Friday, October 13, 2006

Another favourite and book review

The Red Jaguar on the mountain
Ranjit Lal

Daydreaming is one activity that stimulates our cells when we are young, in school. With our eyes open, gazing into the air, we create a course of events that is a story. Reality is touched with fantasy being the dominant tone. At times, it is the opposite also and eventually the whole gamut of things turns out to be one engaging ordeal for the child. Say something like a Hardy boys’ adventure.

Now, there is the problem!

Adults generally miss what the kids actually see. Ergo, they dismiss it as a figment of child-like imagination. But the ones who continue to weave endless threads together, end up being Ranjit Lal. His book The red Jaguar on the mountain is like a higher step in the evolution of his dreams.

Here he plays with the human psyche creating an atmosphere of which urban legends, adventure novels and engrossing stories are made up of.

Thirteen-year-old Anirudh, the protagonist narrates a story of his summer trip in the wilderness of a hill station called Sonekote. As a young lad, he is immensely interested in mystery and cars. Donning the mantle of a raconteur, he relives an incident that involved him, his teacher and guardian Ms Kohli and Kavita, the hotel owner where they stayed.

Lest we forget, a chirpy little girl called Shaila, who is first seen as a burden and then a sharp partner in crime by Anirudh. The twist in the tale is stemming from a red coloured E-type Jaguar, a roaring beast on the road as he puts it.

The tale starts simmering from the moment he discovers the car. Then, the strange course of events that happened before and the ones those are about to.

The book’s simple language, pictorial quality (both in terms of words and illustrations) and the tone that is purely conversational make it an interesting read that can be enjoyed by anyone.

Not a moment wasted; there are endless situations that the reader begins to probe himself because the child inside starts daydreaming suddenly. Though the reader still oscillates between reality and imagination. Yet, he imagines it all to be real by dismissing imagination with a smirk.

The problem continues!

one of my favourites

I am a fan of Chirstopher Boone and Mark Haddon. Introduced to me by Kris, Chris turnes out to be the people i identify the most with after Holden Caulfied from Catcher in the Rye.
Last night as insomnia took over, i realised reading to be worthwhile than writing or wasting my time on the Net. i picked it up after i recalled that i hadnt had the chance tp read it in the past one year almost. so i did and did I happily sleep after that..... BLISS!!!!!!!!!

A boy, an autistic and living in his own cocoonish world, is brilliant at mathematics because he practices and admires logic. Extremely methodical for every aspect in and around his life, even if that means dissecting the reason behind a joke. Why people react in a manner they do and how should he react is something he ponders over? Then one day his neighborhood dog is killed and he attempts to solve the crime - recording his adventures in his journals.
Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime is a story told in a highly unlikely narrative from the point of autistic teenager Christopher Boone. Complex ideas, as they seem to the ‘normal’ world, are taken together and put into a fascinating and easy to understand story.

The boy, who has been put into a school that has children with ‘special needs,’ is unable to understand why people look at him this way. Siobhan, the teacher, is the only person he likes talking to as she talks to him in ‘clear terms.’ She is the one who inspires him to write a book that he can read himself. Boone likes murder mysteries, as they offer a puzzle to solve. And when one actually happens along with a few others, his excitement goes on a higher level and the reader is taken along with.
The book begins on a simple note that looks like a diary entry, something Boone calls grabbing the reader’s attention. Soon, you are going to fall into Christopher's world. His ideas and views are very unique and those are very far from other people. Has peculiar habits which actually provide respite in stressful times. His first love is maths and astronomy, and animals because they cant tell lies.
The novel is downright realistic despite being a work of fiction because the ending is neither happy nor sad. This helps all of us think about the people like Boone in this real world. Once you’ve finished reading, we can imagine Boone’s future in over a hundred ways, which is where the interesting part lies.
Sadly to say, species called humans is very clever that we all are inclined to criticize and destroy the other's sense of value. Everybody has it's own happiness, some people hope to have similar happiness or dream but others are not. As long as it doesn't mess or hurt other people, we don't have any right to take that away from other people or in simple words, destroy them.
After reading this book, one can realize that it is indeed difficult but tolerance is very important in the human society.

