Archive | December, 2009

Life’s like that..Of rhymes and goof ups!

29 Dec

Just another fit of random incidents which tickled me a little on a snowy morning. Some memories never fade, some just swift pass like a gentle breeze and some are meant to bring that little joy in your life which unintentionally brighten you up.

A medley of sorts!

I do talk to a few of my friends and relatives through video chats on skype and gmail every once in a while. This is my way of ensuring that they don’t erase me off their memory disks totally. Such a pest I am! :mrgreen:

So it was one such Sunday morning when I was video chatting with this uncle of mine whose daughter, Pillu (as I call her) is now old enough to chirp up nursery rhymes (Yeah! I have cousins who are that small!). Clad in her pink frock, frolicking away on her little kitchen set, as soon as I called her name, her distraction was evident and she came running towards the screen only to discover that it was me who had called her name. I could see the sense of surprise transform into the oh-its-just-you emotion in her eyes so clearly. It was almost enough to make my day.

My aunt wanted her to recite all the nursery rhymes she knew. She was just not interested in flaunting her intellect. She did not refute or anything, she just ignored my aunt totally. After a while, when my aunt had pestered her enough, this is what she did.

(The conversation was in Marathi. This is a decently attempted English translation)

Aunt: Wont you sing your nursery rhymes for Dada*? Sing Brother John… Jack and Jill…

Pillu (exclaimed): Brother John…

Me: Yay! 😀

Everybody was quiet and listening attentively to Pillu

Pillu (looked at me in the screen and gave a sheepish smile):-

Are you sleeping, Are you sleeping,

Brother John Brother John,

Jill came tumbling after,

Jill came tumbling after,

Ding dong bell… 🙄 😯

(Sing each line in the respective tune and you’d know the wonderful medley that Pillu created)

She came up with this awesome medley, partly because she was vexed enough by her mom’s bantering and mostly because she seems to be totally talented. Ahhh.. that is what is going to happen to my cousins you see.. Talent is going to overflow.. 😆 (I can almost sense you all throwing tomatoes at me.. the rotten ones..)

We were left in fits of laughter.

The curious ‘case’ of yours truly..

Those who know me well, or who have met me or who have had the privilege of taking my case, know how easy the task is. Most of the times I don’t even realize that people are having a good time.. err… at my cost. It was still fine to see the people I know take my case. What happened over the weekend has only convinced me that I ought to run away to Himalayas to seek divine help to be able to make me not to susceptible to pick-ons.

So there is this really awesome Chinese joint in Jersey City which I do visit once in a while. I had a friend visit me over the long weekend of Christmas and we decided to dine at this joint. With hogfull eyes, we entered the restaurant and ordered an awesome sparkling wine. We started looking into the menu card for the entrees when the waitress came to serve something to the folks sitting next to us.

She (sniffing..literally): Gosh… I smell something’s burning.

She (screaming looking at me): Sir your menu card is on the candle lamp. :X

Me (embarrassed. Didn’t know what to do! Thought for a second and then said.. aah. This is just one of those goofed up performances I keep giving every now and then): oops! I am so sorry… 😳

I just picked up the freaky candle lamp and put it on the table adjacent to ours. My friend was laughing like a maniac and needless to say this incident was publicized to the entire circle of case takers as the ‘latest best’. What more even the folks sitting on the adjacent table were happy to get entertained. Well, I had decided to go with the usual stuff which I always order and not indulge myself reading the menu card again. As I shut the card and kept it aside, the waitress came running and picked it up and quipped.

She: Let me pick it up before you do something… err… something happens to it. 😈

Me: 😦

She: Just kidding..! 👿

Me (to myself): Yeah right! You have no idea how I am going to be picked on by what you have just done! 😕

I guess I should rethink about the ‘talent’ that my cousins have ‘like me’.

Well, as I say… Life’s like that!

P.S: Dada in Marathi refers to elder brother. Which by the way is 22 years older than Pillu! 😆 I even have a new born cousin who I am sure will come up with something more dreastic in years to come.. 😛

Movie Review: Invictus

14 Dec

I would like to assert right in the beginning that I am a true admirer of movies like Jo jeeta wohi sikandar and Lagaan and I am a true detester of films like Goal. Films about sports have been one of the most successful genres of film making in every film industry. Haven’t we all cherished films like The babe, Million dollar baby and Ali?

From the promos and publicity done for Invictus, it does come across as a sports film. However, I would like to look at it as a socio-political drama which has been treated in an invigorating way using Rugby as a central theme. In today’s world, where being innovative and thinking out of the box is given such massive importance in every industry, here is a story of a man who thought in a staggeringly different way to establish harmony in a society which was jaundiced by Apartheid way back in 1995.

Nelson Mandela, the first president of the democratic South Africa, was an anti-Apartheid activist and had served 27 years in prison charged with leading a movement against racial discrimination. After his appointment as the President, out of the many challenges he had at stake like a State to run, an economy to stabilize the biggest was to build a state of brotherhood amidst its citizens. The story of Invictus starts at the point in Mandela’s life when he takes charge as the President. South Africa’s Rugby team Springbok was predominantly supported by the Whites and was hated by the Blacks. Mandela saw an opportunity in this sport as the Rugby World Cup was right at the anvil. His thought was to eliminate the racial divide that was persistent in South Africa and that had put forth its ugly head in every sphere of life by projecting Springbok as a national team as opposed to the contrived notion of it being a symbol of racial oppression. He publicized Springbok as the team that represents South Africa on the whole and not just the White population of the country and infused this notion in every team member. Victory of Springbok would mean victory of South Africa and only that could establish an emotion of oneness.

                                                                              

Morgan Freeman undoubtedly is the best choice for the lead role of Mandela. He is one of those actors who can breathe every character he plays. I cannot imagine anyone else portraying Mandela’s character with such penchant on screen. Clint Eastwood yet again showcases his cinematic genius with the perfect choice of actors and a strong screenplay which only exhilarates the viewing experience. Matt Damon who plays the role of the captain of the Springbok team puts forth a highly leveled performance. The authenticity of the script is seen in the dialect in which both Freeman and Damon speak. There are some dialogues which are truly fantastic, brevity being the biggest pro. For instance, the day before the final match, Matt Damon thinks to himself – “He could forgive those who imprisoned him for thirty years”.

However, I feel that the film is a tad too swiftly paced. It lacks the dramatic luster at places where it deserves to have it almost inevitably. The whole process of convincing every team member to overcome their dogmatic opinions about the Black population has not been shown to be a great deal of struggle. Also, the last few minutes of the match are stretched sequences which mar the excitement that is built since the beginning of the final game. I think for a film like Invictus, the biggest challenge is to be able to hold viewer’s interest in spite of the fact that it is evidently known who the winner is at the end of the game. To a large extent, Eastwood has been successful in doing so. On the whole, the strong performances of Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon overshadow the lack of drama and the film comes across as a truly soul stirring presentation of a visionary’s life, not being a mere documentation of a series of events in Mandela’s life.

Invictus, which means unconquered, is a poem by Willian Henley which I remember reading as a part of my English curriculum in school. This poem plays a rather crucial part in the climax of the story which justifies the name of the film. I would surely recommend this film to all those who want a breath of fresh air. Watch it for a mind blowing performance by Morgan Freeman and the unconventional backdrop of a story which is seemingly predictable but is immensely engaging.

My rating:

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