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Band Baaja Baaraat - 2010

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I was thinking that life is super and yet sometimes stupid, directionless unfolding of events where what we say is forgotten sooner than it is said and yet in the clowning around of the he-said-she-said aspect of it, we often end up creating poetry, and if not given much emphasis and by letting it sink into us long enough, this poetry will soon become a natural way of life. This is a feeling that I would translate rather directly when it comes to films. Stupid or not, poetry or not, life or not, films speak the most unanimously understood language and we breathe, chew and savour them and when ingested and digested well, they infuse in us trends, optimum health and a definite feel-good factor.

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I cannot last remember when I had watched a film by Yash Raj Films, and I say so not because I had any problem with their banner, but more because I was disheartened by the way the new blood was ruining the history, by virtue of weak business decisions, that had been built brick by brick by Yash uncle and his entourage. When most of their over-hyped mega-star projects turned turkey there emerged a Chak De - a movie I didn’t watch but showed signs of a winner not because of the presence of Shahrukh but because, as reported, clearly the content was king. When Fanaa was being made, and considering that Ravi K Chandran is a dear friend, and had shot Fanaa with Aamir, whose family and my association goes a long way, it still didn’t entice me to watch it because I felt that it lacked the punch. Then YRF rolled out Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and besides the fact that Ravi was the cinematographer of this one too and it was the launch of Anushka Sharma who being from my city Bangalore had modelled for some of my close fashion designer buddies, yet both the reasons weren’t motivating enough to for me to watch the film due to its weak quality that was evident in the scenes that were being aired at that time on television. Time passed swiftly as it always does, and sitting listlessly one evening last week, I decided to pay the cinema a visit. In the Internet listing of the pictures that were currently showing, I found the poster of Band Baaja Baaraat appealing and even though I hadn’t seen a preview or read anything significant about it, I still decided to watch that film.

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With no anticipation really other than being drawn by the poster of the film, I took my seat and soon after the introductory credits faded away and I first set my eyes on Ranveer Singh I knew that this is a film I was going to watch from the beginning to the end because Ranveer had the ability of filling you up with euphoria rather plainly by his impactful and yet understated demeanour. His energy, innocence and dignity were something that you realised you hadn’t seen in ages on screen. As the movie unfolded, I was sold by this lad’s flair to portray his character to near perfection. I felt that he would go a long way in his career if he only refrained from biting into the tempting dust of wanting to get on the top quickly by signing films with recognised directors who more often than not made rubbish and defended their rubbish as well. I also felt that if he continued to maintain his focus and stayed with screenplays that would push him to polish his already sensitive skills then there was no way he would falter, dent a bit maybe on a wrong decision, but not falter. 

The following day the news daily reported that Ranveer had been thanking the filmmakers for having taken the risk of launching him considering that he was a newcomer. It was his luck that he was in the right place at the right time because no one else at this point in the industry, barring a Shahid Kapur, could have done justice to the role that had been etched out for him, and I honestly feel that it's not Ranveer who has to thank YRF but they ought to thank him because his effectiveness has put YRF back on track after a long spate of dampeners.


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Anushka Sharma as I declared earlier, I have a soft corner for since her debut film was with my friend Ravi K Chandran. That I haven’t seen any other films by her, I think that Band Baaja Baaraat has proved that she is someone with substance when used correctly. No doubt that she has great screen presence. Her plus point is that she doesn't overact because I think she is well aware that her natural self is immense talent all on it’s own. Will be watching you Anushka from now on and do hope you only get what you’ve envisioned for yourself because you definitely deliver what’s required of you and deserve much more.
 

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As the director, Maneesh Sharma is skilled. The screenplay by Habib Faisal is efficient and takes you where it is intended to take you. It teaches you a lesson or two not only of love but also of team spirit. It is indeed so true that one can work wonders when in the company of those whose souls connect.

The vigour in the tunes is catchy and contagious. Given that the songs are situational, they blend rather well with the screenplay. Thank you Maneesh for avoiding the unreal dream sequences shot in exotic locales that YRF is so known to add in most of their films.  

