The cover of the first issue of RAVE, which came out in October, last year. RAVE is the newsletter of the University’s Student Activities Committee (SAC).
The picture used for the design has been taken by me, on the Nagoa Beach, in Diu, and the designing has been done by Hitesh. The actual photograph can be found here. Both of us are on the three-member editorial board of the newsletter, the third member being Asmita.
We’ll be coming out with our second issue soon. Hope it is better than the first.
The theme of the first issue was Inception, which should explain the presence of the “One Simple Idea" line on top. Yes, the film did have that big an impact on all of us. The issue can be read online here, and downloaded here.
Just Watched: 7 Khoon Maaf
It is a known fact that I am a big fan of the films Vishal Bhardwaj makes and he has never really disappointed me. He almost did so this time though, almost. Here, we have what can be called the weakest of the films he has made till date and there’s good reason for that. For once, you aren’t really drawn into the world that the film’s script creates and all you get to take back are some gritty performances. Full points to his music though, for that’s something else that works wonders.
The film tells the story of Susanna (played by Priyanka Chopra) who goes on to kill her seven husbands. With a premise like this, I expected the film to be a masterpiece of sorts, but the final product isn’t so; what we have here is great cinema that could have been much better than it was. Priyanka Chopra is surprisingly good as she ages but then again, I feel that her role has been overrated by many. Only showing a complicated character through the ages doesn’t make a performance an excellent one; it takes much more. But I guess she deserves the credit for what we get to see in this film.
For me, it was the husbands that delivered some really fine performances. Neil Nitin Mukesh is superb in his role as Susanna’s first husband- a crippled army officer with a wounded pride. John Abraham is very annoying as the drug-addicted rockstar. Irrfan Khan is fantastic as the sado-masochistic poet husband. In fact, for me, the story arc with him is the most interesting because of the way in which it was effectively handled. Aleksandr Dyachenko is pretty good as the charming fourth husband. Annu Kapoor is someone who has very less dialogue, but his expressions more than make up for it. Brilliant stuff, this. Naseeruddin Shah as the Bengali doctor is very good and I just can’t forget what Da (Vishnu Sharma) said when his story was on during the film- “Why does she kill him?,” he asks, and when I ask him to tell me, he says, “Because he’s a Bong!" Makes sense, but sadly not outside GNLU. Vivaan Shah, Naseer’s son in real-life gives in a wonderful performance as the guy who Susanna took care of since his childhood. Konkona Sen Sharma is pretty effective in her cameo too, and so is Usha Uthup, who plays Susanna’s maid for most of the film’s duration.
There’s nothing really wrong with this film. It is technically brilliant too. Sadly, it doesn’t hold your attention the way a Vishal Bhardwaj film should. It still is a must watch for it is undoubtedly his bravest work. Reminds me of what I read somewhere, Ek film maaf.
Personal Rating: 8.1/10
Just Watched: Hot Fuzz
Coincidences are a strangely funny thing, and I’ve been known to make a big deal out of them, so much so that I label even seemingly random occurences as coincidences. When I returned from the weekly gig at Café Buon Giorno last night, little was I to know that a film I will watch will end up hitting me like a ton of bricks in the ‘lame coincidences’ department.
When Arko mooted the idea of watching the film calling an out-and-out action flick, I gave him the go-ahead. About an hour into the film, I felt that the director had cluttered up the film with too many unnecessary characters, something which had kept driving me up the wall as the film had progressed. Arko kept defending the film for some reason, and I kept disbelieving his claims about the film’s supposed awesomeness. However, he managed to ensure that I don’t stop watching the film, something I often do when a film annoys me. I am thankful that he did this, for what came after the absolute WTFness phase in the film was not just awesome, but utterly epic.
This is one of those films that just blows your mind away, almost literally. Some brilliant acting only ensures that you don’t stop watching the film, even as it starts out pretty slowly. Simon Pegg is absolutely brilliant in a role that makes you think of the film as a situational humour piece for most of its first half. He also happens to be the co-writer of the wonderful screenplay. Nick Frost is quite annoying, but when you realize that there is a reason to his madness, you are left quite awestruck. The star of the show, though, is the fantastic Timothy Dalton, who is, well, a supermarket manager. Writing more about his character will skin the body that is this film.
As the end-credits rolled, I felt that the director’s name seemed familiar. When I looked the film up, I realized that Edgar Wright was also the director of the film that I had just seen about 24 hours back (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World). If that wasn’t enough, the release date of the film was four years back to the very day. Well, that is quite lame from the sound of it, but there’s more, and it’s not the numerous film references made in this film. In fact, even Arko was shocked after we read something about the film; the film happens to be the second film in what is called the Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy a.k.a. the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, a series of three films created by Wright and Pegg, and starring Pegg and Frost. Apparently, each film in the trilogy is connected to a Cornetto ice cream flavour. The use of the three colours of Cornetto is a reference to Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colours Trilogy. Arko happens to be a huge fan of Kieślowski’s films and he was left speechless when he came to know this. Also, this film was referenced in a recent episode of Psych, which continues to be one of my favourite TV shows. Also, one must watch out for the cameos, for they aren’t really in-your-face. Hitesh shouldn’t have fallen asleep. He has no idea what he has missed.
