Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Catcher in the Rye

I just finished reading “The Catcher in the Rye” this morning. “A cult book” as one of my friends calls it…
An absolute marvel…I am so glad I read it…..So I just had to write about it in my web space!!!

There’s hardly any point writing about the story as I assume I’m one of those unfortunate few to have read this book so late in my life (Boy! !!Do I sound old??!!).But the subtlety in the book’s fascinating…if you happen to get them…. that is….

Frankly speaking, I’ve never been intrigued by the “inner meanings” of many books. But this one was an exception. How a 17 year old’s interpretation of the world and its people could actually reveal the futility of the conventional norms of society is amazing!!

The protagonist, Holden Caulfield, hardly ever misses calling people “phony” (I suppose that’s the most frequently used term in the novel).His world almost collapses as he realizes his solitude and seclusion from most people in the world (except maybe his sister Phoebe).Apparently its just a teenager talking about few days of “freaking out” .The subtle meaning however, is indicative of how our world’s so pretentious and weird.

I thought the title was absolutely apt. It’s from a Thomas Burns’ poem containing these words whereby a catcher stands all day at the cliff “catching” any child who’d fall off the gorge. It explains Holden’s state of mind where he wants to protect a child’s mind from the atrocities of adulthood….or maybe his own self.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves to read (and hasn’t already read it!!).I enjoyed the book and hope you do so too….

Monday, April 16, 2007

For a better world.......

Ignorant as one would call me, I have no qualms in admitting that I was unaware of the monstrous predominance of “Domestic violence”. I mean I did know it exists and that several women are subjected to it on a daily basis……But I had absolutely no clue as to how common it could be.

“Provoked” is like any other well-made movie with good performances (I confess I liked Ms Rai for the first time ever) and commendable direction. But what’s more striking is that it compels you to carry the issue along.What makes it even more touching is the fact that its based on the real-life story of the landmark case called "Regina Vs. Ahluwalia" - a case which re-defined the term "Provocation"!!!

Probably as a twenty-something I have a lot of apprehensions about life…And issues like domestic violence only adds to what I would call more of “dread” than apprehension!!!We are educated alright…..but can we really claim to be emancipated??

It’s been pretty frequent that I visited the theatre…but I’m glad I watched some real good cinema. I hope the future of the world’s as good as in the movie(I would call the ending positive if not happy)….Amen!!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Its all in a name.......

When I read “The Namesake” by Jhumpa Lahiri, I remember having identified with the characters. The feeling got re-juvenated after watching its screen version.

I have always maintained that books lose their charm once they are made into movies…But I must confess I did think otherwise this time. With powerful performances by truly talented actors, impeccable direction, and absolute technical proficiency (though I am no critic to technical aspects of movie-making, I loved certain camera shots…For eg: the Howrah station scene merging past and present)...The movie was indeed a delightful experience. I must specially mention the lead actor’s (Irfan Khan) amazing attempt at mimicking the Bengali accent. It’s commendable as to how he has brilliantly spun authenticity into it without overdoing it. (You have to trust my opinion on this one!)

One tends to identify with Nikhil ‘Gogol’ Ganguli. His character compels you to ponder on your cultural standing. You tend to question your attitude towards your family, your roots and your beliefs….I feel it provides an absolutely necessary halt to our otherwise fast paced lives…It re-emphasizes the need to live in the present…to feel the beauty of having a family and to feel how it is to be loved…Gogol is like a reality check to the hot blooded youth of today….

Not always would you come across movies which provoke you to carry the thought along once you leave the theater. I am glad I experienced this rare feeling last Saturday…This one’s definitely worth a watch(or may be more)!!!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Hail Loreto!!!

People are all moving on in life.....some going abroad for “higher studies”, some settling for newer jobs, some “settling” in the Indian sense of the term(read : marrying)...but all of them moving ahead ......

And here I am...reminiscing on those days of my past....specifically of the school where I spent some of my most crucial years – Loreto Day School. I thought I owe at least one blogpost to my school...So here it goes..................

It was one of those wet, sultry rainy days of June’92 – my parents took me through those huge green meet Sr. Mary Ross (my fellow Loretians would already have some bells ringing by now)...A highly revered Irish hexagenarian with the deepest blue eyes I’ve ever seen...that’s exactly how I’d describe her!!!

And before I could know any further I had spent 8 years of my life on campus on 9, Elliott Road. Loads of my girlhood memories are perhaps seeped in those massive yellow buildings....those strong house fights (Tagore house still rocks!!), morning assemblies (oh boy!!!What adrenaline rushes they were), innumerable events/contests (Winning them were as good as the Oscars, I daresay!!!)....unit tests (and merit cards and uncontrolled rivalries) ............I’m sure it already sounds like a "My School" essay!!! :)

This is how “My School” still affects me.....And why not....I met some of my best teachers there....Mrs Sen (her affable charm still never fails to fascinate me), Mrs Bhattacharya (Thanks to her ...I was addicted to Mathematics),Mrs. Chatterjee (No one knew Shakespeare better than her...I’d like to believe)..................[far too many to list I guess]....I made some of my closest friends there....and I treasure some of my most cherished memories there...

Pardon the length of this post....Its more than just nostalgia I feel for my wonder I still revel at the mention of its name and I still remember my school song by heart.....
Loreto’s banner gaily floats in lands both east and west
Loreto’s name each girl reveres and holds it ever blest

Monday, April 02, 2007

Mouthshut.....NO WAY!!!

Sometimes it fascinates me – the fact that humans are so opinionated.
Now, don’t mistake me…I’m not much into criticizing people around...I am very much a
part of the brigade I am going to comment on.

I was reading a couple of articles on a news portal ….and each article has a tagging list of comments attached...The inquisitive “thing” in me wonders if the author’s ever going to peruse those comments in his/her lifetime!!!!...and yet people keep commenting…..and opining…..and talking…… :)

Well, I guess it comes as a package with the meager education we receive…We are endowed with a free license to opine on every matter that affects us and every one that doesn’t!!!!

There is this particular fashion journalist who writes for a news portal…I like the humour in his posts ….and therefore have visited his blog quite often…I understand if people comment on the content of the posts….But no…we humble mortals are just not cut for that….They comment on his command over the Queen’s language and about thousands of other details which are absolutely besides the point….Hell, if that piece of article bothers your night’s sleep….DO NOT read it…Now, isn’t that simple???

But “social” creatures as we are….we would still keep brewing our coffee with the political state of our nation…we would still watch those loads of Bollywood flicks (only to term them as “trash” even as we are watching them)…we would still take an active interest about numerous inconspicuous matters which neither require nor deserve our attention….and would still secretively get a sense of satisfaction when we get some positive “comments” on our latest blogpost!!!That’s the way we are. …I guess!!! :)