The ego hassles that result post the dissolving of the partnership between Ranveer and Anushka was slightly overdone. Agreed when the harmony between two people is disturbed, they react trivially; reactions don’t have to be logical, but disrespecting what they have built with great interpersonal effort and behaving like spoilt children when they've been behaving like adorable adults exceeded the realms of workable behaviour for me. That said, I still maintain that there is a definite freshness to the entire approach of the film with the premise being very promising, even though it appears largely like the team has obtained inspiration from The Wedding Planner. Barring certain situations and the usage of time-tested clichés, the movie still managed to beguile me with the delicacy with which it had been handled.

I adored the way the team hasn’t stepped back from making a statement about how big stars throng weddings for a price and steal the show. The manner in which the scenes where Ranveer convinces the bride that ‘her’ Shahrukh Khan is none other than her own ‘husband’ to be is commendable. Quite seriously one doesn’t need a Shahrukh Khan to add glory to any event - we are all Shahrukh Khan’s in our own right if we believe in ourselves and believe more so in the people we love and who love us.

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The other nuances I found refreshing in the film were how this girl doesn’t regret getting physical with the man she wants. Particularly the immediate feelings that they go through are very well depicted. The intricacies of how the subconscious mind seeps so unknowingly into our conscious (tu and tum) and how these days women are so very acceptable with getting physical is also something that has been shown eloquently and the confusion the situation throws up is praiseworthy. Another thing I have observed lately is that nearly all male leads on screen want to have this waxed look that leaves them no different from their female counterparts but Ranveer, despite having a near perfect body, has preserved his natural look. I think that men must look and feel like men and women must look and feel like women and we owe Ranveer another plus point here.

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Conclusively, I trust Adi or any other powers-that-be don’t allow the triumph of this movie impede their imagination and end up choosing roles for the cast in their future films that could put their onscreen lives in jeopardy. By producing this screenplay YRF have proved that they have learned from their mistakes and are on the road to recovery. Adi is someone who gave my friend Jimmy Sheirgill a marvellous platform in the film Mohabbatein and I would only wish him the best because now he has given us Ranveer, a much-needed break in a film world that’s crumbling with known surnames who know not how to act and who yield no productive results and are yet given a million opportunities. I’m glad he has realised that this is a movie with all the right ingredients and the proof of the pudding has very well been proved and in case he seems to have any doubts about what he’d like to pick in the future, I’d only say don’t look too far, Adi - knock on Yash Uncles door and trust me there’s very little scope that with his wisdom you will ever go wrong.



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For My Dear Dear Chotu!!!

For my Chotu – who is my brother and my best friend. Someone who has taught me that deeply earnest and thoughtful people stand on shaky footing with the public, yet we must stand up for what we believe in! Someone who has made me believe that we ought never to forget that all theory is but grey, and yet, the golden tree of life springs evergreen! So for all that Chotu does to make me who I am, as William Shakespeare aptly said, I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks, my dear Chotuuuuuu!

Image Copyright (c) Farahdeen Khan 
Location: Taj Vivanta. Whitefield

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Quit Smoking

 

 One doesn’t need electronic cigarettes, nicotine patches, to sign up at the local Nicotine Anonymous, or whatever the rest of the fancy sounding jazz that might be in the market to help you kick the habit. Similarly, one can surely make do without the meaningless emotional blackmail or get stirred by the dumb images on the packs depicting the horrors of smoking, a feat, which they hardly achieve. However, what one quite honestly needs is someone they love, not someone they think they love, but someone they really love, to ask them to stop lighting up. When that happens, you’ll never find your hand reaching out for a cigarette ever again.

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First They Came


First they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak up,
because I wasn't a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up,
because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up,
because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left
to speak up for me.

Pastor Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller

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Inception - 2010

 

Nearly everyone I knew kept asking me whether I had seen Inception. Initially I assumed it was only a fad that would soon fade but when the hysteria only seemed to escalate around me, I finally succumbed to the temptation and, dear god, I ought to admit what a disappointment it was, since the intention of such cinema was to provide a vast, perpetually replenishing reservoir of raw material for the fantasies of millions of people, at which it had failed miserably.

