Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Dance of Intimacy - Harriet Goldhor Lerner

It was picked on m's reco. Interesting read, like a lot of other such psychology/self -help books.

It starts off by describing intimacy for the purposes of the book, which basically boils down to being oneself and letting the other be themselves. No, it doesn't sound like any relationship I know either, we usually seem pretty focussed on changing ourselves to please the other, or trying to change the other to please us.

The book then goes over some typical patterns in relationships like overfocusing vs distancing, Change vs change back, overfunctioning vs underfuncting, triangles etc. There's also a lot of emphasis paid to family, probably due to the Bowens family system adherence.

Its useful to get an awareness and perhaps some measure of understanding of these patterns and theories. However breaking the patterns is another thing altogether. I guess its an ongoing , life time process!


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hereafter - Clint Eastwood

Really forgettable. I guess all brilliant directors have to make a few mistakes.

A journalist has a near death experiance, complete with the bright light et al, and tries to make sense of it. Meanwhile a psychic tries to lead a 'normal' life, and works to avoid using his unusual abilities. A third parallel story track, has a little kid trying to understand and come to terms, with his loss. At the end the three stories come together briefly.

Overall, it just seemed like a mish mash, and didn't come together well. The pace was uneven, and the story was rather incoherent.

I find it a fascinating topic, and was really expecting at least a more nuanced handling from someone like Clint Eastwood. But sadly disappointing.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Speedy Singhs - Robert Lieberman

Completely avoid. It has no saving grace AT ALL - bad story, bad direction, bad acting, bad idea to go watch this movie.

A bunch of sardars, facing discrimination, decide to form an ice hockey team of their own, and ( surprise surprise ) , win some tournament in the end. And yes the father opposes his sons time wasting in the beginning, and comes around in the end. And yes, the indian boy, gets the firang girl as well. ah , I just gave away the end, didn't I ?

Considering the slew of good movies with similar sports themes ( bend it like beckham, iqbal, chak de, league of their own, the list goes on and on ) , there's really no excuse for this sad movie.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Thunder Demons - Dipika Mukherjee

okish read.

The story is set in malaysia, against all the 'multi-cultural' and religious tensions. There is a fanatic colonel s, who starts of with a murder, and continues plotting more meyhem. Then there is the young Agni, whose mothers death, and fathers absense is a bit of a mystery. Then there's Jay, who knows about Agni's mother and father, and who has been away from Malaysia, but is back on the Colonel's request.

It can be read as a thriller, but it doesn't make a very good one, since both the plots are rather predictable. The prose tends to get a bit over bearing at places as well. Plus there are just way too many characters, some of them adding nothing to the story really.
Worth a read, mostly just as a refresher, on the state of Malaysia, and perhaps our world.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mandi - Shyam Benegal

I'd been a bit apprehensive about watching this one, assuming it would be another arty sob story about prostitution etc etc

But it turned out to be way better than I'd expected.

Not a lot to the story, a lady runs a brothel, with uncommon spunk. Development demands that she vacate the land to make way for a big building. High morality is invoked as convinient. The conflicting pressures are shown beautifully, nari niketan can work for big business, but then the big business also needs the brothel, and the stand offs can be interesting and satirical. The movie is, after all, made in a vein of black humour.

Amazingly actors, amazing direction and a very good movie overall.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Ageless Body Timeless Mind - Deepak Chopra

Was an okish read, tad better than I expected.

I used to have a pre-conceived low opinion of most of these new age guru/healer kind of guys, and Deepak Chopra pretty much fitted the bill. However a chance interview on tv, got me to revise the low opinion to a sea- level opinion, some of the stuff he spoke of was rather reasonable, even if it wasn't sensational.

This book is perhaps cannily pitched for the seekers of long life. It re-emphasis some of the obvious things - good food, exercise.

Some things it reaffirms are known but perhaps not universally acknowledged yet - eg meditation, mental well being, ability to handle stress, awareness. These go a long way in our response to aging, although we tend to forget them.

Lastly it talks of some stuff which is completely in the domain of pseudopsychology so far. Eg the part about the universe fulfilling your desires if your awareness is open and clear etc etc. Plus it yaps a whole lot about entropy, quantum mechanics, dna , hayfleck limit etc, aging gene etc etc, without really making much sense of all these.

The parts I liked were the ones which remephasised the deep connection between body and mind, much larger than modern allopathy, or even modern living concedes. A lot of experiments to bolster that, and the book sprinkles a good few interesting ones. Eg well documented cases of some people like monks and yogis controlling the body in ways which are traditionally thought to be uncontrollable. Or the experiment with playacting life as it was 20 years ago. For that matter the universally acknowledged, and easily dismissed placebo affect, is itself a bit of a mystery.

Overall it was an okish read, although I don't think I'll be picking another of his books any time soon!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

the 3g smartphone
254 friends
the unconnected life.