Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Mohsin Hamid

A time pass read. Begins rather promisingly, but then sort of meanders into nothingness.

A young princeton educated pakistani comes to terms with his high profile fin work in the us, in the times of the attack on the wtc and the indian parliament.

On the plus side, its not given to high drama, which I'd sort of feared. It does go about exploring the contradictions inherent in the human nature. The reluctance fighting against the fundamentalism, or is it the other way around?

Its even more visible, since in my reading, from an Indian perspective, I can see the contradictions in the complaints against the contradictions of the US. Wheels within wheels so to speak. Oh what a convoluted web we weave when first we practice to deceive !

But overall, falls short of anything extraordinary, and remains at the somewhat ordinary.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nancy Drews!

A 3 in 1 volume was just completed, and I've been fully transported back to gud ol days!

Every chapter ends with a loud noise, someone vanishing, something appearing etc etc, and you can polish one whole story off in 2-3 hours at max.

Neatly dropped clues, constant good-clean-wholesome action ( no murders etc!) What fun.

I think I need to read a few Enid Blytons now, and then perhaps the Noddy books. Second childhood here I come!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

All's Well @ Rangashankara

So after many years ( !) of procrastination, courage was finally taken into hands and I ventured off to locate rangashankara and catch a play there. After some map searching, much walking, changing of buses, some wrong directions from autowallah ( which I ignored - smart me!) I got there just in time, the bell went off, exactly as I entered the audi!

The play wasn't bad - a comedy about an elderly couple living in a village, with their children living away in various cities. Plans are made for celebrating deepawali together, and things don't quite go off as plotted!

Interestingly, the elusive "comic timing" as its called, is a lot more noticeable in such plays than in movies. What makes a joke click sometimes and sometimes not? Hard to answer that one!

Lets hope more plays are caught, now that I know the route.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Permissions.

When does a woman stop having to ask for permission? When she's 16? 23? 30? 45? or is it never?

Permission to watch a movie, to go out, to stay late, to do wear this, to eat that, to drink, to breath, heck even to live?

Why are there so many frigging double standards. As a girl you can't do x, y and z. Oh and I'd certainly advise not doing a to w too. How about him? Oh he's a guy, for him its ok.

When I was in college I had some illusions, that perhaps once we start our own jobs , we'll become independent and all this nonsense will stop. Within a few months of starting work, as I saw an outing plan collapse under the onslaught of the "permissions" I lost some of the hope.

But now I realise it never does end. The night curfews, the flexible sets of morality, ( ever heard of a man of loose character? ) The non- stop nonsense.

And yes, its a choice between fighting it and living in a state of constant seige, or giving in and folding up your wings.

Well I wasn't brought up with "permissions". And if push came to shove, I'd choose to live in the seige, or choose open warfare. World out there, be prepared for that.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Waiting.

How much of human life is lost in waiting?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

3 thoughts for the day.

A leader is best when people barely know that he exists; not so good when people obey and acclaim him; worst when they despise him. - Lao-tzu

It takes some pondering and some experience to understand that one. And it certainly doesn't mean that cutting yourself off from the people, you automatically become the best. Just the opposite in fact. I guess we've all come across the 3rd category, ( I was one myself for a short while!) Occasionally one comes across the second one, leaders you admire/like. The ideal is of course hard to reach, and rarely does one meet that evolved soul, and by their very definition, they would be the people who would fade into the background, taking your problems with them!


And after that old style philosophy, here's some more "modarn" stuff:

In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence.
Corollary:
In time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out his duties. Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence."

And finally a post from good ol Joel -

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Inglourious Basterds

Was thoroughly enjoyed. It didn't have quite the amount of gore I'd feared, and it had a great deal more of humour than I'd have expected.

And the guy who plays the nazi fellow is brilliant , just absolutely brilliant!

Go enjoy!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Wake up sid

I tried hard to tell myself that it was ok, maybe actually nice. Perhaps influenced by people around me.

But sleeping over it has convinced me - I did not like it. Silly silly movie, not one original idea. A handful of funny moments, and yes a few half hearted attempts at bringing in "reality". Son answering back mother, fat friend, who's a person not a caricature, but thats about it.

And frankly a movie where my abiding memory of konkona is not her character, or even her acting, but her heavily made up face, even when she's supposedly waking up, is a big failure.

So all in all, I'd say steer quite clear, but again, I'm in minority, most people say its not bad.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

When we were orphans - Kazuo Ishiguro

Quite hauntingly written again. If the last one ( never let me go) evoked a feeling of loss, this one sucessfully evokes that sense of shifting memories. The assured self confidence about recollections, feelings, the equations with others, our sense of our place in the world... all shifting, refitting, changing.

As before, the story as such is not that important, although it expanded in a un put downable manner. A little boy's parents vanish in Shanghai. The story begins many many years later, as he's starting out as a detective in London. As he moves forward few years , and recollects a lot of those old circumstances.

I really must read "remains of the day" now, even though I didnt like the movie so much.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

too late?

is it too late
to make up for lost time

to go back,
to redo what was left undone

or undo what wasn't?

is it too late,
to find the fairies in the damp
to nail the bhag?

is it perhaps,
too late
to live?