The over-determined affiliation between cinema and dreams has been to borrow heavily from psychoanalysis. Right from its flickering around the time Sigmund Freud was working on his Interpretation Of Dreams, cinema was making its own way by trying to replicate the uncanny, image-making power of the mind since Freud believed that dreams were compounded out of the primal matter of the unconscious and the prosaic events of daily life. If he were alive now, he would have sadly laughed at how some are attempting to insult his work with such silly visual representations. I concur that there is plenty to watch in the film, but honestly there is nothing at all in the two and a half hours running time that counts as genuine vision. We get to know that the director’s mind is too literal and too logical to the full measure of the madness to let itself manifest in the characters. Instead of dealing with real confusion the director deals with an idea of ineffable ambiguity, which the subject he has chosen to treat most aptly warrants, but at which he fails, once again to deliver.

 The film doesn’t come even close to matching the allusions and impact he has tried to create by weaving in a primal nightmare, which is more like a diverting reverie. Inception trades in crafty puzzles at times, but there are no profound mysteries to be found in them, and the gestures in the direction of mighty philosophical questions that he is trying to answer are finally too tactful, too timid or perhaps Christopher Nolan was simply too busy to engage in working on them a little more. The cities that fold into themselves, the chases that defy the laws that usually rule space and time along with the pursuit of competitive advantage by well-dressed, unemotional chaps is hardly the stuff that dreams are made of, not forgetting the beautiful virtuosity as a conjurer of brilliant scenes and stunning sets, along with his ability to invest grandeur and novelty into conventional themes that have fostered the illusion that he is some kind of visionary which is acceptable perhaps by the commercial cinema audience, but hardly any fodder for the intellectually hungry.

 From here, I think, we need to shift focus, just for a moment, into another intrinsic part of human existence – reading. I remember when we were growing up, most of us feasted on material from Goethe to Jung, and by the time adolescence had knocked at the doors of our life we had been familiar with most of the theories that had shaped the minds before us and in a way we were somewhat in tune with what was anticipated in the nearest future based on the events of the day. Unfortunately, today’s technology dependent society is so very embalmed within its own constraints that reading is much of a luxury than a necessity to them and that’s were, with no offence to anyone, I was able to divide the people I knew into parts, A and B based on their summation of the film. The people who fell under part A knew that what they had seen was nothing earth shattering but a rather shallow attempt at the unconscious, as Sigmund Freud knew it, which was a supremely unruly place, a real maze of inadmissible desires, scrambled secrets, jokes and fears that surely Christopher Nolan cannot reach since he has limited access to it plainly because he has blocked his mind by the very medium he attempts to deploy with such unsuccessful skill. Then there are the people who fall under the category B who had no idea what had hit them when they saw it for the first time and expressed a desire to watch it a second time to decipher it. I think these are the people who need to, to begin with, keep aside their laptops and smart phones and pick up a book or two, not for me, or for that matter for the visionaries who worked hard to leave us what they did, but merely to save themselves the embarrassment of not having to make a fool of themselves before the people they know. They need urgently to focus at matters that are imperative to their inner and outer growth that they might have completely ignored or even discarded. If only they spared a moment and took time to read something substantial would they realise that Christopher Nolan has not done them a great favour with Inception. On the contrary, he has, in a funny way, shown us whom amidst us are intelligent, and who are not, not entirely by virtue of our cognitive intelligence but merely by the enormity of the knowledge we possess.

To sum it up, I think the answers to this supposed puzzle for those who still think it is a puzzle are very much evident in the film if you only know where to look for them. It sure isn’t a Rolls Royce in a Chevy’s body but quite the vice versa, and if after seeing it again, you still think that you haven’t got it, then you either need to get yourself a new set of spectacles or better yet inject your mind with an innovative inception.

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Ritesh M D'sa


Please don't be fooled by this man's innocent looks; he is remotely so! In fact he is no less fierce than the beasts in the left half of the picture - he is all of them, and, perhaps several more of them packed into him. I say this only because he killed me at my first personal training session with him today. But then again, Ritesh is the kindest friend you tend to find only once in a way and definitely the most genuine person you come across only one in a million.