A part of this entry was my review for HT NExt. the first book review i had written and thankfully it was appreciated. amazing piece of work this book is.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

who rthe people

there are 32 visitors in the last days.
why didnt i get any comment.
hmm thats okie
moonstruck is alone as his moon

interesting to some extent

Found this on a blog called written by a (frustrated) journalist who is just too angry with the people and the system.
This piece is called Animal Farm Revisited. I typed Animal Farm on Google to find out different articles on one of the greatest books of the 20th century. and found this.
Written with anger, this one tries to oh i forgot the guy who writes this calls himself CAtcher of stink. wonder where does that come from. he wants to catch the stink be it in gossip or articles or coverage etc etc. and Jerry guess who he mentions - Shreevatsa
he in one of his articles tries to rip apart Nevatia's article on Krish and Superman.
so anyway in an extremely loud self congratulatory note Stink guy writes this ode to the novel.
worth giving a look or so i thought...

Animal farm where we work

The invasion of the predators, the cool as a cucumber arboreals sitting and just watching them fight. These monkey like creatures think that by sitting on top they are higher. Or is it that they are scared and complacent that they have been put on a branch.
There is another species that of the four legged ones, those who run in the race and few simians' descendants see riding them as a sign of pride.
So these horses, ponys, mules, asses, etc etc are the ones taken for granted. They will work no matter what. Because they have faith in their riders, or the ruling ones. The poor ones believe that they have to continue with the hard work and sooner or later when a predator is old enough to be graciously kicked into oblivion, they will be promoted. Alas, that moment is literally once in a lifetime.
Among these, there lay a donkey. He is quite often confused as an ass and highly inferior to a horse. But no, he is quite intelligent. He is the rebel without claiming to be one and he has a cause - work my way or i choose the high way, and you better stay out punk.
Infact, he is quite inspired by Clint cause with him you better know what you ask for PUNKK!!
His intelligence is not in crying foul, or proving how imbecile just like the predators. All that he does is choose a different grassland each time the current one totally dries out.

He has a choice! (Think)

Now back to predators.

They do not have a class, standard, or sense. Their culture, is agriculture.

For them, the patch of the grassland is theirs and dare no one enter that. Too bad, they don’t know it is a mud swamp. Usually their interest area is not what they have or own, or have chosen. But, what the others possess. Some by the virtue of sycophancy, others (feminine) by their anatomy that is pushed up and very few by the idiocy of their hard work and basic intelligence. Like it was mentioned in the prelude, people above ZERO IQ are doofuses.

Their basic principle, apart from flattery, ass-licking and low standards, “My success is dependent on others’ defeats.”

Hmmmm makes a lot of sense.

So people, there begins the saga of Journalismahabharata.

This prologue paves way for the fables that maketh the newsroom one animal farm.


Friday, October 06, 2006

wishlist 2 - what i would love to hear when i am riding

My dream of owing and riding the bull has finally come true as i got my cherry red double chrome coloured Electra last month. Often i would ride way long back when i was in jaipur, with the walkman plugged in my ears. i remember how i used to go crazy as i drove to Kookas listening to These are the times by INXS. Or how the whole feeling of the bad boy got into me when Thoroughgood went bad to the bone. So folks here it is, from the easy rider, the ones that raise the spirits while roaring on the beast. (and the ones who are crazy for motorcycles alike)

1. Bad to the bone by George Throughgood:
And when I walk the streets Kings and Queens step aside Every woman I meet They all stay satisfied I wanna tell ya pretty baby Well Ya see I make my own I'm here to tell ya honey That I'm bad to the bone