This film is the perfect guy film that can be watched on, er…, Valentine’s Day, at least it was for us. By the power of Greyskull, this is one amazing film. Oh, and a look at the time this post was published may just tell you how I have to control coincidences sometimes. Yarrp!
Personal Rating: 8.7/10
“We might define a constitution as its process of amendment. For to amend is to deconstitute and reconstitute. […] But the amending clause is so fundamental to a Constitution that I am tempted to call it the Constitution itself.”
Of recoil and grace
June 2008: Late goodbye. A new ‘home’. New hopes and aspirations. Yet, a sense of being resigned to fate.
July 2008: Turns out home isn’t meant to be what it means. Strangely, a seemingly post-apocalyptic wasteland will have to suffice.
June 2009: An acceptance of sorts. Words to expression. All undone thanks to a certain unforeseeable event.
July 2009: Doubt. Questions v. Answers. Impulse. The Overture.
June 2010: The fire in the smoke. A ‘perfect’ circle. The theory is still just theory.
At around the same time last year, I was rather satisfied. This hadn’t happened in a long time. A visit from an old friend had kept me in check for I was on the verge of tearing things apart. My mind was clouded with thoughts, a little too much perhaps. That resulted in the creation of this blog, something to which I haven’t given much importance over the last two and a half months. My diary too has been in a similar state of neglect. Anyway, this period of calm last year was something that was supposed to help me as I would enter the second year of law school, something which I had to gear myself up for. However, a single incident changed all that. A world of ignorance, for the lack of a better term, came crashing down on me just a week before I returned to Gandhinagar. And to think that I had to spend that last week hiding gloom and having to appear to be in the best of spirits for the people around me. The return to Gandhinagar wasn’t very different either, but then I had to make it different, something to which I gave my all.
I was at a stage when I had to hide behind a veil, trying to find out what was it that was actually in my head. Questions, questions. If only some part of me could pop up and press the buzzer. But alas, I had no answers. All of a sudden, a thought that changed everything crept in. It was very indirect yet had a sense of finality associated with it. What it resulted in was an impulsive act that had to be done. There were glitches but I don’t think there are any regrets, like seriously.
Then came a time when giving shelter almost gave a major diversion away. As a defence mechanism, I had to admit to something which wasn’t true. That, however, didn’t stop me from trying to repeat it later. Thankfully, there was no need for the replay to run for me. All this as new set was formed. It was a set which gave out a feeling of completeness. Every element within was familiar, all but one. Prominent elements on the outside were just there, still given way more than necessary. I returned home a tad satisfied for a change, something which helped the mind a lot.
The New Year’s coming meant a return to Gandhinagar. This time, fate had more in store, things that couldn’t have been thought of by me at an earlier time. A new beginning for certain elements within resulted in too many unnecessary discussions. I, for one, had to agree, yet disagree. But then the sluggishness needed to be scripted out, and that was done, to no avail. The drama was yet to begin as things were to turn on their on their head. It all started with a few brief moments. Suddenly, the moments were becoming longer. Then just when there was a massive hullabaloo, I realised that something strange was happening. I had been struck by elemental oddness. It was a bolt from the blue. While it certainly was weird, I felt happy for absolutely no reason. I must admit that I had never felt this good about myself, ever. It was unbelievable. Yet, it was happening. And I was letting it happen.
Simultaneously, elementary unity was running on animal instinct, upsetting the established order, a fact that was conveniently overlooked. It was all about being there, yet not being there. It wasn’t wrong, it was completely elemental. We obviously can’t choose to ignore something elemental. For the ones that feel it the most, it is sinful. Sadly, when there is a disintegration of an institution, there are always reactions, which, by the way, are also elemental. But then where there is chaos, the elemental order can seldom prevail. These lead to more reactions which are trivially unhealthy. Impulsiveness from the outside affects the balance, cutting that fabric that should survive despite the ruins, something which stays imprinted in the mind.
Looking at conditions on the outside, there always is a sense of delicate calm. The instinct is dark but is deeply connected to happiness, something which is fair, at least on the face of it. Then there is the ultimate irony, that of continuity, which always has two sides, thanks to the phenomenon of interference being used to gather, without any rhyme or reason. Because of all this, there is a constant need for further enclosing the various chambers within, irrespective of what the consequences are. There always are casualties, good and bad. Consequence, you see, doesn’t occur inside, but outside. From inside, you can watch the world devoured in its pain.
The theory of cause and effect is always unfair and biased. That ought to change, now more than ever. Power should always be handled responsibly. A dream can’t be raised in the same place in which it was conceived, despite resistance from within. But then, logic isn’t always synonymous with the nuances of human nature. There is nothing wrong with hoping that the right thing will fall into the right place. There always is a thin line between chaos and order. A feeling of inevitability always results in the construction of one narrative or the other. Be it the losing battle of the conscious and the conscience, or the lie that tells the truth, these narratives are all a part of an implicit utopian dream, something which also explains impossibility and the pain that reminds. Castles made in the sand are bound to eventually melt into the sea, just like eggs can’t be unscrambled. All you can do is wonder as you wait for time to wait for you. Here I am, as I wonder about pain and time, and about memories; about the mystery of life and probably even how much of it can possibly remain. I wait. And I wonder.