Although the training session with him was punishing, I appreciate how he used his athletic skills to the utmost in making sure he assessed me rightly in order to chart out a definitive route in the weeks to come. Also, I cannot deny that at some point, and rather strangely, since I do not react this strongly to my gym regimen, began to feel my lips go dry and my head go woozy. Like a gentleman, who only needs a hint and not words to express anguish, he had me sit down immediately and disappeared behind the staff room door only to emerge with a banana that he made me eat. Once I had recovered from the sudden rush of blood flow to my head he informed me that it was not weakness or my inability to workout that lead to me feeling dizzy, but the real culprit was lack of sleep. He was clearly unhappy with my 3-4 hours of sleep daily and admonished me with such kindness that like a motor needs to be turned off to function better, or for that matter the radiator of the car warrants rest, else it begins to smoke up, a body too needs adequate rest in order to function harmoniously.

Ritesh – thank you, bro, for making all the difference. I will surely give you what you want for all the effort you would be investing in me, not because it's what you do best, but because you are an amazing human being and one of the best buddies one can only dream to have.

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Advertising Tips from 2927 Communications


I think we ought to kill the ‘tags’ given by agencies from time immemorial such as ‘creative’ – ‘art’ et cetera and let people grow. The idea quite simply is to give scope to grow exponentially without any barriers or cliché

Barring the marketing team, we've clearly eliminated the ‘suit culture’. We let the staff dress in whatever they find themselves comfortable in

We constantly challenge everybody at the office to come up with ideas

We hardly ever thrash any feedback. Remember that the most effective copy, ideas, images originate in times when you’re least thinking about it/them We consciously involve our clients in the creative process right from the draft stage to the rough sketches and bounce off hopeful solutions too because an integrated ideation process works wonders for all the disciplines and people involved There are no old-fashioned cubicles at our office, instead we use the open-plan design where the staff is given the liberty to plonk wherever they deem fit to do so We are always on a lookout for young blood to fill up the senior positions. The younger, creative generation has the ability to understand new trends and has an instinctive grasp of the popular culture We usually try putting ourselves in the shoes of the consumer. It’s the fail-safe way of widening our perspective and what’s more, it bridges their gap too We more often than not come up with ‘identifiable creative initiatives’ rather than ‘in your face’ or over-branded campaigns

We NEVER exaggerate because the clients who mean business do not have time for theatrics. The most vital secret to effective advertising lies in telling the truth. Nothing works wonders than the simple truth

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On Love by Julian Quintaes


You can’t erase love, there’s nothing that will remove it...
Love stains your soul and consumes your thoughts.
And when you least expect it...
It vanishes!

- Julian Quintaes

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Lord of War - 2005


I watched Lord of War last night and loved every frame of it. Violence is sometimes shown as so inherently cinematic, but we all know that violence is also a very basic human feeling. Despite all the spurting blood and carpets of bullet casings in the film, what I adored most was the part where Cage admits to Hawke that his wife and son have left him, his parents have disowned him and his brother is dead because of him and yet he has no remorse and gets back to doing what he does best, selling arms, because he knows that is where 'he' belongs. We ought to understand that violence is everywhere. It's between a parent and a child or between the husband and the wife and that it doesn't have to be only physical. Only the meek suppress it, the bold take it a step further. Agreed it is evil, but at some point or the other, everybody ought to give in to it. Those words, to some, might appear jarring, they would most certainly repel such thoughts and notions, and those reactions I reckon might stem from their inability to access their innermost nature (clouded with feelings of love and care) because if looked at from a practical viewpoint what Cage's character plays is human nature personified to its barest best.



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Endorsements Gone Awry


The Indian advertising industry these days seems to be getting it wrong especially when it comes to some actor endorsements that simply don’t ‘fit in’ for their campaigns according to me. Presently, there is a television spot showing John Abraham talking about one of their many products. Undeniably, his body is more widely discussed than his brains, but one look at him when he isn’t showing skin and one would see that his inner nature which is so lucidly reflected in his actions lends a far more profound character to his personality than his mere six packs. And even if his six packs have been over-exposed, there's still a lesson in that to be learnt – that a fitter mind and body leads to a fit and thriving life. 

However, I am unable to comprehend how the same brand has selected a female actor who oozes saccharine, but lacks grace and poise to promote their product for the female audience. I am sure these chaps had their reasons. Somehow, these days, everyone has reasons for whatever they do.

