want some stress back in life... I want things to keep me on my toes always!! 12 more days to join work and I'm eagerly looking forward to starting a new phase! Grass is always greener on the other side... I am sure a few months down the line, I'll be the one to write here again that I need a break! :) My friends who are working, say that they envy my current state... but less they understand how tough it's for me to figure out how to spend my time every single day!

One thing that ISB has taught me in the last 1 year is that 24 hours in a day is a LOT!! If I look back at those days, I get amazed at the number of things I used to do in a single day.. and whole lot of stuff that I have done in that 1 year. I wish, one more year down the line, I can say the same thing!! I guess it's time to make a checklist......

My blog off late has been looking like a page of movie reviews. Well... that shouldn't be too surprising 'coz watching movies is what I've been doing mostly! I happen to watch this newly released movie yesterday - Life in a METRO. I was eagerly waiting to watch this 'coz there was Konkona Sen in it.. I was a little disappointed as it wasn't all that great or anything different. The theme was very similar to the movie "Crash"... 4 stories run in parallel, their lives interspersed and come together at one place at the end. The movie tried to show some unconventional relationships that can probably be seen these days... I guess the effort was to keep the story practical but it failed to create much impact at the end. However, the performances of Konkona Sen, Irfan khan and Kay kay menon have been awesome, as usual! The music is by a new band (i'm not aware of the name) which is pretty good but there are just too many songs included and it gets very streotyped towards the end...

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

On a break...

With one more month left, for me to join work again, my well-deserved-break still continues!! I sometimes really wonder why these companies recruit so many people when they don't bother whether we join them or not! The HR dept is usually the most criticized one, and I guess the one in my soon-to-be-joinining-organization is very shitty! Now am just waiting to see another email from them which will say- we are sorry to be pushing your joining date one more month ahead!

So... as I rack my brains really hard every day wondering how to spend the 24hrs, I got this idea of catching up on all the movies that I've never got a chance to watch. The last 4 days has been just movies... movies and more movies!! Here are a few that I saw.... some of them are really old and very famous... its sad that I had never watched them till now! Better late than never! :)

The Godfather - What can I even say about this movie?! Its just AWESOME! I wish I had watched it much earlier. It is probably one of the best movies about the underworld and don's. I can't even find one drawback in this movie. No wonder it's topped the charts at IMDB for so long! I had watched Sarkar, which is supposed to be inspired from Godfather, and I had imagined it's a total remake of the movie. But when I saw the english version, I was surprised... Sarkar had just bits n pieces of the theme... but still it's awesome in its own way! RGV has done a brilliant job with that movie... Both are a must watch!

Basic Instinct - Another brilliant thriller/mystery movie. Though it has a lot of graphic nudity and steamy stuff, the story, cinematography and performances of michael douglas and sharon stone do not let u take your eyes off the screen!!

Erin Brockovich - I saw this movie for the second time. Had seen it about 6 yrs back when it was released. I must say that this movie will be loved even by the people who hate Julia Roberts. I think its one of her best movies ever and no wonder she won the Oscar for it! Such a splendid performance with a nice story line. I loved it then, and even more when I saw it this second time. A defnitely must-watch!!!

Pretty Woman - This is a bollywood fluff type of story but still a nice to watch movie. It's a cinderalla kinda fantasy story, nothing so great but the Julia Roberts- Richard Gere pair makes it very lovable. Both of them were just so brilliant in this, along with the music which hold the movie strong through out!

My Best Friend's Wedding - Well, I had heard a lot about this movie but was totally disappointed. It was just okay. Left me wondering what exactly the director was trying to do with the movie - it wasnt even feel good romance or a humorous comedy. It was all mixed up and some characters were extremely stupid! The plot was not a savior either...

Runaway Bride - This was also a let down. A very predictable story, quite slow but since I love the julia-richard pair, I could still watch it. The climax was well shot and with the subtitles, the movie was bearable...

Guru - I've always loved all Mani Ratnam movies... I enjoyed this one too. But it's definitely not better than his Bombay or Kannathil Mutthamittal. The movie depicts the life of Dhirubhai Ambani but I feel it doesn't do complete justice to his life story. It's not impactful. About the star cast... Ash cannot act for gods sake!! I really wonder if she will ever learn to show emotions and stop being stiff. Vidya Balan's character was a total misfit... not at all required. Abishek has done a good job again... he was the only one who kept my attention thru out the movie. Even though the movie has been shot mostly in one location - Mumbai, the cinematography is so great, you really dont see the sterotype in the settings. A. R. Rahman rocks as usual with his music! Overall, a good movie, but could have been much better...

Krish - dont even bother to watch!!!!

I have lots more lined up for the week... !

Monday, May 7, 2007

Reflection

There's this famous Assyrian adage - "Tell me your friends and I'll tell you who you are", which am sure all of us would have heard. I never really paid so much attention to this. Ever wondered how true these words could be! So, why am I talking about this now? I was just reading through some articles on the Dvaitha and Advaitha philosophies and about 'Conscious Relationships' in one of TOI's Sunday edition of April. (unfortunately I've lost the link to the article) .This was kind of talking about the quote that I mentioned above. It really got me thinking deep and suddenly made a lot of sense to me...

According to Advaita philosophy, the inner and outer worlds are the same 'coz the latter is the reflection of the former. So, whatever we see outside, is really a perception of ourselves, what we are inside. The article put this in an even more meaningful way, by relating it to the different kinds of relationships that we form during our lifetime. Consciously or unconsciously, its so true that we always end up making friends with people who kind of reflect our own personality (what you might call as like-mindedness). We are just trying to see another part of ourselves through our friends. That's why probably we can't "click" with everyone around. This holds true not only for friendships but also relationships. So, if you have an inferiority complex, a lack of love for your own self, then you will probably end up attracting similar kind of partners, where you will end up feeling 'not loved'. You might be just settling for someone who is not empathetic towards your feelings or needs. Most of the times this happens unconsciously, which is reflected back to us by the outer world. Try digging into your past, analyzing why your previous relationships have failed and you will start finding a pattern.... It's a kind of introspection, where you get to understand your inner self..

Here are a few excerpts from that article, that I had saved while I was reading it...

"To continually subject yourself to neglect, abuse, apathy or conflict is not being loving to yourself. If you are not loving to yourself, how can you expect anyone else to be? "

"They are reflected back because "like attracts like" and this is the nature of energy. Until you become aware of what is happening, you will keep repeating the cycle. The outer world is not really outer, it is a projection of what is within you. The inner and the outer are one. Therefore, when you continually draw to yourself a certain type of relationship, when you notice a pattern in your life's behaviour and when you repeatedly find yourself dealing with the same issues, you will know that the "trouble" lies within you...and not with the other person"
"To be aware that the person you see in front of you is actually a part of yourself, and to treat them accordingly, means to have the courage to be honest with yourself. It means you can no longer act from defensiveness. It means you can no longer try and control others........"

Hmmm... really intriguing part. Especially the first 2 lines... so true! Unless we really start loving ourselves, how can we expect to be surrounded by people who can love us?? It's as simple as it can get! One of the reasons for a lot of failed relationships I guess! So according to this, is it really possible to have a 'conscious relationship'? I mean, getting aware of our own self so that we attract similar kind of people. Is it really possible to break our patterns and change our inborn character...I wonder! Am sure it's possible.. .but how easy would it be is the question.

Coming back to the adage, looks like it really makes sense.. It's quite possible to look at the kind of people one is surrounded with or the kind of relationships a person is into... to get a picture of one's self!