Now way back in 1994, when i saw the movie T2, I was freaked out of my senses to see a beast so heavy on the road. No wonder the name was Fat Boy Harley. the potato grumble, terminator taking the glasses with ease and off he goes, i vividly remember how i used to imagine that by sitting on an imaginary harley. then when i rode a yezdi in 1996, I kept going to the song and thought of myself as Arnie, tee hee. the quintessential motorcycle song for me.
The moment i press the decompressor, give a powerful kick and pick up my brown aviators (i ride wearing them in the night as well), all that i say is BBBBBBADDDD To the Bone

2. Riding with the King by BB King & Clapton:
You can see it in his face, the blue never lie.
Phew! Right from the very first notes, cool wind in my face and the thumper going sturdy at 80 on the clean road with the street lights shinign bright, could there be a better song. oh i forgot, a good high. I remember the second week, me riding with Aditi, spirit intoxicated thanks to the feeling at that time, all i could imagine was a chevy going past me with the KING and Clapton waving at me and singing this one.
When i checked out the royal enfield website some time back there was an article about whats bigger pride than riding a bullet. The author concluded by saying the pride of owning one.
that is the song i would sing with a beer bottle in hand in tribute to my bike. AHHH, i am already daydreaming and smiling. Dont you know you're riding with the KINGHHHH!!!!! (PS I did the artwork myself on the pic here good na)

3. Dream on By Depeche Mode:
Can't you feeeeeeeellll a little love!!!!
and the acoustic follows.
This is the one for the highway, high on corex and two joints. or waitin for the sun to go down as you are atop the cliff with a bottle and a smoke. as the air calms down, the spirit mellows. and you feel one with the world, and with the one you love. you dont need physical presence, the solitude is yer partner and as the golden one bids ye goodbye you just say Dream On, Dream on.
After i saw the video It's no Good from Ultra, the voice of Dave Gahan was immensely deep. Not just the baritone but the way he felt while he sang it. DM is a band one can not classify in any genre whatsoever. their music evolves with each album. What was there in Ultra was totally different when they came out with Exciter. For long i desired that if i were to be a sex symbol God, make me a clone of Gahan. the ultimate cool, composed image of this heavy voice rocker with a white vest, blue denims, shades a la aviators and short hair singing atop a moving wagon. Tip: Ride your beast at the speed of 60-70, with just one hand and taking drags with ease. And then Dream On........

4. Baba o Reilly by The Who
Its only teenage wasteland
Sally take my hand, travel far crossland
Put out the fire, dont look past my shoulder
the exodus is here, the happy ones are near
let's get together, before we get much older...
Could there be a better song to exemplify when yer happy, liberated and excited. Could there be a better song that pleases us while we get older. the 60s came and went few gems like these never get old. i can just imagine how my script 'Brave New World' ends with this. In fact i remember one of these days in the October sunshine, i wrote two scripts. the first became the opening chapter of my novel. the other turned out to be this science fiction cum drama cum i dont know what movie where in talk about the final destruction of the forces onthis planet. and how this world becomes one, humans and animals and life. there after an entire script took shape and i called it after one of my favourite authors' works. i hadnt read his brave new world at that time. but imagined what it would be like.
Now why i chose this as abike song is difficult to explain. for a lot of you, this may seem as the most inappropriate chart here but to me these songs are images. images of me free, riding happily to a destination far crossland i dont know. i see green fields, and sunlight tickling the clouds, dew drops frolicking with leaves, birds that tweet and chirp when they see me, a road that leads to nowhere but has a destination - i dont want to know that as i jus keep riding.... i dont need to fight, dont need to forgiven, dont need to be talked just me and a soulmate who holds me from behind. that would be celebrating love in its purest way.

these are the ones that are mellow, soft and just songs that are fun...
Part 2 of the list is the heavy stuff, theones that melt heavy gear, pound the shock absorbers, and burn the rubber heavily. these would be the ones we imagine as we take the next streetfight....
smoke time and the saga continues..... BRING IT ONNNNNN

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

cinema paradiso (The list begins)

Out here in the perimeters there are no stars, out here we are stoned immaculate...
After gulping down a bottle of beer decently (i drink beer as if it is going to be out of fashion tomorrow) one corex (I Tull you it is so soothing) and a joint, it was time to treat ourselves a list of cinemascopic delights. The location was Varun Cobain's office and the mood, Sunday coupled with October sunshine. could there be a better time to retrieve the expressions that once came out of pure love for the silver screen and have taken a back seat thanks to my work. So here i go.....

1. Night on Earth by Jim Jarmusch
Now Jarmusch was an unknown identity till I saw the philosophical Dead Man starring Johnny Depp. Gary Farmer was outstanding in the movie as NOBODY. It is painful to sit through Jarmusch's creations as they really move as per their own pace. To few it might seem boring but if you love cinema, and the beauty that goes behind it, this director will always impress you. Secondly, if every movie is fast-paced as Ocean's Eleven, then the passion will be missing. Just as Soderbergh lost it in Ocean's Twelve.
So this is about night, trademark Jarmusch stuff, where in he tells the stories of five cab drivers in different cities - Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Rome, Helsinki in that order. Ryder is the first chapter as the constantly smoking and driving a fucked up cab. Gena Rowlands is a telent agent, rich woman who is missing something or something is missing in her life. She reluctantly ends up offering Ryder the chance to be a movie star that the latter confidently yet with some hesitation refuses as she wants to be a mechanic.
Next stop, the big apple has this black trying to go to Brooklyn in chilling winters but unable to finda cab. To his rescues comes this migrant driver who cant drive and was a clown. His name is the ice breaker for the two, Helmut. Esposito who is now driving the cab as Lampshade Helmet can not is making fun pf the name while he picks up his girl friend. Armin Stahler gives a charming performance as the tourist cum migrant who is spellbound by New York and though confused tries to smile in a different culture. It is about brotherhood and the bonding two stranger males share on a small journey.
Third is another migrant cabbie from Ivory Coast who is hired by a blind girl in Paris. Here comes one of the funny and profound lines in the movie - "Dont blind people usually wear sunglasses?" "How would i know, i never seeen one." The conversation is philosophical yet simple in tone. and for a viewer who does not know french, the language is not a hinderance.
Fourth and the funniest story has Roberto Benigni as the gregarious Gino who picks up an ailing man. He talks too much and all of it is really funny. i died laughing hearing the confessions benigni makes. And so did the man, who couldnt tolerate Gino;s words. Benigni is over the top, loud, blabbermouth and a laugh-riot. That my friend is the amazing mixture of humour and
comedy. You see humour is what Frasier would be and comedy is what Friends is. Comedy makes you laugh there and then and thats about it. Humour keeps tickling you till the end and then even after you saw the movie. I am laughing as i recount the story of Gino fucking a sheep and then his sister in law. and how he plays on the roundabout as the 'Bishop' is confused.
Last stop, Helsinki. An industrial worker gets laid off and he and his compatriots discuss the bleakness and unfairness of love and life and death. Another funny piece - Hey, Aki, wake up!
Who the fuck are you? And where the fuck am I?
You're in a fucking taxi, fucking close to your home, and you owe me for the fucking ride!
It is sad but worth watching.
The movie begins with a song that is a sung by a lunatic, or so it seems in a gruffy voice that is pissing off and a kind of song that cant be classified. But it is good - the singer is shot at the end of the title sequence. I liked the piece that plays before and after every story. and the wacth sequence that displays time in all these places one by one.
Jarmusch loves playing with human psyche, and weaves a story that is not plot-based but situation-based. this is the stuff that makes westerns, you will not miss much as there is a situation and not a plot. So if the black migrant cab driver is flummoxed it is because he is surpirsed the ease with which the blind girl lives. If there is brotherhood between Helmut and YoYo, that is because unknowingly they both need each other. And so the story rises from the day to day happenings.
This is what happened with Depp in Dead Man.
The original title of the film was (all small characters) "lanewyorkparisromehelsinki" and I was surprised to read that Jarmusch wrote this script in 8 days flat. Isnt that phenomenal!
It is and so is the movie.... Check it out.
Out for a smoke and then another flick