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Tai Chi - Yoga - Body Balance


Did a class of it on Saturday and LOVED it. Neelanjana, or otherwise known as Neel, was my guru and she is simply marvellous. She takes you through the process with such warmth and ease that it is surely a delight. Try it guys, you'll love the movement, the balance and above all the peace.

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Julian and Farahdeen


This is something that transpired between my buddy from Brazil, Julian and me, couple of days ago and I thought it was worth sharing. Here is the conversation as it happened on chat -

Friday 21st May 2010

23:49 Me: Juliano! There bro?
23:50 Julian: Hello bro. Howz things?
23:51 Me: Undulating bro. For the first time when life is rather calm, I find myself at sea.
23:52 Julian: ?
23:53 Me: It seems like I have lost focus. Like I'm stuck in this abyss.
23:59 Julian: Who is there to blame in the absence of yourself?
00:00 Me: I need to find myself bro. I have to!
00:01 Julian: You will, it's there, inside you. Just let the monster inside you come on out and play.
00:02 Me: Its more like I tease the scars that never felt a wound.

IDLE

00:43 Julian: How can I help?
00:44 Me: The more I try to avoid suffering the more I suffer.
00:45 Julian: To love anything is to suffer, my brother.
00:46 Julian: Bro, it may sound like a cliché but all you need lies within. Face the fear and you will create more courage. Be brave.
00:48 Julian: Suck it up, suck the pain. Love it. And leave it.
00:49 Me: Let me be my own psychologist. My own physician.
00:50 Julian: Not without my help though :)
00:51 Me: No doubt about that, bro. No doubt ever.


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Shameful


I am shocked at the recent news about Times Square. Don’t these chaps realise that by planning or committing such heinous acts they are not only destroying the trust that people have in people but also wiping out any semblance of normality for their family for generations to come? Why can’t the Muslim youth of today put their intelligence to constructive development of the mind, the body, of science and the soul than indulging in such shameful deeds?

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Café Noir - U B City


I was not very happy to learn that the new café coming up in place of where the old pâtisserie Ecstasy and Addiction once stood was owned by the same management as the nearby Toscano. I say this because my experiences in Toscano were slightly unpleasant, both in food and service, but since I had heard well of Café Noir I attempted to sample the eatery in spite of my reservations.

Although it is situated in the ever-buzzing food court of UB City, the restaurant manages to clench guests with its casual ambience of a perfectly Parisian outdoor café. No restaurant is greater than the people who make it so and that’s the exact impression you get right from when you set foot inside Café Noir.

The courteous staff greeted me with cordiality while I sat in the patio and glanced through the bread, pastries and fine foods menu. Hitesh Tulsani, the young and smart chap waiting on me recommended a drink that he said would be made specifically for me by the barman. In no time my drink arrived and Hiten requested that I suggest a suitable name for it. Upon becoming aware of the ingredients (please try it out there) I called it Traffic Jam. Back to the restaurant the following weekend with friends, I saw that Traffic Jam was indeed put up on the menu under the ‘Barman Specials’ section. I thanked them for the kind gesture and they offered me another delicious mélange that I christened Angel Wings. I have only praises for the barman Purushotham Reddy and his enjoyable concoctions.

Not only had the staff obtained my loyalty by virtue of their kindness and careful attention, I also soon found the similar warmth in the owner Thierry Jasserand. A bright and polite gentleman, on most days you can see Thierry chatting with guests with utmost interest, and you can distinguish that the nature of his parley does not stem from formality but instead he genuinely enjoys putting everyone at ease while they are at his restaurant. During one of our many conversations I was happy to learn that he refrains from using mass-produced factory produce at the restaurant because he despises the chemicals, additives and preservatives normally found in them and instead has nearly all of their ingredients delivered fresh to the restaurant everyday.

One evening when I saw the tempting French style savoury tarts I asked Thierry whether they made anything in particular for health-conscious people like me. He smiled widely and told me that in French cuisine there was no ‘in-between’ so either you had the sugar, mayo and cream, or you just didn’t. I succumbed to his words and indulged in a delectable chocolate pastry and a lip-smacking salad with pasta drizzled with pesto sauce, chicken and some crunchy fresh onion, red and green capsicum and lettuce leaves. Noticing me enjoying the salad, he informed me with a twinkle in his eyes that they were soon planning to add a typical French dinner menu with red, rosé and white wines that ought to make the place perfect to linger over a simple but traditional satisfying meal.

My bill surprised me; I found it incredibly reasonable for the al fresco location and the ‘French art de vivre’ that the restaurant represents and it truly sticks to the motto of being able to pamper yourself by the affordable price-points that is sheer luxury even if visited on a regular basis too.

Café Noir is a place not to be missed not only for many reasons: the inspiring interiors, the fantastic food that makes it an immense success and the simplicity in which they offer the guests a little affordable luxury to indulge in every day. But most importantly, it is the souls behind it that make this place so very marvellous and there is no doubt that once you set foot in here you will discover one of the most satisfying dining experiences.

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My Apple iPhone 32 GB 3GS


I love it more than I love my...

(Hold it there, guys! I only meant my Sony Ericsson).

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The Station Agent - 2003

What can I say, this is a movie all of us have to ingest and digest with utmost care. It is so very much close to life that if you haven't seen the film, then you quite haven't seen life.

I loved The Visitor by Thomas McCarthy as much as I have loved The Station Agent and now I am eagerly waiting to see Pixar's Up because Thomas is the screenwriter of Up. Whether it was his acting in Saint Maybe that left an unmistakable impression on all of us, or whether its his films that make us rethink our perspective on life, yet subtly, this is a man who has been providing us rather steadily with such marvellous cinema that there is nothing else really we can do other than bow and thank him for it.

Thomas McCarthy, thank you for your brilliance, and Thomas McCarthy, keep them coming!

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The Green Zone - 2010


From the opening first shot, the action thriller The Green Zone, is utter chaos, but upon looking closely you figure that surely there's a sense of immense clarity to the chaos. The less said the better about the film because you have to see it to know what you are seeing, and if you have seen it, and not 'seen' it, then you haven't seen anything.

Cheers to the writer Brian Helgeland, director Paul Greengrass, actor Matt Damon and everyone else involved on the film, without forgetting journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran whose non-fiction book Imperial Life in the Emerald City the movie is credited to be inspired from.


A movie surely not to be MISSED.



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Up In The Air - 2009


I happened to see the film last night and what a useless waste of time it was. It had nothing new to offer in terms of story, dialogues, visuals, talent or sensibility. I wonder why people made such a fuss about something this mediocre.

However, the title design is something that's worthy of a mention. It has been designed simple, yet smart and only for that has it earned a place on my blog.


PS: Watch it only if you want to spend 108 minutes of your precious time, you could otherwise use having a conversation with someone you would rather want to, and make real connections with, than the garbage shown about connections in this film.


PS - I LOVED the poster and the stills though :-) 


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Who Cares Who Farted Or Burped


Who cares whether somebody is the richest Indian, some actor farted, or a politician burped. I reckon we ought to bring an end to this useless nonsense and concentrate more on issues that would throw light on matters that may well make, and change, the world into something better. Time we stopped faffing and instead helped in transforming perspectives.

Anybody listening? I am sure you would, if you have any sense that is.








Image: This image does not belong to me. I have sourced it from the Internet. I do not own it, or claim copyright to it. If it is your image please do let me know if you are fine with me adding your name to it. I shall add credits to it. This is not a site for business. The images have been used for representational purposes only. If you wish, I shall take it off in case of an objection do let me know and I shall take it off. Thank you.

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The Human Body


I feel the most expressive visual form of art one can find in the world is the human body. How marvellous and miraculous is our structure that it is only through the senses of the human body can we apprehend the rest of the visible, tangible world. Nothing can, or ever will exist, if we do not.








Image: This image does not belong to me. I have sourced it from the Internet. I do not own it, or claim copyright to it. If it is your image please do let me know if you are fine with me adding your name to it. I shall add credits to it. This is not a site for business. The images have been used for representational purposes only. If you wish, I shall take it off in case of an objection do let me know and I shall take it off. Thank you.

0 comments: